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Oklahoma School Psychologists Association Fall Conference 2008. Pattern of Strengths and Weaknesses In SLD Evaluations: What’s It All About?. Jim Hanson, M.Ed. Oregon School Psychologists Association (OSPA) JaBrHanson@yahoo.com

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Oklahoma school psychologists association fall conference 2008

Oklahoma School Psychologists AssociationFall Conference 2008

Pattern of Strengths and Weaknesses

In SLD Evaluations:

What’s It All About?

Jim Hanson, M.Ed.

Oregon School Psychologists Association (OSPA)


Thjs powerpoint uses materials from former presentations by Suzy Harris, Attorney at Law, David Guardino, Oregon Department of Education (ODE), and Betsy Ramsey, Oregon Parent Training Initiative (ORPTI)



  • Review requirements for SLD eligibility, including changes in IDEA 2004 & OARs

  • Review two types of SLD evaluation –

    • Response to Intervention (RTI)

    • Pattern of Strengths and Weaknesses (PSW)

  • English Language Learners

  • Step by Step Implementation Process

Changes to sld eligibility requirements 34 cfr 300 307 311 oar 581 015 2170

Changes to SLD Eligibility Requirements34 CFR 300.307 - 311 & OAR 581-015-2170

  • Changed from “severe discrepancy” to “pattern of strengths and weaknesses”

  • Added option of RTI (OAR - based on district model)

  • Added progress monitoring component for both RTI and PSW evaluations

  • Observation – before or during

  • Exclusionary factors remain

Sld evaluation components both if needed

SLD Evaluation Components – Both (if needed)

  • Developmental history

  • Assessment of cognition, fine motor, perceptual motor, communication, social-emotional, memory (if student exhibits impairment in one or more of these areas)

  • Medical statement

  • Impact of disability on educational performance

Oregon department of education

Oregon Department of Education

  • Like any other disability determination under IDEA, SLD can’t be based on any single criterion – meaning a single test, assessment, observation, or report.

  • An evaluationof a student suspected of having SLD must include a variety of assessment tools and strategies.

  • Evaluation must include input from student’s parents and an observation of the student’s academic performance and behavior in the general education classroom.

Eligibility team oar 581 015 2170 2

Eligibility TeamOAR 581-015-2170(2)

  • Group of qualified professionals

  • Parents

  • Regular classroom teacher

  • Person qualified to conduct individual diagnostic evaluations using instruments that meet OAR requirements (school psychologist, speech pathologist, etc.)

Qualified evaluators oar 581 015 2110 4 a d e

Qualified evaluatorsOAR 581-015-2110(4)(a)(D)&(E)

Assessments and other evaluation materials must be:

  • “administered by trained and knowledgeable personnel” and

  • “administered in accordance with any instructions provided by the producer of the assessments.”

Federal definition unchanged

Federal Definition Unchanged

“A disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or using language, spoken or written, which manifests itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations. Such terms include such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia”

Order of the presentation

Order of the Presentation

  • Not the IQ/Achievement Discrepancy

  • Response to Intervention

  • Pattern of Strengths & Weaknesses

  • Complimentary, not exclusive approaches for SLD

  • Other disabilities?

Professional position statements no discrepancy yes to rti psw

Professional Position Statements: No Discrepancy, Yes to RTI & PSW

  • National Association of School Psychologists 2007

  • Oregon School Psychologists Association 2006

  • Oregon Branch of the International Dyslexia Association 2007

  • National Joint Commission on Learning Disabilities 2005

  • U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) 2007

President s message

President’s Message

“I would hope that the goal here is to expand the methods of assessment available to the practitioner and not to limit them. It seems possible that these two very valuable approaches can be utilized along a continuum of collecting information about a child that would culminate in a very clear and comprehensive evaluation that would be of value to all.”Huff, L. (2005, February). President’s Message. NASP Communique, 33, 2-3.

