Parent Flowchart. While the process depends on your child, your school, your resources, and more, here is a general guide through the process. To learn more about IEPs vs 504s check out Understood's chart.
The following resources were compiled for parents beginning their dyslexia journey. The mission of DD-MN is to ensure that children struggling with dyslexia have the ability to reach their full potential with access to an equitable education. We hope these resources will assist you in advocating for your child in your school district and inspire you to take further action in your community on behalf of all the children in MN.
- Don't believe the myths! Dr. Nadine Gaab debunks several myths on the Gaab Lab website.
- Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) has a Dyslexia webpage.
- Get answers to the question, "What to do if your child's school isn't teaching reading right?" from Emily Hanford. Want to know more about reading programs? See the Colorado Department of Education's 2020 Advisory List of Instructional Programming and Louisa Moats' paper, "Whole-Language High Jinks: How to Tell When 'Scientifically-Based Reading Instruction' Isn't".
- MDE has put together a Dyslexia Screening Guide for MN School districts to help them be compliant with the new dyslexia screening law. Find the Dyslexia Screening Guide on the MDE website. This guidance is provided to address district response to students with characteristics of dyslexia under Minnesota's reading intervention law. (The following question would be a great question to ask your school district: "What was the reporting results that our district provided to MDE last July about our districts' efforts to screen and identify students with dyslexia per MN Statute 120B.12, Subd 2?")
- RTI vs MTSS: What's the difference?
- MDE, in collaboration with Decoding Dyslexia MN, has created an informational guide called Navigating the School System When a Student is Struggling with Reading or Dyslexia (2015). This informational paper addresses the terms used to describe a struggling reader and how to navigate services and supports within the school and community. Note that some state statutes have changed since publication.
- In October 2015, Michael Yudin, with the U.S. Department of Education, wrote a letter offering guidance to clarify that there is nothing in IDEA that prohibits the use of the terms dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia in the IDEA evaluation, eligibility determinations, and the IEP documents.
- In November 2015, Michael Yudin wrote another letter stating that children with disabilities must be held to high expectations and meaningful access to a State's academic content standards. The IEP must align with the content standards for the grade that the child is enrolled.
- This School template letter can be addressed and sent to your school board requesting them to take action helping students with dyslexia.
- Kelly Sandman-Hurley from the Dyslexia Training Institute wrote a wonderful speech for a School Board Meeting. You can edit it with your own information to deliver a speech at YOUR school board meeting.
- This resource you can sent or print and give to your school - Dyslexia in the Classroom - What Every Teacher Needs to Know - International Dyslexia Association
- From the National Center for Learning Disabilities, comes The Dyslexia Toolkit. It contains a lot of signs and symptoms of dyslexia and different age levels.
- One-page Dyslexia Awareness Handout that you can print and distribute to family, friends, professionals, teachers, etc. to create awareness of dyslexia symptoms and supplying resources.
"My school doesn’t say dyslexia."
In 2015, the definition of dyslexia was passed into MN Statute 125A.01, Subd 2. The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) also says dyslexia.
"Our school doesn’t have any resources on dyslexia."
A comprehensive guide was developed by MDE and Decoding Dyslexia MN called “Navigating the School System when a Child is Struggling with Reading or Dyslexia”. and can be found under Parent Resources.
In 2017, funds were appropriated for MDE to hire a Dyslexia Specialist to provide technical assistance for dyslexia, to serve as the primary source of information, to support schools in addressing the needs of students with dyslexia, and to increase professional awareness and instructional competencies to meet the needs of these students (MN Statute 120B.122).
"How are schools identifying and serving students that have characteristics of dyslexia?"
MN Statute 120B.12, Subd 2, states that each school district must report to MDE their “efforts to screen and identify students with dyslexia to the commissioner by July 1st of each year.” A student identified must be provided with alternative instruction under MN Statute 125A.56 Subd 1, that is multisensory, systematic, sequential, cumulative, and explicit.
In 2017, MN Statute 120B.12, Subd 3b, was changed to state that a “school district is strongly encouraged to provide a Personal Learning Plan for a student who is unable to demonstrate grade-level proficiency, and should be developed in consultation with the student’s parent or guardian. The personal learning plan must address knowledge gaps and skill deficiencies”.
"My school wants to stop reading intervention since my child is past 3rd grade."
In 2017, an amendment was added to MN Statute 120B.12, Subd 3, stating that the district must continue to provide reading intervention past 3rd grade until the child is reading at grade level.
"How do I know what assessments our elementary school provides to track reading progress?"
Each school district is required to have a Local Literacy Plan posted on its website per MN Statute 120B.12, Subd 4a, that explains the school’s “plan to have every child reading at or above grade level no later than the end of grade 3”. If you can’t find it on your district’s website, ask for it.
For a printable version of the above statements, Printable Version.
For a longer version including the statute language, Longer Version with Statutes.