Decoding Dyslexia VA

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**This is working document created by parents and meant to be updated based on the most current, accurate and reliable information available to us. We are not experts but share our experiences to hopefully benefit others.** 

As parents of children with dyslexia, the individualized educational plan (IEP) meetings are a part of our life; a part some would prefer not to have. Often meetings can feel overwhelming and one sided.  Sometimes it seems as if the school is not really looking out for the child’s best interest, or is constrained but unknown/unstated limitations.

We at DDVA hope to raise awareness as you advocate for your child. We hope to help you understand your rights in the process.

As questions come up at our meetings, we will highlight and document possible solutions here:

FAQ’s Related to Educational Testing and IEP’s

What should I do if I think my child has dyslexia?

  • Submit a referral to the Local Screening Committee (LSD), also called Child Find in some areas
  • It is helpful to attach a letter from the pediatrician, if he/she suspects learning disabilities

What if my school tells me my child is too young to be tested, or has to be failing, or has to be 2 years behind, or they wouldn’t want to label a child so young?

  • This is simply not true, there is no requirement that the child be failing before testing is approved.

Here is the supporting law:

The Law 8VAC20-81-50. Child find.
A. Child find.
1. Each local school division shall maintain an active and continuing child find program
designed to identify, locate and evaluate those children residing in the jurisdiction who are
birth to age 21, inclusive, who are in need of special education and related services, including
children who: (34 CFR 300.102 and 34 CFR 300.111)
d. Are suspected of being children with disabilities under this chapter and in need of special
education, even though they are advancing from grade to grade;  


What if after I tell my child’s school about my concerns, my child is denied testing?

  • Write a letter to the committee disagreeing with the decision not to evaluate
  • Send a copy of the letter to the Due Process office.
    • It could say something like this:
      •  I disagree with the committee’s decision not to evaluate my child for specific learning disabilities.  Since schools are mandated to find all children in need of specialized services I assume that should I get private testing that confirms that my child is learning disabled and meets the county criteria for services I will be reimbursed for the cost of testing. I also assume that my child will receive compensatory education for the time lost due to the county’s failure to identify the needs when suspected


Here is the supporting law:

8VAC20-81-60. Referral for initial evaluation.

A. All children, aged two to 21, inclusive, whether enrolled in public school or not, who are  suspected of having a disability, shall be referred to the special education administrator or designee, who shall initiate the process of determining eligibility for special education and related services.

 What if I get an IEP for my child but I do not agree with it because he/she only gets services for 45 minutes a day not 90 minutes a day?

  • You may write something like this:
    • Although we agree to the implementation of this IEP as written, so that our child may receive services such as they are, we do not believe that the IEP provides a Free and Appropriate Public Education. Our reasons are written on the back of this page.

What if the IEP process is too much for me?

  • You may record the session provided you give the school prior knowledge
  • You may hire a educational consultant or advocate to go with you on your behalf, or you may bring a personal representative/friend/relative to help serve as a second set of listening ears

The above information as found on:

Virginia General Assembly Legislative Information System

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