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Learning Disability


(1) The student may be identified as having a specific learning disability if, when provided learning experiences appropriate to the student's age and ability levels:

(a) The student's rate of achievement relative to the student's age and ability levels remains below expectations and the student does not achieve commensurate with his or her age and ability levels in one or more of the areas listed in (1)(b); and

(b) The student has a severe discrepancy between the student's intellectual ability and achievement in one or more of the following areas: oral expression, listening comprehension, written expression, basic reading skill, reading comprehension, mathematics calculation, mathematics reasoning.

(i) A severe discrepancy is defined as a 50 percent or higher probability of a two standard deviation discrepancy between general cognitive ability and achievement in one or more of the areas identified in (1)(b) when adjusted for regression to the mean. Error in test measurement requires judgment for students who score near two standard deviations below the population mean. When exercising this judgment, consideration of additional information, such as classroom performance relative to the student's performance on norm referenced tests, shall be used as the basis for determining the severe discrepancy.

(ii) Alternatives to norm referenced tests, such as curriculum-based assessments, shall be utilized to determine severe discrepancy whenever cultural factors, test conditions, size of test item sampling for the student's age, or other factors render standardized assessment results invalid. When utilizing alternative assessment procedures, a determination must still be made that a discrepancy between ability and achievement exists at a level of severity similar in size to the discrepancy that would have otherwise been found in (1)(b)(i).

(2) At least one team member other than the student's regular education teacher shall observe the student's academic performance in the regular classroom setting.

(a) In the case of a student of less than school age or out of school, a team member shall observe the student in an environment appropriate for a student of that age.

(3) Documentation of the learning disability determination shall:

(a) Meet the requirements for a written report found in 34 CFR 300.543;

(b) If appropriate, state the basis for concluding that the use of standardized test instruments would not be valid whenever provisions of (1)(b)(ii) are utilized to determine a severe discrepancy;

(c) Include educationally relevant medical findings, if any, that have been considered; and

(d) Include a report of one or more intervention techniques specific to the individual student. Interventions shall not unnecessarily delay appropriate identification.

(4) The student may not be identified as having a specific learning disability if the severe discrepancy between ability and achievement is primarily the result of a visual, hearing, or motor impairment; cognitive delay; emotional disturbance; environmental or economic disadvantage; or cultural difference.

20-7-401. Definitions

(15) "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, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations. The term includes but is not limited to such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. The term does not include children who have learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities; cognitive delay; or environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantages.

10.16.3322 Composition of the team

(1) The child study team is a group of individuals that determines whether a student with disabilities is eligible for special education and related services. The child study team includes the following members:

(e) At least one teacher or other specialist with knowledge in the area of suspected disability who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results. ... For specific disabilities, the following specialists or teachers are required for initial evaluation:

(i) emotional disturbance, traumatic brain injury,specific learning disability or cognitive delay - a school psychologist;

34 CFR § 300.543 Written Report

(a) For a child suspected of having a specific learning disability, the documentation of the team's determination of eligibility, as required by Sec. 300.534(a)(2), must include a statement of —

(1) Whether the child has a specific learning disability;

(2) The basis for making the determination;

(3) The relevant behavior noted during the observation of the child;

(4) The relationship of that behavior to the child's academic functioning;

(5) The educationally relevant medical findings, if any;

(6) Whether there is a severe discrepancy between achievement and ability that is not correctable without special education and related services; and

(7) The determination of the team concerning the effects of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.

(b) Each team member shall certify in writing whether the report reflects his or her conclusion. If it does not reflect his or her conclusion, the team member must submit a separate statement presenting his or her conclusions.