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ERIC Number: EJ1156603
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Oct
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0164-775X
From Discrepancy to Consistency: Improving SLD Eligibility Guidelines
Watson, Kristin
Communique, v46 n2 p32-33 Oct 2017
This article explains a process for improving specific learning disabilities (SLD) eligibility guidelines in a special education cooperative in Nebraska. The Central Nebraska Support Services Program (CNSSP) is a special education cooperative that serves four public school districts and seven parochial schools in central Nebraska. Children birth to age 21 are served by the cooperative. School psychologists in CNSSP were frustrated by the lack of consistent and evidence-based procedures for identifying students with learning disabilities in the region. Some school psychologists in CNSSP still used the severe discrepancy model, while others embraced the role of response to intervention (RTI) in identifying specific learning disabilities. Nebraska special education law allows for either method, but the use of RTI for eligibility determination is not widespread across the state at this time. The school psychologists in CNSSP set out to overcome this challenge of inconsistency in practice of their "mixed" model system by creating a set of clear, consistent guidelines for identifying SLD using best practices and evidence-based procedures. They identified the following necessary steps: (a) demonstration of low achievement; (b) determination of insufficient response to effective, research-based interventions; and (c) consideration of exclusionary factors such as intellectual disability, sensory deficits, and language minority (Fletcher, 2011; Shapiro & Clemens, 2009).
National Association of School Psychologists. 4340 East West Highway Suite 402, Bethesda, MD 20814. Tel: 301-657-0270; Fax: 301-657-0275; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Nebraska
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A