The State Board of Education (SBOE) on November 16, 2018, gave final approval to updates to The Dyslexia Handbook—2018 Update: Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders (Dyslexia Handbook). The updates address recent legislative changes and clarify processes regarding identification and services for students, including students with dysgraphia. The updated Dyslexia Handbook is effective immediately.
The handbook contains guidelines for school districts to follow as they identify and provide services for students with dyslexia. In addition, information regarding the state's dyslexia statutes and their relation to various federal laws is included.
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Texas Administrative Code §74.28 (State Board of Education Rule)
Students with Dyslexia and Related Disorders.
(a) In order to support and maintain full educational opportunity for students with dyslexia and related disorders and consistent with federal and state law, school districts and open-enrollment charter schools shall provide each student with dyslexia or a related disorder access to each program under which the student qualifies for services.
(b) The board of trustees of a school district or the governing body of an open-enrollment charter school must ensure that procedures for identifying a student with dyslexia or a related disorder and for providing appropriate, evidence-based instructional services to the student are implemented in the district.
(c) A school district's or open-enrollment charter school's procedures must be implemented according to the State Board of Education (SBOE) approved strategies for screening, individualized evaluation, and techniques for treating dyslexia and related disorders. The strategies and techniques are described in the "Dyslexia Handbook: Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders," a set of guidelines for school districts and open-enrollment charter schools that may be modified by the SBOE only with broad-based dialogue that includes input from educators and professionals in the field of reading and dyslexia and related disorders from across the state.
(d) Screening as described in the "Dyslexia Handbook: Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders" and further evaluation should only be conducted by individuals who are trained in valid, evidence-based assessments and who are trained to appropriately evaluate students for dyslexia and related disorders.
(e) A school district or open-enrollment charter school shall purchase a reading program or develop its own evidence-based reading program for students with dyslexia and related disorders that is aligned with the descriptors found in the "Dyslexia Handbook: Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders." Teachers who screen and treat these students must be trained in instructional strategies that use individualized, intensive, multisensory, phonetic methods and a variety of writing and spelling components described in the "Dyslexia Handbook: Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders. " The professional development activities specified by each open-enrollment charter school and district and/or campus planning and decision making committee shall include these instructional strategies.
(f) At least five school days before any evaluation or identification procedure is used selectively with an individual student, the school district or open-enrollment charter school must provide written notification to the student's parent or guardian or another person standing in parental relation to the student of the proposed identification or evaluation. The notice must be in English, or to the extent practicable, the individual's native language and must include the following:
(1) a reasonable description of the evaluation procedure to be used with the individual student;
(2) information related to any instructional intervention or strategy used to assist the student prior to evaluation;
(3) an estimated time frame within which the evaluation will be completed; and
(4) specific contact information for the campus point of contact, relevant Parent Training and Information Projects, and any other appropriate parent resources.
(g) Before a full individual and initial evaluation is conducted to determine whether a student has a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the school district or open-enrollment charter school must notify the student's parent or guardian or another person standing in parental relation to the student of its proposal to conduct an evaluation consistent with 34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), §300.503, provide all information required under subsection (f) of this section, and provide:
(1) a copy of the procedural safeguards notice required by 34 CFR, §300.504;
(2) an opportunity to give written consent for the evaluation; and
(3) a copy of information required under Texas Education Code (TEC), §26.0081.
(h) Parents/guardians of a student with dyslexia or a related disorder must be informed of all services and options available to the student, including general education interventions under response to intervention and multi-tiered systems of support models as required by TEC, §26.0081(d), and options under federal law, including IDEA and the Rehabilitation Act, §504.
(i) Each school or open-enrollment charter school must provide each identified student access at his or her campus to instructional programs required in subsection (e) of this section and to the services of a teacher trained in dyslexia and related disorders. The school district or open-enrollment charter school may, with the approval of each student's parents or guardians, offer additional services at a centralized location. Such centralized services shall not preclude each student from receiving services at his or her campus.
