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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

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, November 12, 2002. This Definition is also used by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
The reading and spelling characteristics of dyslexia 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

Common Signs of Dyslexia

Kindergarten to Third 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

Fourth grade to 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 Prograprovides 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.

Who to Contact 

At the elementary level, families should contact the campus counselor regarding dyslexia services. At the middle school level, families should contact the student services facilitator or campus counselor. At the high school level, families should contact the student services facilitator.

If you have any questions regarding the NISD Dyslexia Program, please contact  Ruth Ann Beagle, M.Ed., dyslexia facilitator, via email at or by phone at 817-698-6656.