Dyslexia Therapy Frequently Asked Questions
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Transition from DSHS to TDLR
1. When did the transfer happen?
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) assumed all activities relating to the Dyslexia Therapy program including licenses and renewals, customer service and enforcement on October 3, 2016.
2. Now that the transfer is complete, will I need to get a new license issued by TDLR?
No. The license you have now issued by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) remains valid until its expiration date. When you renew, you will receive a TDLR license.
3. Have the rules changed?
Yes, TDLR adopted rules for all of the transferred programs. Most of the newly adopted rules are very similar, but some changes have been made. The TDLR health profession rules became effective on October 1, 2016. View the TDLR Dyslexia Therapy Program Rules.
4. How do I stay informed about changes impacting me?
You have several options to stay connected:
- Email updates - Sign up for email updates to receive notices about rules, the law, fees, examination requirements, meetings, TDLR’s quarterly newsletter, and more. Email updates are the best way for you to stay informed.
- Meetings - TDLR’s advisory board and Commission meetings are available to watch online live or later at your convenience.
- Facebook and Twitter - TDLR has aFacebook page and Twitter account dedicated to TDLR Health Professions.
5. Why were licensing programs transferred from DSHS to TDLR?
The transfer is the result of a change to Texas law. In 2015, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 202, which transferred several licensing programs from the DSHS to TDLR.
Applying for a New License
1. I am a licensed dyslexia practitioner and am seeking licensure as a dyslexia therapist. What do I need to submit?
You are required to submit a new application with the application fee and a copy of your current Academic Language Therapy Association ALTA website certificate or card. If you are not currently certified by ALTA, please send proof of passing the required exam, official transcripts, and proof of completing the required training program.
2. Can I become a licensed dyslexia therapist if I hold a bachelor’s degree, not a master’s degree?
No. In order to be a licensed dyslexia therapist holding a bachelor’s degree, the law required a person to complete the training and examination requirements by November 30, 2012 and postmark the license application by December 31, 2012. This option is no longer available.
3. If I apply for and qualify to be a licensed dyslexia therapist or licensed dyslexia practitioner, will I receive a license certificate?
Yes. It will be mailed to the “preferred mailing address” you provide on the application. Please see the application for more information.
1. Will the continuing education process or requirements change?
No, the continuing education process and requirements remain the same.
1. If I currently teach and/or assist those with dyslexia, can I continue to provide my services without being a licensed dyslexia therapist or licensed dyslexia practitioner?
Yes, you can provide educational services to persons with dyslexia without being licensed by TDLR. The only persons who are required by law to be licensed are those who use the titles “Licensed Dyslexia Therapist” or “Licensed Dyslexia Practitioner.” If a person does not use those protected titles, the person is not required to be licensed, even if they are performing the same duties as persons who are licensed.
2. Since licensure is voluntary, why would an educator choose to be licensed?
Dyslexia educators choose to be licensed so the public can identify them as dyslexia-service providers who have met the licensure standards set forth by Texas law. The standards include passing an examination, completing classroom training, completing clinical experience, and conducting demonstration lessons. Since licensed dyslexia therapists and licensed dyslexia practitioners are required to complete continuing education classes biennially to maintain licensure, the public will know that licensed individuals are maintaining and upgrading their skills and knowledge in order to provide quality services. Those who choose to be licensed are also regulated by the state of Texas in order to increase public confidence in their practice. When an individual is licensed, the public may report violations of the rules and/or law (Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 403) to TDLR.
3. Are Texas school districts required to employ licensed dyslexia practitioners and/or licensed dyslexia therapists?
No. Texas school districts are currently not required by state law to employ licensed dyslexia practitioners and/or licensed dyslexia therapists. A school district may choose to require that the district’s dyslexia educators hold a TDLR license. That choice is made at the local level and is not required by state law. However, each regional service center must employ at least one licensed dyslexia therapist, effective June 15, 2017, in accordance with the requirements of House Bill 1886, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session .