(j) Because early intervention is critical, a process for early identification, intervention, and support for students at risk for dyslexia and related disorders must be available in each district and open-enrollment charter school as outlined in the "Dyslexia Handbook: Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders." School districts and open-enrollment charter schools may not use early intervention strategies, including multi-tiered systems of support, to delay or deny the provision of a full and individual evaluation to a child suspected of having a specific learning disability, including dyslexia or a related disorder.
(k) Each school district and open-enrollment charter school shall provide a parent education program for parents/guardians of students with dyslexia and related disorders. This program must include:
(1) awareness and characteristics of dyslexia and related disorders;
(2) information on testing and diagnosis of dyslexia and related disorders;
(3) information on effective strategies for teaching students with dyslexia and related disorders;
(4) information on qualifications of those delivering services to students with dyslexia and related disorders;
(5) awareness of information on accommodations and modifications, especially those allowed for standardized testing;
(6) information on eligibility, evaluation requests, and services available under IDEA and the Rehabilitation Act, §504, and information on the response to intervention process; and
(7) contact information for the relevant regional and/or school district or open-enrollment charter school specialists.
(l) School districts and open-enrollment charter schools shall provide to parents of children suspected to have dyslexia or a related disorder a copy or a link to the electronic version of the "Dyslexia Handbook: Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders."
(m) School districts and open-enrollment charter schools will be subject to monitoring for compliance with federal law and regulations in connection with this section.
Statutory Authority: The provisions of this §74.28 issued under the Texas Education Code, §7.102(c)(28) and §38.003.
Source: The provisions of this §74.28 adopted to be effective September 1, 1996, 21 TexReg 4311; amended to be effective September 1, 2001, 25 TexReg 7691; amended to be effective August 8, 2006, 31 TexReg 6212; amended to be effective August 24, 2010, 35 TexReg 7211; amended to be effective August 27, 2018, 43 TexReg 5519.
Talking about dyslexia…
Once the fog lifts, dyslexics are prone to genius. Because theirs is such a unique way of looking at reality.
— Victor Villasenor, Author
Texas Education Code §38.003 (State Law)
Screening and Treatment for Dyslexia and Related Disorders
(a) Students enrolling in public schools in this state shall be screened or tested, as appropriate, for dyslexia and related disorders at appropriate times in accordance with a program approved by the State Board of Education. The program must include screening at the end of the school year of each student in kindergarten and each student in the first grade.
(b) In accordance with the program approved by the State Board of Education, the board of trustees of each school district shall provide for the treatment of any student determined to have dyslexia or a related disorder.
(b-1) Unless otherwise provided by law, a student determined to have dyslexia during screening or testing under Subsection (a) or accommodated because of dyslexia may not be rescreened or retested for dyslexia for the purpose of reassessing the student’s need for accommodations until the district reevaluates the information obtained from previous screening or testing of the student.
(c) The State Board of Education shall adopt any rules and standards necessary to administer this section.
(d) In this section:
(1) “Dyslexia” means a disorder of constitutional origin manifested by a difficulty learning to read, write, or spell, despite conventional instruction, adequate intelligence, and sociocultural opportunity.
(2) “Related disorders” includes disorders similar to or related to dyslexia, such as developmental auditory imperception, dysphasia, specific developmental dyslexia, developmental dysgraphia, and developmental spelling disability.
Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.
Amended by: Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 635, Sec.3, eff. June 17, 2011. Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1044, Sec. 5, eff. June 15, 2017.
The original version of this statute was passed in 1985 through HB 157, Texas Legislature, and 69th Regular Session. Subsection (b-1) was added by the 82nd Texas Legislature in 2011.
Talking about dyslexia…
"Dyslexia brings more gifts than glitches. If you have it, flaunt it. When you stumble, hold out a hand. Help will come. When you achieve, stand proud and then lend a hand with humility."
— Mark R. Wilkinson