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DCL on Needs of Children with Dyslexia


OSERS issued a dear Colleague Letter on the unique educational needs of children with dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia, - conditions that could qualify a child as a child with a specific learning disability under IDEA.  The letter discusses IDEA's requirements on evaluating children and for services enabling a child with learning disabilities to advance in meeting their IEP goals and to make progress in the general curriculum.  It further states the the IEP must be available to regular education teachers and to other school staff responsible for implementing the IEP. 

The letter includes the paragraph: "There is nothing in the IDEA or our implementing regulations that prohibits the inclusion of the condition that is the basis for the child’s disability determination in the child’s IEP. In addition, the IEP must address the child’s needs resulting from the child’s disability to enable the child to advance appropriately towards attaining his or her annual IEP goals and to enable the child to be involved in, and make progress in, the general education curriculum. 34 CFR §§300.320(a)(1), (2), and (4). Therefore, if a child’s dyslexia, dyscalculia, or dysgraphia is the condition that forms the basis for the determination that a child has a specific learning disability, OSERS believes that there could be situations where an IEP Team could determine that personnel responsible for IEP implementation would need to know about the condition underlying the child’s disability (e.g., that a child has a weakness in decoding skills as a result of the child’s dyslexia). Under 34 CFR §300.323(d), a child’s IEP must be accessible to the regular education teacher and any other school personnel responsible for its implementation, and these personnel must be informed of their specific responsibilities related to implementing the IEP and the specific accommodations, modifications, and supports that must be provided for the child in accordance with the IEP. Therefore, OSERS reiterates that there is nothing in the IDEA or our implementing regulations that would prohibit IEP Teams from referencing or using dyslexia, dyscalculia, or dysgraphia in a child’s IEP."


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