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Hereford Independent School District

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Mark Stokes » HISD Dyslexia Services

HISD Dyslexia Services

HISD has two certified Dyslexia Therapist on staff to serve our students with dyslexia. We follow the Dyslexia Handbook to guide how we provide services for our students. During COV-19 our therapist will serve dyslexia students through the e-Learning platform. The students will continue to receive instruction and will have access to their Dyslexia Therapist. 
Therapist Links: Please select your dyslexia therapist to access the week's learning activities.
Reading Resource:
Learning Ally enables struggling readers to build a strong foundation for independent, engaged learners who are empowered to achieve social, emotionally, and academically regardless of their learning differences. 
Dyslexia Defined:
Texas Education Code (TEC) §38.003 defines dyslexia and related disorders in the following way:
  • “Dyslexia” means a disorder of constitutional origin manifested by a difficulty in learning to read, write, or spell, despite conventional instruction, adequate intelligence, and sociocultural opportunity. “Related disorders” include disorders similar to or related to dyslexia, such as developmental auditory imperception, dysphasia, specific developmental dyslexia, developmental dysgraphia, and developmental spelling disability. TEC §38.003(d)(1)-(2) (1995)


Critical, Evidence-Based Components of Dyslexia Instruction:

  • Phonological awareness—“Phonological awareness is the understanding of the internal sound structure of words. A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound in a given language that can be recognized as being distinct from other sounds. An important aspect of phonological awareness is the ability to segment spoken words into their component phonemes [phonemic awareness].” (Birsh, 2018, p. 26).

  • Sound-symbol association—Sound-symbol association is the knowledge of the various speech sounds in any language to the corresponding letter or letter combinations that represent those speech sounds. The mastery of sound-symbol association (alphabetic principle) is the foundation for the ability to read (decode) and spell (encode) (Birsh, 2018, p. 26). “Explicit phonics refers to an organized program in which these sound-symbol correspondences are taught systematically” (Berninger & Wolf, 2009, p. 53).

  • Syllabication—“A syllable is a unit of oral or written language with one vowel sound. Instruction must include the six basic types of syllables in the English language; closed, open, vowel-consonant- e, r-controlled, vowel pair (or vowel team), and final stable syllable. Syllable division rules must be directly taught in relation to the word structure” (Birsh, 2018, p. 26).

  • Orthography—Orthography is the written spelling patterns and rules in a given language. Students must be taught the regularity and irregularity of the orthographic patterns of a language in an explicit and systematic manner. The instruction should be integrated with phonology and sound-symbol knowledge.

  • Morphology—“Morphology is the study of how morphemes are combined to form words. A morpheme is the smallest unit of meaning in the language” (Birsh, 2018, p. 26).

  • Syntax—“Syntax is the set of principles that dictate sequence and function of words in a sentence in order to convey meaning. This includes grammar, sentence variation, and the mechanics of language” (Birsh, 2018, p. 26).

  • Reading comprehension—Reading comprehension is the process of extracting and constructing meaning through the interaction of the reader with the text to be comprehended and the specific purpose for reading. The reader’s skill in reading comprehension depends upon the development of accurate and fluent word recognition, oral language development (especially vocabulary and listening comprehension), background knowledge, use of appropriate strategies to enhance comprehension and repair it if it breaks down, and the reader’s interest in what he or she is reading and motivation to comprehend its meaning (Birsh, 2018, p.14; Snow, 2002).

  • Reading fluency—“Reading fluency is the ability to read text with sufficient speed and accuracy to support comprehension”(Moats & Dakin, 2008, p. 52). Fluency also includes prosody. Teachers can help promote fluency with several interventions that have proven successful in helping students with fluency (e.g., repeated readings, word lists, and choral reading of passages) (Henry, 2010, p. 104).


In addition, other areas of language processing skills, such as written expression, which require integration of skills, are often a struggle for students with dyslexia.



If you are needing information or assistance with your student, please contact their therapist or Mark Stokes Chief Academic Officer at