What is Dyslexia?

The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) along with the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) adopted the following definition of dyslexia which is also endorsed by the Colorado Department of Education:

“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.”

What do I do if I think my child has dyslexia?

Dyslexia Support Protocol

  • Start with your child’s teacher and/or building literacy specialists about your concerns and what you are noticing with your child’s learning.
  • Classroom teachers can provide you with information related to what your child can do, where they are developing, and next steps for instructional supports.
  • As part of a school's problem solving process, classroom teachers will collaborate with specialists in the building to address your questions about your child’s needs.
  • Recognizing signs, symptoms and characteristics is the responsibility of all educators as well as implementing instructional supports to address these characteristics. Therefore, a diagnosis is not required to begin supporting a student’s needs.
  • Diagnostic information can be found under the parent resources on this page.

How does LPS support students with dyslexia or signs, symptoms and characteristics of dyslexia?

All students, including students entering kindergarten, participate in universal screening protocols including:

Kindergarten screenings include:

  • Kindergarten Literacy Readiness screening including phonological awareness, letter identification and letter sounds  - Fall (mid-year and spring as a screen for those continuing to have needs). This screening was developed using David Kilpatrick’s work, Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling

Additional grade level screenings include:

  • I-Ready Diagnostic -identifies a student’s strengths and needs within specific domains or skill areas in reading and math so that teachers can then tailor their instruction to meet the needs of each child. This also gives teachers indicators of skill areas to target or probe deeper for intervention and instruction. 

Additional screening probes to monitor progress and support intervention needs include:

  • Phonological Awareness Screening Test (PAST)
  • AimsWebPlus 
  • Progress monitoring with SuperKids

Staff training on recognition of signs, symptoms and characteristics of dyslexia.

Language Essentials For Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS) by Sopris Learning

  • Ongoing professional development for teachers
  • A comprehensive, highly effective, research-based professional development program--online, book based, and face-to-face
  • Provides the deep foundational knowledge necessary to understand how students learn to read, write, and spell
  • Addresses each component of early literacy—phoneme awareness, phonics, decoding, spelling, word study, oral language development, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, and writing
  • 8 Units of study=approximately 150 hours of learning

MTSS, PLC work and Intervention flow chart in general

Elementary Literacy Specialists and Special Education Teachers

  • Many literacy specialists and special education teachers have training in:
    • Orton-Gillingham
    • Wilson Reading System
    • CR Success
  • David Kilpatrick Phonological Awareness protocols

Assistive Technology supports:

  • Bookshare
  • Learning Ally
  • ReadWrite Google
  • Chrome Extensions/Apps

Parent Resources

CDE - Colorado Dyslexia

--- A digital resource for parents designed to provide a variety of resources 

International Dyslexia Association 
--- International Dyslexia Association website - resources for professionals and families

Rocky Mountain Branch - International Dyslexia Association
--- Local chapter of the Dyslexia Association website - resources for professionals and families, including tutors and diagnostician information

--- Parent led advocacy group with current leadership representation from districts across the front range.

The Superkids® Reading Program by Zaner-Bloser

  • A K-2 core literacy curriculum for kindergarten through second grade that teaches all aspects of reading seamlessly integrated
  • Provides systematic, multi-sensory and explicit instruction 
  • Decodable texts
  • Integrated reading, spelling, handwriting, grammar, and composition
  • Motivating because of the engaging Superkids characters