ERIC Number: ED481860
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Specific Learning Disability: Current Approaches to Identification and Proposals for Change.
Ahearn, Eileen M.
This document addresses issues in the identification of children with specific learning disability (SLD) in the context of reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It first reviews current requirements in federal law, noting discrepancies in the regulations, then discusses several SLD identification approaches and how they have been used, current state practices in SLD identification, and alternative approaches that are being proposed. SLD identification practices include: (1) mathematical approaches (such as expectancy formulas); (2) measurement of intrinsic processing; (3) use of clinical judgment; and (4) response to intervention and problem solving. Review of current state practices in SLD identification notes that states vary in the procedures used to determine the existence of a discrepancy between achievement and ability. Proposals for change are summarized from two government sponsored groups and three national educational associations as well as the President's Commission on Excellence in Special Education. The paper concludes that while there is agreement that discrepancy between ability and achievement is characteristic of children with SLD, there is overwhelming rejection of the way the concept of discrepancy has been used for student identification, with the most frequently discussed alternative being the response to intervention approach. However, many challenges to reaching consensus on any change in identification procedures are seen. (DB)
Descriptors: Compliance (Legal), Disability Identification, Educational Legislation, Elementary Secondary Education, Federal Legislation, Learning Disabilities, Opinions, Student Evaluation
National Association of State Directors of Special Education, 1800 Diagonal Rd., Suite 320, Alexandria, VA 22314. Tel: 703-519-3800; Fax: 703-519-3808. For full text: http://www.nasdse.org/forum.htm.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Association of State Directors of Special Education, Alexandria, VA.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act