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Dyslexia Program


The Atlanta ISD Dyslexia Program follows guidelines set by TEA (Texas Education Agency) to identify, evaluate and provide services for students with dyslexia and related disorders.  We provide students with the appropriate interventions and supports to ensure they receive the educational opportunities they deserve.


  • Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological 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 International Dyslexia Association Board of Directors, November 12, 2002

  • A child with dyslexia may have difficulty with

    • Difficulty reading words in isolation
    • Difficulty accurately decoding unfamiliar words
    • Difficulty with oral reading (slow, inaccurate, or labored without prosody)
    • Difficulty spelling
    • Segmenting, blending, and manipulating sounds in words (phonemic awareness)
    • Learning the name 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)

    Remember that students display differences in degree of impairment and may not exhibit all the characteristic listed above.

    Dyslexia looks different for every child!

    • Phonological awareness - “Phonological awareness is the understanding of the internal sound structure of words. A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound in a given language that can be recognized as being distinct from other sounds. An important aspect of phonological awareness is the ability to segment spoken words into their component phonemes [phonemic awareness].” (Birsh, 2018, p. 26). 
    • Sound-symbol association - Sound-symbol association is the knowledge of the various speech sounds in any language to the corresponding letter or letter combinations that represent those speech sounds. The mastery of sound-symbol association (alphabetic principle) is the foundation for the ability to read (decode) and spell (encode) (Birsh, 2018, p. 26). “Explicit phonics refers to an organized program in which these sound symbol correspondences are taught systematically” (Berninger & Wolf, 2009, p. 53). 
    • Syllabication - “A syllable is a unit of oral or written language with one vowel sound. Instruction must include the six basic types of syllables in the English language; closed, open, vowel-consonante, r-controlled, vowel pair (or vowel team), and final stable syllable. Syllable division rules must be directly taught in relation to the word structure” (Birsh, 2018, p. 26). 
    • Orthography - Orthography is the written spelling patterns and rules in a given language. Students must be taught the regularity and irregularity of the orthographic patterns of a language in an explicit and systematic manner. The instruction should be integrated with phonology and sound symbol knowledge. 
    • Morphology - “Morphology is the study of how morphemes are combined to form words. A morpheme is the smallest unit of meaning in the language” (Birsh, 2018, p. 26). 
    • Syntax - “Syntax is the set of principles that dictate sequence and function of words in a sentence in order to convey meaning. This includes grammar, sentence variation, and the mechanics of language” (Birsh, 2018, p. 26).
    • Reading comprehension - Reading comprehension is the process of extracting and constructing meaning through the interaction of the reader with the text to be comprehended and the specific purpose for reading. The reader’s skill in reading comprehension depends upon the development of accurate and fluent word recognition, oral language development (especially vocabulary and listening comprehension), background knowledge, use of appropriate strategies to enhance comprehension and repair it if it breaks down, and the reader’s interest in what he or she is reading and motivation to comprehend its meaning (Birsh, 2018, p.14; Snow, 2002). 
    • Reading fluency - “Reading fluency is the ability to read text with sufficient speed and accuracy to support comprehension”(Moats & Dakin, 2008, p. 52). Fluency also includes prosody. Teachers can help promote fluency with several interventions that have proven successful in helping students with fluency (e.g., repeated readings, word lists, and choral reading of passages) (Henry, 2010, p. 104)

Dyslexia Contacts