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ERIC Number: ED530886
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 84
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1095-4274-5
Identification of Specific Learning Disability: A Survey of School Psychologists' Knowledge and Current Practice
Cangelosi, Michelle D.
ProQuest LLC, Psy.D. Dissertation, St. John's University (New York)
Identification of children for special education and related services is governed by federal and state education law, specifically the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IDEA was reauthorized in 2004 and the attendant regulations were published in 2006. The reauthorization includes several significant changes, most notably about to eligibility under the classification of Specific Learning Disability (SLD). The purpose of the present researcher was to explore practicing school psychologists' knowledge and understanding of SLD identification under IDEA 2004. Current practices and professional beliefs on SLD assessment and identification were also investigated. Participants (N = 168) were practicing school psychologists who completed two questionnaires hosted through an Internet website. The first questionnaire obtained information about demographic factors and the second questionnaire assessed participants' knowledge and understanding of the changes to IDEA 2004 on SLD identification, their current practices, and their professional beliefs about the changes to the law and important diagnostic factors in SLD identification. Results indicated that participants were unclear on some aspects of IDEA 2004 on to SLD identification. Specifically, participants did not have a clear understanding of the definition of SLD nor of the role of RTI and the role of a comprehensive assessment in the identification process. In addition, current practices do not appear to align with professional beliefs about SLD identification, particularly about to professional beliefs related to Response to Intervention (RTI). Although a majority of participants indicated that they believed RTI to be important in SLD identification, participants' current practices do not seem to reflect this awareness, as participants reported RTI to be less often considered in determining eligibility for special education under the SLD category. A similar disconnect was found on use of severe discrepancy analysis, with participants indicating that they believed it was not important in SLD identification but reporting that it is frequently used for this purpose. Possible explanations for the disparity between beliefs and practice are discussed, as well as implications of the results of the present study for school psychology. Limitations of this study and directions for future research are also addressed. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act