What's Required

  • (c) Eligibility definitions.

     
    (9)  Learning disability.  
     
    (A)  Prior to and as part of the evaluation described in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph and 34 CFR, §§300.307-300.311, and in order to ensure that underachievement in a student suspected of having a specific learning disability is not due to lack of appropriate instruction in reading or mathematics, the following must be considered:
     
    (i)  data that demonstrates the student was provided appropriate instruction in reading (as described in 20 United States Code (USC), §6368(3)), and/or mathematics within general education settings delivered by qualified personnel; and
     
    (ii)  data-based documentation of repeated assessments of achievement at reasonable intervals, reflecting formal evaluation of student progress during instruction. Data-based documentation of repeated assessments may include, but is not limited to, response to intervention progress monitoring results, in-class tests on grade-level curriculum, or other regularly administered assessments. Intervals are considered reasonable if consistent with the assessment requirements of a student's specific instructional program.
     
    (B)  A student with a learning disability is one who:
     
    (i)  has been determined through a variety of assessment tools and strategies to meet the criteria for a specific learning disability as stated in 34 CFR, §300.8(c)(10), in accordance with the provisions in 34 CFR, §§300.307-300.311; and
     
    (ii)  does not achieve adequately for the student's age or meet state-approved grade-level standards in oral expression, listening comprehension, written expression, basic reading skill, reading fluency skills, reading comprehension, mathematics calculation, or mathematics problem solving when provided appropriate instruction, as indicated by performance on multiple measures such as in-class tests; grade average over time (e.g. six weeks, semester); norm- or criterion-referenced tests; statewide assessments; or a process based on the student's response to scientific, research-based intervention; and
     
    (I)  does not make sufficient progress when provided a process based on the student's response to scientific, research-based intervention (as defined in 20 USC, §7801(37)), as indicated by the student's performance relative to the performance of the student's peers on repeated, curriculum-based assessments of achievement at reasonable intervals, reflecting student progress during classroom instruction; or
     
    (II)  exhibits a pattern of strengths and weaknesses in performance, achievement, or both relative to age, grade-level standards, or intellectual ability, as indicated by significant variance among specific areas of cognitive function, such as working memory and verbal comprehension, or between specific areas of cognitive function and academic achievement.
     
    (10)  Speech impairment. A student with a speech impairment is one who has been determined to meet the criteria for speech or language impairment as stated in 34 CFR, §300.8(c)(11). The multidisciplinary team that collects or reviews evaluation data in connection with the determination of a student's eligibility based on a speech impairment must include a certified speech and hearing therapist, a certified speech and language therapist, or a licensed speech/language pathologist.
     
    (11)  Traumatic brain injury. A student with a traumatic brain injury is one who has been determined to meet the criteria for traumatic brain injury as stated in 34 CFR, §300.8(c)(12). The multidisciplinary team that collects or reviews evaluation data in connection with the determination of a student's eligibility based on a traumatic brain injury must include a licensed physician, in addition to the licensed or certified practitioners specified in subsection (b)(1) of this section.

Definition

  • A student with a learning disability is one who:
     
    • Has been determined through a variety of assessment tools and strategies to meet the criteria for specific learning disability (a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using spoken or written language that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or to do mathematical calculations) AND
    • Does not achieve adequately for the child’s age or meet state-approved grade-level standards in oral expression, listening comprehension, written expression, basic reading skill, reading fluency skills, reading comprehension, mathematics calculation or mathematics problem solving when provided appropriate instruction, as indicated by performance on multiple measures such as in-class tests, grade average over time (e.g. six weeks, semester); norm or criterion-referenced tests, statewide assessments or a process based on the child’s response to scientific, research-based intervention AND
      • Consideration of poor progress if provided a process based on the child’s response to scientific, research-based interventions, as indicated by the child’s performance relative to the performance of the child’s peers on repeated, curriculum-based assessments of achievement at reasonable intervals, reflecting student progress during classroom instruction OR
      • Exhibits a pattern of strengths and weaknesses in performance, achievement or both relative to age, grade-level standards or intellectual ability, as indicated by significant variance among specific areas of cognitive function, such as working memory and verbal comprehension or between specific areas of cognitive function and academic achievement.
    NOTE:  A student’s failure to pass STAAR should not automatically result in an SLD referral and/or determination. A variety of information sources and measures, including, but not limited to, response to intervention progress monitoring results, in-class tests on grade-level curriculum, or other regularly administered assessments shall be considered.  Intervals are considered reasonable if consistent with the assessment requirements of a student’s specific   instructional program.  Students whose classroom achievement indicates a pervasive weakness that does not constitute a pattern of strengths and weaknesses should not be determined to have an a SLD.  Students who meet the criteria for having an intellectual disability should not be determined to have a SLD.
     

What We Do

  • In order to assist in determining if a student meets the criteria for a Specific Learning Disability (SLD) based on a pattern of strengths and weaknesses (PSW), Sherman ISD uses the Dual Discrepancy/Consistency (DD/C) operational definition of LD as applied to the cognitive and achievement data. Dual Discrepancy/Consistency (DD/C) measures seven areas of general cognitive ability.  A processing deficit is considered to be present when a score falls below a standard score of 85.   Scores falling 90 or above are considered to be a normative strength.  Each cognitive ability is measured with a minimum of two subtests measuring two narrow abilities.  Further assessment of a narrow cognitive ability is given when subtest scores fall within two different ability ranges with one being within a range of deficit and the other being within a normal ability range.  Subtests from a different test battery such as the following may be used to verify skills when such discrepancies are presented:

    • Woodcock Johnson IV Tests of Cognitive Abilities
    • Woodcock Johnson IV Tests of Oral Language
    • Woodcock Johnson IV Tests of Achievement
    • Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children – II Normative Update
    • Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children - V

    This approach, referred to as a Cross-Battery approach, uses multiple test batteries along with information gathered from school records and teacher information to determine the presence of a Specific Learning Disability.  

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