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What is Dyslexia?

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

(1) "Dyslexia" means a disorder of constitutional origin manifested by difficulty in learning to read, write, or spell, despite conventional instruction, adequate intelligence, and sociocultural opportunity. (TEC Section 38.003)

(2) “Related disorders” include disorders similar to or related to dyslexia such as auditory imperception, dysphasia, specific developmental dyslexia, development dysgraphia, and developmental spelling disability.  

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 growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.

 --Adopted by the IDA Board of Directors, Nov. 12, 2002. This Definition is also used by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

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, 2018 Update) 

Common Signs of Dyslexia

K-3rd grade:

 - Failure to understand that words are made up of parts or individual sounds
 - Difficulty learning letter names and associated sounds
 - Difficulty reading single words in isolation
 - Choppy and labored reading
 - Difficulty with spelling

4th grade - High School:

 - History of reading and spelling difficulties
 - Avoids reading aloud
 - Reads most materials slowly; oral reading is labored, not fluent
 - Avoids reading for pleasure
 - Difficulty with spelling

The Talking Book Program(TBP) provides free library services for Texans of any age who are blind or have a visual, physical, or reading disability.  Registered TBP patrons may borrow books and magazines in digital audio, Braille, and large print.  Click here for the application.  Before mailing your application, you will need to have it certified by the Dyslexia Specialist at your child's campus.

The Dyslexia Handbook (2018 Update), Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders:


Who do I contact if I have questions about an evaluation for dyslexia?

Elementary - Campus Counselor 
Middle School - Student Services Facilitator or Campus Counselor
High School - Student Services Facilitator

f you have any questions regarding the NISD Dyslexia Program, 
please contact:  
Ruth Ann Beagle, M.Ed., Dyslexia Facilitator, at 817-698-6656.