Screening & Addressing Dyslexia

Importance of Early Screening

Ending the Dyslexia Paradox

Early screening identifies at-risk students starting in Kindergarten. Screening is important because it can help to identify the weaknesses in the sub-skills of reading that impact decoding and oral language skills. If students are performing below benchmark during screening, schools should then use diagnostic measures to identify underlying causes and provide students immediate support.  Screening is not a diagnosis, but an important process to get students the appropriate help they need to become fluent readers.  Early Screening should include: Phonemic Awareness, Phonological Awareness, and Rapid Auto Naming Skills (objects). Students with dyslexia may also have Developmental Language Disorder. It is important to screen for both.  Screening for DLD .

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 (dyslexia never goes away, but the symptoms can be reduced with appropriate instruction and intervention). 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. Schools will need to value a preventative model that includes appropriate screeners, evidence-based core instruction, and a schedule that builds in the opportunity to support students who need extra structured literacy support to succeed. 

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