Specific Learning Disability Definition
"Specific Learning Disability" means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations. The term includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. The term does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.
A child has a specific learning disability when:
- The child does not achieve commensurate with his or her age and ability levels in
one or more areas listed in B below if provided with learning experiences
appropriate for the childs age and ability level;
- The child displays observable characteristics that indicate deficits in basic
psychological processing in one or more of the following academic areas.
- Basic reading skill
- Mathematics reasoning
- Reading comprehension
- Written expression
- Oral expression
- Mathematics calculation
- Listening comprehension
- In determining whether a child has a specific learning disability, a responsible public agency may use a process that determines if the child responds to scientific, researchbased intervention as a part of the evaluation procedures or may require a severe discrepancy between achievement and intellectual ability (of 1.5 standard deviation).
- C. The child's learning disability is not PRIMARILY the result of:
- A visual, hearing, or motor disability;
- Mental retardation;
- Emotional disturbance or;
- Environmental, cultural or economic disadvantage.
If a responsible public agency uses a severe discrepancy method: A child who does not display a discrepancy of at least 1.5 standard deviations as defined in B above, may nonetheless be deemed to have a specific learning disability if 1) the child meets the other criteria of this rule; and 2) based upon professional judgment and review of formal and informal assessments, the evaluation team concludes that a severe discrepancy exists. In such cases, sufficient data must be presented in the evaluation report to document the existence of a specific learning disability. If the agency does not use a severe discrepancy method, professional judgment can only be used if the child does not respond to scientific, research-based intervention.
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