We can all get along


Weaknesses of the old iq achievement discrepancy model

Weaknesses of the Old IQ/Achievement Discrepancy Model

  • Does not address the federal definition of SLD

  • Does not discriminate between disabled and non-disabled readers, or among children who were found to be easy or difficult to remediate (Vellutino et al. 2000 p. 235)

  • Results in a “Wait to Fail” model: not identified early

  • Failure to rule out lack of instruction or lack of effective curriculum as a causal factor for underachievement

  • Not consistently applied

  • Does not explain why a student is struggling to read or provide research-based interventions

Why not full scale iq prediction

Why Not Full Scale IQ?-Prediction

  • Full Scale IQ explains only 10-20% of specific areas of achievement

  • Specific cognitive abilities explain 50-70% of specific areas of achievement

  • (Flanagan, Ortiz & Alfonzo, 2007)

What is response to intervention

What is Response to Intervention?

  • Tier 1: Researched-based general education reading curriculum with universal screening (for all students) on Big Ideas of reading (phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension)

  • Tier 2: Small group interventions based on students’ needs with lowest 20%, monitor progress to determine if they respond. If they don’t respond:

  • Tier 3: Comprehensive special education assessment, small group or individualized instruction based on results

Phoneme segmentation fluency

Phoneme Segmentation Fluency

Asha guidance for slp at all tiers

ASHA Guidance for SLP at All Tiers

  • http://www.asha.org/members/slp/schools/prof-consult/NewRolesSLP.htm

  • New Roles:

    Program Design (selecting reading curricula)

    Collaboration (universal screening, interpreting screenings, language base of literacy)

    Serving Individual Students (sound error screening, cut points, norm-referenced assessment, evidence-based practices for speech and language services in RTI or PSW)

Speech pathologists at tier 1

Speech Pathologists at Tier 1

  • Phoneme Segmentation Fluency (DIBELS)

    Phonological Awareness K-1

    Hear and manipulate sounds in spoken words

    Benchmark Fall First Grade 35 and above

    .68 Spring K with Spring 1st WJ III ACH Total Reading

  • Word Use Fluency (DIBELS)

    Vocabulary and Oral Language K-3

    Use target word in sentence

    Currently no benchmark goal

    .44-.48 with TOLD-3

Efficacy and effectiveness

Efficacy and Effectiveness

  • Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT) means treatments effective under specific conditions for specific populations when delivered with fidelity: in standardized, replicable fashion

  • Progress Monitoring: Serial Independent Assessment of Achievement Skills (Fletcher, 2005) means measuring the same academic skills over time with tests not directly aligned with the curriculum (to reduce contextual variables in determining RTI)

  • PM Effectiveness does not mean just looking at chapter tests scores that measure different skills

Rousseau the read dog

Rousseau, the READ dog

  • Reading Education Assistance Dogs

  • Effective based on single case studies (Progress Monitoring)

  • Efficaciousness with RCTs not established

Tier two cbm basics

Tier Two CBM Basics

  • Identify skills in the year-long curriculum

  • Determine weight of skills in the curriculum

  • Create multiple alternate test forms

    • each test samples the entire year’s curriculum

    • each test contains the same types of problems

  • Give tests frequently (weekly/monthly)

  • Review results

  • Modify instruction as appropriate

Different pm devices

Different PM devices

  • Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS)

  • Aimsweb reading, writing and math probes

  • EasyCBM

  • Home-made Curriculum-Based Measures

  • New idea for supplementing CBM: IRT

Advantages of commercial products

Advantages of commercial products

K-1 screenings predictive of success on state reading assessments at third grade

Universal screener tied to progress monitor

Computer format is friendly for school-based teams and for parent communication

Avoids “circularity” in intervention and diagnosis (Suhr, 2008)

Progress monitoring

Progress Monitoring

Research findings

Research findings

  • CBM with “goal raising rule” for students responding well:

    effect size .52 SD moderate

  • CBM with “change the program rule” for students not responding well:

    effect size .72 SD moderate (.80 = large)

  • Results in teachers planning more comprehensive reading programs

    Fletcher, et.al. 2007

Mlc example

MLC example

  • Kindergarten Phoneme Segmentation Fluency (DIBELS) information along with teacher nomination

