Mesquite ISD's Dyslexia Department is committed to providing every child an opportunity to be successful in his or her educational experience through early identification and intervention. If you feel your child exhibits characteristics of dyslexia, please contact your child's teacher.

Jennifer Faust, Testing Facilitator 972-882-8731
Karla Suits, Testing Facilitator 972-882-8721
Christina Dominguez, Administrative Assistant 972-882-7330
Kimberly Wasson, Special Education Liaison 972-882-7708

Resource Article: Dyslexia — How Do I Get Help?

What is Dyslexia?

The student who struggles with reading and spelling often puzzles teachers and parents. The student displays average ability to learn in the absence of print and receives the same classroom instruction that benefits most children; however, the student continues to struggle with some or all of the many facets of reading and spelling. This student may be a student with dyslexia.

As defined in TEC §38.003:

  • Dyslexia means a disorder of constitutional origin manifested by a difficulty in learning to read, write, or spell, despite conventional instruction, adequate intelligence, and socio-cultural opportunity.

  • Related disorders include disorders similar to or related to dyslexia, such as developmental spelling disability.

The current definition from the International Dyslexia Association states:

Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological 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 (Adopted by the International Dyslexia Association Board of Directors, November 12, 2002).

Characteristics of Dyslexia

The primary difficulties of a student identified as having dyslexia occur in phonemic awareness and manipulation, single-word decoding, reading fluency, and spelling. Secondary consequences of dyslexia may include difficulties in reading comprehension and/or written expression. These difficulties are unexpected for the student’s age, educational level, or cognitive abilities. Additionally, there is often a family history of similar difficulties.

The following are the primary reading/spelling characteristics of dyslexia:

  • Difficulty reading real words in isolation

  • Difficulty accurately decoding nonsense words

  • Slow, inaccurate, or labored oral reading; (lack of reading fluency)

  • Difficulty with learning to spell

The reading/spelling characteristics are the result of difficulty with the following:

  • The development of phonological awareness, including segmenting, blending and manipulating sounds in words

  • Learning the names of letters and their associated sounds

  • Phonological memory (holding information about sounds and words in memory)

  • Rapid naming of familiar objects, colors or letters of the alphabet

Secondary consequences of dyslexia may include the following:

  • Variable difficulty with aspects of reading comprehension;

  • Variable difficulty with aspects of writing composition;

  • A limited amount of time spent in reading activities

Parent Education Program

Each year, Mesquite Independent School District provides a Parent Education Night to inform parents and guardians of the definition, characteristics, and common signs of dyslexia. Parents meet their child's teacher, watch a video of the Multisensory Teaching Approach (MTA) lesson cycle and listen to educators; parents and students share how dyslexia instruction has impacted student's success.

Mesquite ISD Dyslexia Program Brochure

College Assistance

Please contact the College Board at or call customer service at (609) 771-7137 within five years of initial dyslexia testing and evaluation to learn about the accommodation process on college entrance exams.

Myths about Dyslexia

  • Dyslexia children see letters and words backwards.

  • Writing letters and words backward is a characteristic of dyslexia.

  • Dyslexics are left-handed.

  • Dyslexics don’t know their left from right.

  • Dyslexics are clumsy.

  • Dyslexics are well coordinated.

  • Dyslexics can learn to read just like anybody else, they just progress at a slower rate.

  • Dyslexics will never learn to read.

  • More dyslexics are boys.

  • Since dyslexia is genetic, if a parent is able to read, the student cannot be dyslexic.

  • Dyslexics cannot go to college.

  • Dyslexia can be cured.