Decoding Dyslexia North Carolina

Alerts & Legislation

Can’t Make it to Dyslexia Hill Days 2017?

Blank Canvass Awareness Art

Attending in person is not the only way to join us in D.C. this year!
You can participate from home or for the die hard advocates from your vacation spot. Follow the #SayDyslexia hashtag! We will be Tweeting Live from the events.

Full Details
Heading to the #SayDyslexia Rally

HB 149 ‘Students with Dyslexia and Dyscalculia”

House Bill 149 passed through the House with a 114-0 vote.
It is now in the Committee On Rules and Operations in the Senate.

If signed into law it would:
  1. Define dyslexia
  2. Ensure that professional development on dyslexia, dyscalculia, & other specific learning disabilities is made available by the State Board of Education
  3. Require State Board of Education to develop information electronically about dyslexia, educational methodologies, screening and what is available to support children with dyslexia in North Carolina
  4. Require boards of education to review diagnostic tools and screening instruments used for dyslexia
    Full Bill

This bill is a great starting place for promoting awareness about dyslexia and dyscalculia in North Carolina schools. We would like to encourage the Senate to take this bill and strengthen it by requiring that all Kindergartners be screened for dyslexia.  One of the reasons we are advocating that early screening be required, is so schools can address the needs of dyslexic children with proper intervention strategies before they start needlessly failing.  According to the American Academy of Pediatrics “Children identified as reading disabled after 2nd grade rarely catch up to their peers.”

Suggested Screening Amendment for HB 149:
  • School Board of Education shall develop and distribute to all school districts guidelines and training for the screening of all students, for the identification of characteristics that are associated with risk factors for dyslexia, as defined.
  • Before the end of Kindergarten, such screening shall be implemented using evidence-based testing methodologies and shall include, but not be limited to tests to identify:
    (A) Phonological and phonemic awareness (PA);
    (B) Rapid automated naming skills (RAN);
    (C) Letter sound knowledge (LSK);
    (D) Encoding skills;
    (E) Oral Comprehension;
    (F) Word Identification; and
    (G) Family history of reading/spelling difficulties or dyslexia (parents, grandparents, sibling)
  • Students identified as having characteristics associated with risk factors for dyslexia pursuant to this section shall be referred for evaluation for special education services.
  • The parent or legal guardian of any student who is identified by the public school as having characteristics associated with risk factors for dyslexia and related disorders shall be notified and provided with all screening information and findings, in addition to periodic formal screening results based on individual written intervention and support plans developed with the student’s parents or legal guardian.
  • The student’s school district shall provide evidence-based intervention and support services for any student who is identified as having characteristics that are associated with risk factors for dyslexia and related disorders.

Please contact your Senator and ask that they report HB 149 out of the Committee On Rules and Operations and that they consider strengthening this bill with required screening. We need all of your help and support to bring about positive changes for students with dyslexia!
Find your Senator

Dyslexia Hill Days-Washington D.C.

Decoding Dyslexia is heading to Washington, D.C. at the end of June.  If you are interested in attending any of the open events be sure to check out the schedule. Schedule of Events
RSVP is required for individual events.
For more information and details about Dyslexia Hill Days, please visit
If you value the advocacy work Decoding Dyslexia is doing, please consider donating to support the efforts of Dyslexia Hill Days. Donate

Be sure to check out the #SayDyslexia Rally!
Tuesday June 27, 9-11am
Everyone is encouraged and welcome to attend the rally.  The list of speakers is growing so be sure to check back closer to rally time for more information.
Registration and Full Details
Don’t forget your red umbrella!

Heading to the #SayDyslexia Rally

North Carolina PTA Dyslexia Resolution

The North Carolina PTA has announced that their board of directors has adopted a resolution on dyslexia.  We would like to thank the PTA and it’s board of directors for supporting our advocacy efforts by helping highlight dyslexia and the support that students with dyslexia need in school to succeed. Read more

IEP Process: Yes, it can happen over the summer!

This is a reminder about the 90 day timeline that is required by law for an IEP.
If you school is telling you it is too late in the year to start the IEP process or they are telling you it is best to start at the beginning of the next school year, stand firm and advise them that they must adhere to the 90 day timeline even in summer.  Always put your request for an IEP in writing.  Once this is received by the school the 90-days begins.
If you wait to start at the beginning of the school year, they will not have to have an IEP in place before Thanksgiving.

The IEP Process: Referral is the First Step

Why Legislation For Early Screening Is Needed In North Carolina

If you suspect that your child has a learning disability or dyslexia and they need special education services you may request an evaluation for an Individual Education Plan (IEP) from the school at anytime.  It does not matter what tier your child has been assigned to or how long they have been in that tier, as a parent or guardian you always have a right to request an evaluation according to the Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA.)

MTSS and RTI cannot be used to delay or deny an evaluation for eligibility under IDEA.

Decoding Dyslexia North Carolina is advocating for early screening for dyslexia in schools.  We believe that time is of the essence and that the earlier dyslexia is addressed the greater the benefit for the child.  The North Carolina Department of Instruction has been advertising MTSS as a solution to screening children for dyslexia, but it is not a screener.  Lynn Loeser, a statewide consultant for Specific Learning Disabilities and ADHD, states that “A multi-tiered system of support process is not about SLD identification and eligibility.” MTSS is used by the schools to gather data on students for evaluation.

According to IDEA a state “may permit the use of other alternative research-based procedures for determining whether a child has a specific learning disability”§ 300.8(c)(10).  We believe that early screening for the risk factors of dyslexia should be formally enacted by legislation in all North Carolina public schools.

We recently issued a call out for letters in support of dyslexia legislation.  One of the common themes in these letters was parents questioning why schools were not being proactive when it comes to identifying and addressing the needs of dyslexic students.  Let’s not lose another day or even a year by not taking bold action to help these children.
A plan for early screening in Kindergarten is a proactive step in the right direction!

Common themes in the letters submitted by parents:
-Family members with dyslexia
-Children not on grade-level
-Children retained and still not on grade level
-Children receiving inappropriate interventions in school
-Children receiving tutoring services paid for by their parents
-Children removed from public school
-Children experiencing frustration and anxiety towards school and school work (low self esteem, tears, behavioral issues, emotional issues)
-Parents worried about other parents of dyslexic children who do not have the time, financial resources, tenacity and/or knowledge about dyslexia to help their children
-Frustrated that they often know more about dyslexia than the schools
-Wished that schools were proactive not just reactive
-Upset that schools did not tell them about dyslexia earlier when their children were struggling and below grade level

What parents saw as needs in school:
-Need to be more proactive in identifying and addressing needs of children with dyslexia (proactive approach not reactive)
-Early intervention is needed for children with dyslexia
-Training needed for teachers and EC teachers on the signs, how to identify, and how to address needs of dyslexic children
-Appropriate interventions and instruction methods need to be implemented for dyslexic children (evidence-based, multi-sensory, structured literacy)
-Write IEP’s with specific goals and use instruction methods that will lead to real growth (stop wasting student’s time)
-Point person needed in each school to handle questions about procedures and options that are available to help dyslexic children in the school system (stop the runaround, provide straight & correct answers)
-Need resources for parents and children (instruction, tutoring, testing, information, guidelines, and assistive technology)
-Staff training on Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), U.S. Department of Education dyslexia guidance letter issued in 2015, and the fact that schools can say dyslexia and use it in IEPs

#SayDyslexia North Carolina