If a student is expected to have dyslexia, you may wonder what steps should be taken to ensure an appropriate education. The student may have some characteristics of dyslexia and be receiving intervention during the school day. A student may have been tested for dyslexia and be receiving dyslexia specific interventions at school. What if a student is not making progress with the interventions or if a family feels more support and services are needed?
Referring this student for Special Education may or may not be appropriate. School teams, including parents, should decide the best way to meet the student’s needs in the least restrictive environment. A student with dyslexia may have their needs met through interventions referred to as RTI^2. Accommodations through Section 504 may help support a student with dyslexia. Students may also be referred to Special Education. The diagnosis is not enough to qualify for Special Education services under the law. Students with dyslexia may need support in the area of basic reading. If a student struggles with sight word recognition, phonics, and letter/sound understanding they may need assistance with basic reading skills. A parent or local education agency may refer a student for comprehensive testing if they are worried a student may have a specific learning disability.
After a comprehensive evaluation, if the student meets the rules for a specific learning disability, the student may then be able to receive Special Education services. The team consisting of a Special Education teacher, a Regular Education teacher, someone representing the school (LEA), the student, the parent, and any other person with valuable input will meet to determine what Special Education services will help support the student in the least restrictive environment. These services may be used in a regular education classroom or a special education setting. The team will decide which services will be used and which setting they will be used in.
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