Screening & Addressing Dyslexia

Importance of Early Screening

Ending the Dyslexia Paradox

Early Screening

Purpose: Identify at-risk students starting in Kindergarten to identify weaknesses in the sub-skills of reading that impact decoding and oral language skills.

Process: If students perform below the benchmark during screening, schools should then use diagnostic measures to identify underlying causes and provide students with immediate support.

Benefits: Screening is not a diagnosis, but an important process to get students the appropriate help they need to become fluent readers.

Suggested measures:

Note, students with dyslexia may also have Developmental Language Disorder (DLD), so it is important to screen for both.

Core Instruction

Addressing dyslexia begins with core instruction. Dyslexia falls on a spectrum from mild to severe. To address the needs of all students, Tier 1 Instruction should use a Structured Literacy Approach to teach children the alphabetic code as a preventative approach for reading disabilities.

Students on the dyslexia spectrum will often need more intensity and repetition to help map words to their long-term memory for instant word recognition.

Multi-Tiered System of Supports 

A Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) is a framework for providing all students with the academic and behavioral support they need to succeed. MTSS is a three-tiered system, with each tier providing increasing levels of support.

Tier 1 is the foundation of MTSS and provides high-quality instruction to all students. Tier 1 instruction is designed to prevent learning difficulties from occurring in the first place.

Tier 2 provides additional support to students who are not responding to Tier 1 instruction. Tier 2 support may include small group instruction, tutoring, or other interventions.

Tier 3 provides the most intensive support to students who are struggling the most. Tier 3 support may include specialized instruction, one-on-one tutoring, or other interventions.

MTSS systems can support addressing dyslexia by:

MTSS systems can also help to ensure that students with dyslexia receive the support they need to succeed in the general education classroom.

Here are some specific examples of how MTSS systems can support addressing dyslexia:

MTSS systems can also provide support for parents and teachers. Parents can learn about dyslexia and how to support their child at home. Teachers can learn about effective strategies for teaching students with dyslexia.

Dyslexia Screening and the Use of Acadience Reading K-6

Fine Tuning Elementary Data Teaming to Improve Student Outcomes

Selecting and Evaluating Literacy Programs and Interventions

Addressing Dyslexia starts with core instruction! 

Early Literacy Screeners

Comprehensive list of early literacy screeners compiled by Dr. Nadine Gaab.  Excellent resource for schools. 

Evaluating Early Literacy Screeners 

Academic Screening Tools Chart

 Understanding Reading Challenges with the Simple View of Reading 

Types of Reading Difficulties 



Assessments and Decision Making 

Checklist: Use this checklist to track student mastery of Foundational Literacy Skills.

Source: RIDE Structured Literacy 

Dyslexia and the RTI/MTSS Process

Comprehensive Guide from 

Tennessee Center for the Study and Treatment of Dyslexia 


We recommend parents use these templates when discussing concerns or developing an IEP. We also recommend schools use these templates to guide MTSS discussions or IEP progress monitoring. 

Diagnostic Testing and School Evaluation  

"There is general agreement that specific learning disabilities (SLDs), such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia, are heterogeneous disorders that impact skill acquisition and performance in reading, writing, and mathematics. SLDs may coexist with other conditions, including but not limited to communication disorders, disorders of attention, or giftedness."


Important Considerations 

Writing and Encoding Struggles 

Intervention Resources 

The greatest tool a struggling student can have is a highly qualified and trained teacher in structured literacy. "A box" is not an appropriate plan without training and coaching support. 

The IDA Handbook on Dyslexia 

This handbook created by the International Dyslexia Association is a great tool to empower teachers and staff about dyslexia. Please share with your child's school. (Click the title to be redirected to PDF). 

Writing IEP Goals