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Dyslexia in Jeffco

Nationally, one out of five people is identified with dyslexia. In Jeffco, we recognize that dyslexia affects a similar ratio of our students and maybe impacting their education. Some, but not all, of these students are identified through an Individualized Education Program, Advanced Learning Plan, READ plan, and/or a 504 plan. The educators of Jeffco want to ensure we are meeting the needs of all students, including students with dyslexia.

This webpage is intended to empower the Jeffco community by increasing awareness and utilizing resources about dyslexia. This will allow the Jeffco community to work in partnership with each other to create a more cohesive educational program for students with dyslexia. #Bettertogether

It's Okay to Say Dyslexia

(clickable article)

What is dyslexia?

The formal definition of dyslexia by the International Dyslexia Association is:

“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.”

What do I do if I think my student has dyslexia?

- Start with your student’s teacher and/or building literacy specialists about your concerns and what you are noticing with your student’s learning.

- Classroom teachers can provide you with information related to what your student can do, where they are developing, and next steps for instructional supports.

- As part of a school's problem solving process, classroom teachers will collaborate with specialists in the building to address your questions about your student’s needs.

- Recognizing signs, symptoms and characteristics is the responsibility of all educators as well as implementing instructional supports to address these characteristics. Therefore, a diagnosis is not required to begin supporting a student’s needs.

Reading trouble: Conversation starters to use with your students teacher

My child was just diagnosed with dyslexia. Now what?

This can be very nerve-wracking but also exciting.  Your student is neurodiverse, and this can lead to wonderful things!  It can also be really validating for a student who has struggled with learning- there is a path to a solution. One of the first steps is to review some resources for your student, and understand the diagnosis.  As appropriate, you can also talk to your student about the diagnosis.  

Not all students identified with dyslexia will require intensive services such as an IEP through special education. However, classroom supports and accommodations are often necessary for the student to fully benefit from classroom and supplemental instruction.

CDE Dyslexia Fact Sheet

Does my student need a dyslexia diagnosis to get support?

No, you do not need a diagnosis to receive support in Jeffco.

What can I do at home to support my student?

A great first step is to educate yourself about dyslexia.  Some resources are shared below, which can be a great starting place.  Also sharing with your student can be a way to help them understand about dyslexia.  The resources below have age specific resources for students to help them understand and learn more about their uniqueness.  You can also read with your student daily and work side by side with your student’s teacher to determine the best way to help your student at home.

How does Jeffco support students with dyslexia?

Professional Learning:

  • Grade level specific
  • Staff training
  • CDE modules

Many literacy specialists and special education teachers have training in:

  • Orton-Gillingham
  • Wilson Reading System
  • Heggerty
  • 95% group
  • David Kilpatrick Phonological Awareness protocols

Assistive Technology supports:

  • Bookshare
  • Learning Ally
  • ReadWrite Google
  • Chrome Extensions/Apps

Instruction for those who struggle with reading, including those with dyslexia should take into account:

- Like all students, individuals with dyslexia require evidence-based instruction in all five components of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension, as well as writing and spelling. However, individuals with dyslexia require instruction with greater intensity and duration than typically developing readers and writers.

- Individuals with dyslexia require multi-sensory instruction that addresses core deficits in phonological processing as well as explicitly teaches the structure of the English language.

- Helpful classroom accommodations for those with dyslexia include: assistive technology (e.g. utilizing voice to print embedded tools), time extensions and audio books, just to name a few.

- Individuals with dyslexia need help understanding their personal learning strengths and challenges and how to advocate for support and accommodations to ensure optimal learning.

- Because instruction is a complex undertaking, teachers who provide instruction and remediation should be highly trained and supervised in the use of proven evidence-based instructional practices.

Bright MINDS:

- Dyslexia Support Program at Alameda International Jr/Sr.

- Alameda International's enhanced Dyslexia Support program empowers bright, talented students who are challenged by dyslexia and related language-based learning differences. 


Colorado Department of Education Resources

International Dyslexia Association website - resources for professionals and families A digital resource for parents designed to provide a variety of resources  

IDA Dyslexia handbook

Rocky Mountain Branch: Local chapter of the Dyslexia Association -  resources for professionals and families

Understood is a non-profit dedicated to serving the millions of families of kids who learn and think differently. Find specific resources for Dyslexia

Understood Team is made up of passionate writers and editors. Many of them have kids who learn and think differently.

The Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity - growing young readers

Under the Educator tab, see the Dyslexia In the Classroom: What Every Teacher Needs to Know resource booklet for strategies, accommodations and tips for teachers

Twice-Exceptional (2e) resources

Supporting Neurodivergent People in Personal Finance


If you have any questions, please reach out to the Special Education Department at 303-982-6682

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