Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Jess:  Hi, my son is starting the 5th grade and was diagnosed with dyslexia over the summer. I went to the school and gave the title 1 teacher all the info. She said she didn’t think he would get a IEP and that he would get an RTI. He has been on an RTI for at least 3 years already shouldn’t they give him something different now that we had a paper work stating he has dyslexia?

  1. Folks, there is NO REQUIREMENT that children spend 3 years or 3 days in RTI. You have to educate yourself on this issue. We have documents and memos from the federal Department of Education about RTI on the Wrightslaw site and have written many articles about this. just “search” for info on the Wrightslaw website (search box on top right of every page).

  2. Having a diagnosis is a great place to start. That means you’ve had an outside evaluation done. Now you need to prove that your child is not making effective progress because of his disability. There are lots of ways to prove that. RTI for 3 years shows, in my opinion, a lack of effective progress. If he was progressing, he wouldn’t still be on it at 5th grade. Your State testing is also helpful. Is he passing the ELA portion of the State test? Request a school evaluation. Document progress. Request a meeting to discuss. RTI is not therapeutic. He needs a good multisensory reading program i.e. Orton Gillingham. Don’t miss his math! Often times kids with Dyslexia start struggling in Math around 5th grade with the introduction of complex word problems and multi step Algebra.

  3. Unfortunately, having the diagnosis does not guarantee anything. However, it can certainly strengthen your position, especially if the provider who gave you the diagnosis will go to bat for you, e.g. call the school to express concern and give his or her recommendations directly to, for example, the principal. (You need to sign a consent form for the provider to be able to speak with school personnel. I suggest you provide consent for the provider to receive and and all information from the school; consent for the provider to give information to the school should be more limited and specific. You can hand-write some clarifications onto the standard consent form.

  4. Don’t get stuck in RTI purgatory. The law is not intended to allow schools to avoid evaluating kids who are suspected of having a disability, or keeping a child in RTI over a long period of time.

    ** OSEP Memorandum – The USDOE sent a memo to all State Directors of Special Education in January 2011, clarifying that RTI cannot be used to delay or deny an evaluation for eligibility under IDEA. https://www.wrightslaw.com/info/rti.osep.memo.0111.pdf


    For more information and articles about children with Dyslexia, go to any Wrightslaw page and type the search term “dyslexia” in the google search box.

  5. You may request testing from the school to determine if your son should be on an IEP. Send a letter to the spec ed director via certified mail & a copy to the principal to request this testing & that you will be looking forward to hearing from them within 5 business days. Remember that the 60 day clock for the school to complete testing does not occur until you sign their consent form. IF the school refuses they need to put that refusal in writing (called a prior written notice). Once you receive this you may request an outside eval at the school’s expense.

    • Jess: You have a formal eval. done at parent expense and 3 yrs of RTI to demonstrate the need for an IEP and related services. My daughter has Severe Dyslexia, and had an IEP but district refused to provide or pay for a well trained Orton Gillingham tutor or class instruction. Instead they kept doing what didn’t work. State testing results and work samples as well as any reading yest scores will be your best friend here to support your case for an IEP. School will want to eval your child themselves before doing so, but they still have to consider your doctor’s eval diagnoses. It’s the Law! If the school refuses to do an Eval and provide IEP, after enough evidence in doctors reports, state testing, work samples and reading tests, file a complaint. Pete’s books will help you on how to this.

    • This link will put you in touch with Parent 2 Parent in Georgia. They have been doing great work on behalf of families for decades!

  6. If RTI has not worked in 3 years, your child is entitled to more intensive instruction geared to a dyslexic child. Does the school have someone trained in a research teaching approach for dyslexics? Just because he has an IEP does not mean he is going to be taught correctly. Document and be assertive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Please help us defeat spam. Thank you. *