Screening, Evaluation and Identification Process

  • Use the link below to refence more information from The Dyslexia Handbook for more information on screening, evaluation and identification.

    The Dyslexia Handbook

    Universal Screenings

    All students in Kindergarten and first grade will be screened to see if they are at risk for dyslexia.  First graders are screened in January and Kindergarten in May.  Students who are determined to be at risk for dyslexia will be offered a dyslexia evaluation or an intervention.  For more information see Figure 2.5 on page 17 of the Dyslexia Handbook.

    Procedures for Evaluation and Identification

    A dyslexia evaluation may be requested at any time and may be completed under Section 504 or IDEA. Students referred for a dyslexia evaluation should have poor performance in one or more areas of reading and spelling that is unexpected for the student’s age or grade level and demonstrate characteristics of dyslexia. 

    Cumulative data (informal) from the student’s educational history will be considered prior to a formal evaluation.  See figure 3.2 on page 26 of Dyslexia Handbook for examples.

    Once the informal data is gathered and reviewed a formal evaluation can be recommended.  During a formal evaluation the domains listed below are to be considered.

    Domains assessed in a dyslexia evaluation are as follows:              

    • Letter knowledge
    • Reading words in isolation
    • Decoding unfamiliar words
    • Reading fluency and comprehension
    • Spelling
    • Phonological/phonemic awareness
    • Rapid naming of symbols or objects

    Additional domains that may be included in the evaluation are as follows:

    • Vocabulary
    • Listening comprehension
    • Verbal and/or written expression
    • Handwriting
    • Orthographic processing
    • Mathematical calculation/reasoning
    • Phonological memory
    • Verbal working memory and processing speed

    Once an evaluation is complete, a committee of knowledgeable persons (Section 504 or ARD committee) will interpret the results to determine if there is a pattern of evidence for the primary characteristics of dyslexia with unexpectedly low performance for the student’s age and educational level.  The reading and spelling difficulties should be unexpected in relation to the student’s other abilities, sociocultural factors, language difference, irregular attendance, or lack of appropriate and effective instruction.  It is not one single factor but a preponderance of data (both formal and informal) that provide the committee with evidence for whether these difficulties are unexpected. 

    Once dyslexia is identified the Section 504 or ARD Committee will create an educational plan to serve the student.  The committee will determine the appropriate intervention to use with the student and what accommodations the student will need in the classroom and for testing.

    For more information on the identification process see Figure 3.8 on page 35 of The Dyslexia Handbook.

    Parents/guardians may request an evaluation at any time and the school district is obligated to review the student’s date history to determine whether of not there is a reason to believe the student has a disability.  If a disability is suspected, the student will be evaluated.  If the school district does not suspect a disability and determines an evaluation is not warranted, the parents/guardians must be given a copy of their due process rights.

    Privately obtained evaluations provided by the parents/guardians will be reviewed by the school district and become a part of the evaluation data but do not, independently, create eligibility.  If the school district does not suspect a disability upon reviewing the outside evaluation, the parents/guardians must be given a copy of their due process rights.