Dyslexia Screening and Intervention
In 2015 the Indiana General Assembly passed House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1108. This law put in place an official definition for dyslexia in Indiana. This definition is based on the International Dyslexia Association’s definition of dyslexia. When referring to dyslexia, the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) uses the language from HEA 1108.
House Enrolled Act 1108 defines dyslexia as: A specific learning disability that: (1) is neurological in origin and characterized by: difficulties with accurate or fluent word recognition and poor spelling and decoding abilities; (2) typically results 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; (3) may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede the growth of vocabulary and background knowledge; and (4) may require the provision of special education services after an eligibility determination is made in accordance with Article 7. Link to House Enrolled Act 1108.
Beginning in the 2019 - 2020 school year, Senate Enrolled Act 217 requires schools to universally screen all kindergarten, first, and second-grade students annually to identify and predict students who may be “at some risk” for dyslexia. Link to Senate Enrolled Act 217.
Merrillville Community School Corporation will utilize universal screeners approved by the Indiana Department of Education that includes indicators for dyslexia that include:
Phonological and phonemic awareness
Sound symbol recognition
Rapid naming skills
If a student is determined to be at risk for dyslexia following this screening, a Level I dyslexia screening will be administered with parent consent. If a student's dyslexia screening indicates the need for dyslexia intervention services for the student, the dyslexia intervention may include one or more of the following:
Explicit, direct instruction that is systematic, sequential, and cumulative and follows a logical plan of presenting the alphabetic principle that targets the specific needs of the student without presuming prior skills or knowledge of the student;
Individualized instruction to meet the specific needs of the student in a setting that uses intensive, highly concentrated instruction methods and materials that maximize student engagement;
Meaning-based instruction directed at purposeful reading and writing with an emphasis on comprehension and composition;
Instruction that incorporates the simultaneous and use of two or more sensory pathways during teacher presentations and student practice; and
Other instructional approaches as determined appropriate by the educational team.
Before July 15th of each school year, each school shall report the following information:
● The dyslexia intervention program(s) used during the previous school year to support students with dyslexia.
● The number of students who received dyslexia intervention during the previous school year. This indicator represents the number of students who were identified as at risk for dyslexia during the previous school year and who received the appropriate interventions. It does not represent the number of students who were officially diagnosed with dyslexia.
● The number of students identified with dyslexia during the previous school year. This indicator represents the number of students who were officially diagnosed with dyslexia and may differ from the number of students who received dyslexia intervention under the guidelines within this document.