SPECIFIC LEARNING DISABILITIES

Definition . Eligibility . Characteristics . Strategies for Home


Definition

Specific Learning Disabilities are a group of disorders manifested by significant deficits in the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning, or mathematical abilities. Specific learning disabilities are intrinsic to the individual and may present across the life span. Specific learning disabilities may occur with other disabilities or with extrinsic influences; specific learning disabilities are not the result of these disabilities or influences. Deficits in attention, self regulatory behaviors and social interaction may also exist but do not by themselves constitute a specific learning disability.

Eligibility

Documentation the student meets all of the following:

  1. General intellectual functioning at or above one standard deviation below the mean, in consideration of 1.0 standard error of measurement;
  2. A severe discrepancy between achievement and intellectual ability in one or more of the following areas (mark appropriate areas):  oral expression, listening comprehension, written expression,  basic reading skills,  reading comprehension, mathematics calculation, or  mathematics reasoning; and
  3. A severe discrepancy between ability and achievement that is not primarily the result of:
    • A sensory or motor disability;
    • A mental impairment;
    • A behavior disorder;
    • Environmental or cultural differences or economic disadvantage as determined by comparing the student to other students in a similar situation; or
    • Insufficient or inappropriate instruction

Special Considerations:

1.         The Eligibility Committee, based on all evaluation data, may determine that a student is eligible for special education services when a valid determination of general intellectual functioning and/or a severe discrepancy cannot be obtained due to special considerations. The specific information regarding the criterion in question, which supports the decision, shall also be documented on the Specific Learning Disabilities Team Report.

Characteristics

  • Significant difficulty with:
  • oral expression
  • listening comprehension
  • written expression
  • basic reading skills
  • reading comprehension
  • mathematics - calculation or reasoning
  • short/long term memory
  • retrieval/transfer of information
  • perception
  • planning/organization
  • phonics
  • verbal comprehension
  • time management
  • copying
  • study skills
  • motivation
  • attention to /completion of tasks
  • consistent daily routine
  • clear performance expectations
  • accommodations for learning style at grade level
  • use of strategies - based curriculum
  • use of cooperative learning techniques
  • daily use of assignment schedule log
  • pre-teaching
  • modeling
  • verbal rehearsal / oral responding
  • primary emphasis on evaluation of content, (not quantity! appearance)
  • varied options for evaluation
  • use of visual cues / prompts
  • assist student in clarification of given directions

Strategies for Home

  • specific/designated location and time for homework completion
  • calendar/schedule for time management at home
  • short and frequent reinforcements
  • long term study planning
  • home/school communication
  • provide supportive home learning environment
  • patience
  • high expectations with realistic methods for obtaining goals