• Dyslexia

    Definitions and Characteristics of Dyslexia

    The student who struggles with reading and spelling often puzzles teachers and parents. The student displays an ability to learn in the absence of print and receives the same classroom instruction that benefits most children; however, the student continues to struggle with some or all of the many facets of reading and spelling. This student may be a student with dyslexia.


    Texas Education Code (TEC) §38.003 defines dyslexia in the following way:

    1. “Dyslexia” means a disorder of constitutional origin manifested by a difficulty in learning to read, write, or spell, despite conventional instruction, adequate intelligence, and sociocultural opportunity.
    2. “Related disorders” include disorders similar to or related to dyslexia such as developmental auditory imperceptions, dysphasia, specific developmental dyslexia, developmental dysgraphia, and developmental spelling disorder.




    The International Dyslexia Association defines “dyslexia” in the following way:

    Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede the growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.

    (Adopted by the International Dyslexia Association Board of Directors, November 12, 2002)                      


    Students identified as having dyslexia typically experience primary difficulties in phonological awareness, including phonemic awareness and manipulation, single-word reading, reading fluency, and spelling. Consequences may include difficulties in reading comprehension and/or written expression. These difficulties in phonological awareness are unexpected for the student’s age and educational level and are not primarily the result of language difference factors. Additionally, there is often a family history of similar difficulties.


    The following are the primary reading/spelling characteristics of dyslexia: 

    • Difficulty reading words in isolation
    • Difficulty accurately decoding unfamiliar words
    • Difficulty with oral reading (slow, inaccurate, or labored)
    • Difficulty spelling


    It is important to note that individuals demonstrate differences in degree of impairment.

    The reading/spelling characteristics are most often associated with the following:

    • Segmenting, blending, and manipulating sounds in words (phonemic awareness)
    • Learning the names of letters and their associated sounds
    • Holding information about sounds and words in memory (phonological memory)
    • Rapidly recalling the names of familiar objects, colors, or letters of the alphabet (rapid naming)
    Consequences of dyslexia may include the following:
    • Variable difficulty with aspects of reading comprehension
    • Variable difficulty with aspects of written language
    • Limited vocabulary growth due to reduced reading experiences
    (Information adopted from "The Dyslexia Handbook", TEA, Rev. July 2014) 

    Resources, Websites, and Organizations Related to Dyslexia
     Learning Ally has a collection of more than 70,000 digitally recorded textbooks and literature titles - downloadable and accessible on mainstream as well as specialized assistive technology devices. The site is free to any Texas public school student identified with dyslexia.
    ld LDOnLine.org is the world's leading website on learning disabilities and ADHD. The site features hundreds of helpful articles, multimedia, monthly columns, a comprehensive resources guide and more. 
    The International Dyslexia Association serves individuals with dyslexia, their families, and professionals in the field of dyslexia. They operate 44 branches throughout the U.S. and Canada.
     scottish rite
    The Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia and Learning Disorders in Dallas is a leader in the research and intervention of dyslexia. They provide assessment, Dyslexia Therapist Training, and community outreach programs. Their website contains helpful information for anyone who wants to learn more about dyslexia.
    Reading Resource is a website is dedicated to helping children learn to read. For anyone who cares about reading and helping those with dyslexia and reading difficulties, ReadingResource.net is for you. 
    The Dyslexia Font makes reading easy and enjoyable for people with dyslexia.Download the font for free.
    yale center
    The Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity's mission is to uncover and illuminate the strengths of those with dyslexia, disseminate information, practical advice, and the latest innovations from scientific research, and transform the lives of children and adults with dyslexia: http://dyslexia.yale.edu/

    Other Important Resources:
    Take Flight Parent Information - PowerPoint Presentation
    General questions regarding the district's policies regarding dyslexia testing and services can be directed to Emily Youngberg, 504/Dyslexia Specialist by email at eyoungberg@ems-isd.net or phone at (817) 232-0880 x 2755. Parents may also contact their child's campus 504 Coordinator or classroom teacher.