Name and Address Changes
1. What do I need to submit to TDLR for a name change?
Written notification of name changes must be mailed or faxed to TDLR and shall include a copy of a marriage certificate, court decree evidencing such change, or a social security card reflecting the new name. Download the Notice of Change and Duplicate License Request form (39KB PDF).
2. Will I receive a new license with my updated name after my name change request has been approved?
Not unless you also submit the duplicate/replacement fee to obtain a new license.
3. If I change my name or address, do I notify TDLR?
Yes, you need to notify TDLR in writing. Download the Notice of Change and Duplicate License Request form (39KB PDF).
1. Are the dyslexia therapist and dyslexia practitioner licenses national licenses?
No, they are not. The licenses are valid only within the state of Texas and do not permit any special rights or privileges in other states. The licenses do not authorize a person to use the titles or engage in the practice in other states.
2. If I am licensed in Texas as a dyslexia therapist or dyslexia practitioner but I do not work in Texas, can I advertise that I am “licensed” in the state in which I work?
Using the word "licensed" outside of Texas could be considered deceptive or misleading advertising, depending on the laws of the state in which you are practicing and advertising. These licenses are valid within the state of Texas only and do not permit any special rights or privileges in another state. They do not authorize a person to use the titles or engage in the practice in another state. It is the licensee’s responsibility to ensure that the public knows that the license is only valid in the state of Texas.
3. How may I write my licensure credential if I do not live in Texas?
It is the licensee’s responsibility to ensure that the public knows that the license is only valid in the state of Texas. Should a licensee choose to use the LDP, LDT, Licensed Dyslexia Therapist, or Licensed Dyslexia Practitioner credentials in another state, the licensee should let the public know that the title and license to practice are only valid in Texas.
4. What initials may I use on my business card once I become a licensed dyslexia therapist?
The law only addresses the use of the titles “licensed dyslexia therapist" and “licensed dyslexia practitioner.” However, a person could also use the initials “LDT” or “LDP” since we are not aware of those designations being currently used by other Texas licensed professionals.
5. Is there a difference between a “Certified Academic Language Therapist” and a “Licensed Dyslexia Therapist”?
Yes, there is a difference. A certified academic language therapist (CALT) is a person who is certified by the Academic Language Therapy Association (ALTA). A licensed dyslexia therapist is a person who is licensed by the state of Texas and is legally authorized to use the title “licensed dyslexia therapist.” A person who does not use the title “licensed dyslexia therapist” is not required by law to hold a license. The education, training, and examination requirements to become a CALT and to become a licensed dyslexia therapist are the same. Many licensed dyslexia therapists are also certified academic language therapists, and many licensed dyslexia practitioners are also certified academic language practitioners (CALP).
6. If I am a CALT and an LDT and I live in Texas, how may I write my credentials?
There is no specific protocol for this, but our recommendation is to list the degree, followed by the state license, and then the certification from a national organization. Example: Jane Doe, MS, LDT, CALT
7. Does TDLR issue a dyslexia qualified instructor license?
No. TDLR is authorized to issue only the Dyslexia Therapist and Dyslexia Practitioner licenses. No Texas state agency is authorized to issue a dyslexia qualified instructor license. The Dyslexia Therapist license does not include an indication as to whether the licensee is also a qualified instructor.
Texas Occupations Code Sec. 403.110 states that, to be considered a qualified instructor, a person must:
(1) be a licensed dyslexia therapist;
(2) have at least 1,400 hours of clinical teaching experience in addition to the hours required to obtain a licensed dyslexia therapist license; and
(3) have completed a two-year course of study dedicated to the administration and supervision of multisensory structured language education programs taught by a nationally accredited training program that meets the requirements of Section 403.106.
