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Definition of Dyslexia

"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.

Adopted by the IDA Board of Directors, Nov. 12, 2002. This definition is also used by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

Background Information

In July of 2015, Senate Bill 612 was passed by the Oregon Legislature. SB 612 required the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to designate a Dyslexia Specialist to provide school districts with support and resources to assist students with dyslexia and their families. The bill required the Department to develop and communicate annually a list of training opportunities for districts related to dyslexia. Additionally, SB 612 required each school district to ensure that at least one K-5 teacher in each K-5 school receive training related to dyslexia. SB 612 also required the Department to develop a plan to ensure that every student who is first enrolled at a public school in the state for kindergarten or first grade receives a screening for risk factors of dyslexia. The plan was developed and presented to the legislature in September of 2016. In the 2017 legislative session, new dyslexia legislation passed in Oregon. SB 1003 carries forward the dyslexia-related training requirements from SB 612, extending the deadline for completion of the training and includes requirements for districts to universally screen for risk factors of dyslexia in kindergarten. The bill requires the Department to develop guidance for districts regarding instructional support for students who demonstrate risk of reading difficulties, including dyslexia. The Department is also required to submit a report to the legislature related to best practices for screening and instructional support.

Sarah Thorud