Screening and Intervention for Dyslexia and Related Disorders

The New Hampshire Department of Education recognizes the importance of fostering literacy development in the early grade levels for all children.

New Hampshire state law, RSA 200:58 and RSA 200:59, focuses on children who struggle learning to read based upon potential indicators of dyslexia and other related disorders (i.e., dysgraphia, dysphasia, phonological processing disorder, reading fluency disorder). The RSAs define dyslexia, require public schools to screen for potential indicators of dyslexia no later than November 30 in kindergarten or first grade, and require school districts to provide evidenced-based, intervention strategies to address the child’s individual needs.

The dyslexia state law requires the following:

  • Universal Screening for All Students by November 30 entering Kindergarten or first grade
  • Identify At-Risk Students and Inform Parents
  • Design an Intervention Plan
  • Implement and Monitor the Intervention Plan
  • Plan for Next Steps

To support school districts and families, the New Hampshire Department of Education, in conjunction with stakeholders, developed a resource guide designed to create an awareness of dyslexia and other related disorders. It provides information about screening and detecting young children who display associated risk factors and will assist in the implementation of age-appropriate, evidence-based intervention strategies to strengthen reading skills.

A Resource Guide for Dyslexia and Other Related Disorders

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does the law require school districts to identify students who have dyslexia?
    No, the law requires school districts to screen for “potential risk factors of dyslexia and related disorders” and identify students who will receive interventions based on those risk factors. Districts are not required,under this law, to identify students who have dyslexia,only that they are showing risk factors associated with this disorder.

  • Can a school-based team identify a student with dyslexia?
    Although this law does not require identification of dyslexia, a school-based team that has knowledge of dyslexia can make that determination. Dyslexia is a type of Specific Learning Disability (SLD) under IDEA. The United States Department of Education issued guidance on this topic in October 23, 2015.

  • Are there state approved screening tools and interventions?
    The New Hampshire Department of Education respects the authority of local school districts to select the screening tool and intervention that fit best in the local context. However, suggestions and technical assistance on how to select a screening tool and interventions are available through the NHDOE Reading Specialist.

  • How does this law impact English Learners (EL), special education, and Title I populations?
    The requirement for universal screening applies to all students entering kindergarten or first grade. Based on the results of the screening, conversations with the student's individualized education program (IEP) team and EL teacher may be appropriate. The IEP team should review the results and determine if any risk factors present are being addressed in the student's IEP. EL teachers may help to discern if the identified risk factors are related to typical English language acquisition or require a specific intervention.

    Title I processes are separate from this law requirement and it is unlikely that there would be overlap in the screening or intervention, as such, the two should be considered separately.

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Kate McCaffery