1. What is the difference between a licensed dyslexia practitioner and a licensed dyslexia therapist?
Licensed Dyslexia Practitioner:
- holds a bachelor's degree (or a more advanced degree) from a regionally accredited public or private institution of higher education;
- has successfully completed a training program accredited by the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC) that included, at a minimum:
- at least 45 hours of course work in multisensory structured language education that meets the requirements of the licensing rules;
- at least 60 hours of supervised clinical experience in multisensory structured language education;
- at least 5 demonstration lessons of the practice of multisensory structured language education, each observed by an instructor from a training program that meets the requirements of the licensing rules; and
- has successfully passed the Alliance National Registration Examination for Multisensory Structured Language Education: Practitioner Level administered by the Academic Language Therapy Association (ALTA).
Licensed Dyslexia Therapist:
- holds a master's degree (or a more advanced degree) from a regionally accredited public or private institution of higher education;
- has successfully completed a training program accredited by IMSLEC that included, at a minimum:
- at least 200 hours of course work in multisensory structured language education from a training program that meets the requirements of the licensing rules;
- at least 700 hours of supervised clinical experience in multisensory structured language education;
- at least 10 demonstration lessons of the practice of multisensory structured language education, each observed by an instructor from a training program that meets the requirements of the licensing rules; and
- has successfully passed the Alliance National Registration Examination for Multisensory Structured Language Education: Therapist Level administered by ALTA.
2. Where do licensed dyslexia therapists and licensed dyslexia practitioners work?
A licensed dyslexia practitioner may practice only in an educational setting, such as a school, learning center, or clinic. A licensed dyslexia therapist may practice in a school, learning center, clinic, or in a private practice setting.
3. As licensed dyslexia therapists and licensed dyslexia practitioners, are our services reimbursable from third party entities (insurance companies or Medicaid)?
Dyslexia services may or may not be reimbursable. Check with the insurance company for further information. For insurance inquiries, please contact ALTA for more information.
4. Were there any legislative changes in the 2017 Texas Legislative Session related to licensed dyslexia therapists and practitioners?
- House Bill 4007 Signed by Gov. Greg Abbott on June 15, 2017, effective September 1, 2017. The bill removed barriers, redundancies, and impediments for the thirteen licensing programs transferred to TDLR from DSHS (which included dyslexia therapists and practitioners) as a result of Senate Bill 202, 84th Regular Session.
- House Bill 1886 Signed by Gov. Greg Abbott on June 15, 2017, effective immediately. The bill addressed dyslexia screening and testing, the employment of licensed dyslexia specialists by regional education service centers, and the development by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) of a list of training opportunities for educators regarding dyslexia. For information from TEA, please see: https://tea.texas.gov/academics/dyslexia/ .
Consumer Information on Dyslexia
1. What is dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability caused by the brain’s inability to recognize words, letters, symbols, and/or sounds. These difficulties can cause repeated spelling errors, reading problems, and trouble sounding out words. Common characteristics include:
- Difficulty pronouncing words
- Difficulty with reading and reading comprehension
- Difficulty spelling
- Difficulty learning letter names and their given sounds
- Difficulty spelling words by sounding them out
- Difficulty sequencing letters in words
- Difficulty with handwriting
- Difficulty with rapid naming
- Difficulty rhyming
- Difficulty understanding right and left handedness
- Difficulty in mathematics
- Seeing or writing letters in reverse (for example, "d" for "b")
It is important to remember that many people without dyslexia may have 1 or 2 of the characteristics. People with dyslexia usually exhibit multiple characteristics that may or may not be listed above.
2. I think my child is dyslexic. What do I do?
Educate yourself about dyslexia, testing, and instructional methodologies. You may want to talk to your child’s teacher or local school’s reading specialist. Discuss your concerns and describe your child’s behavior in detail. Give specific examples. You may have to write a formal request to your child’s school asking for a dyslexia or specific learning disability test. You may also want to explore local dyslexia resources. For more information, contact the Academic Language Therapy Association , the International Dyslexia Association, the Learning Disabilities Association of America , and the Learning Disabilities Association of Texas .
3. How is dyslexia treated?
Every person is unique and may require a specific technique. Multisensory (hear, see, say, touch, and movement) techniques are often used to actively engage the student in the learning process by using multiple senses at the same time. You may want to review the Texas Education Agency’s Dyslexia Handbook for more information.