  • Twelve week PS intervention group led by Speech Pathologist

  • Progress Monitoring by Educational Assistant trained in DIBELS administration and interpretation

  • Team determination of student progress and referral for comprehensive evaluation

Technically adequate measures

Technically adequate measures

  • SEM on reading fluency measures can vary by up to fifteen correct words per minute based on grade and testing conditions (Christ & Silberglitt, 2007)

  • Issues in determining “gain scores” under RTI potentially more complex than under severe discrepancy models (Reynolds, 2008)

  • Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (1999)

Cbm and w meets ode requirement for rti with pm

CBM and W: Meets ODE requirement for RTI with PM

  • Using CBM scores coupled with:

  • Equal interval scores from standardized tests in a test-retest format (e.g., WJ-III “W score”)

  • Form A for pre-test, then Form B for post-test for children in intervention group

  • W score provides basis for (a) comparison to performance from national sample of peer-compares child to “normal” development of skills; (Decker, S. L., 2008, p 7-8)

  • and (b) is age appropriate to the child’s age and grade placement (ODE sample forms for SLD, p. 8)

  • W based on Item Response Theory (IRT) and theta parameters, not home-made CBM based only on scope, or on CBM with technical dubiousness

  • W score could be integrated into CBM for RTI and for RTI after eligibility (e.g., IEP evaluation procedures) (Weiss, 2008)

Rti benefits feifer della toffalo 2007

RTI Benefits (Feifer & Della Toffalo, 2007)

  • Ecological validity

  • Quicker and cheaper

  • Does not rely on teacher nomination

  • Linked to curricular decision-making

  • Encourages scientific interventions

  • Gets kids help earlier

  • De-emphasizes labels

  • Reduces “curriculum casualties”

  • Pro-active, not reactive

Rti concerns

RTI Concerns

  • Does not address the federal definition of a learning disability

  • Does not answer why a student is not responding to intervention

  • Lack of technically adequate measures

  • Lack of evidence-based third-tier interventions

  • One-size fits all approach to intervention: two students can fail at the same task for very different reasons

  • Misses the bright dyslexic kids

  • Potential to miss co-morbid conditions

The use of rti only models

The use of RTI-only models

…not only reasonable but a desirable and expected outcome of RTI that a child would be considered learning disabled in one teacher’s classroom but not in a different classroom where the general achievement level and progress rate of other students was different (Reschley, 2005)

Rti issues

RTI Issues

  • National Reading Panel Report (2000) teaching of phonics, a best practice, accounts for approximately 10% in the variance of reading treatment outcomes (Hammill & Swanson, 2006)

Case example

Case Example

  • Student was identified by DIBELS and teacher as lowest 20% in alphabet knowledge (phonics not phonological)

  • Student did not respond to research-based phonics interventions

  • Student evaluated by outside agency: IQ/ACH discrepancy-not good enough for us

  • Student evaluated by school-based team: SLD with a specific memory deficit (MA)

  • Rule out ADHD and depression

  • Interventions prioritized

Oregon experience

Oregon Experience

  • U of O, Bethel, Tigard-Tualatin, Oak Grove

  • Reading First - NCLB Funds, K-3 - High Poverty/Low Achieving Schools, Cohort A - 33 schools in 14 districts - 3yrs,17 schools Cohort B - 8 districts -1yr, Cohort C - 6 non RF schools matched for comparison

  • Oregon RTI Initiative - IDEA Funds, district - wide reform, TTS contract years/numbers of Schools, 5 districts – 1 yr, 9 additional districts 2006-2007, secondary preparation grants

  • Support for All Students Reading – SIG Funds, emphasis on secondary – Bethel contract

  • Parent Education – SIG Funds ORPTI contract

From rti

From RtI

to PSW and Neurological Theory

Oregon options either or both

Response to Intervention

Research-based general education curriculum

Curriculum-based assessment of progress

Tiered interventions

Part of comprehensive evaluation

Pattern of Strengths & Weaknesses

Norm-referenced assessment based

Academic comparison

Academic-cognitive comparison

Part of comprehensive evaluation

Oregon options (either or both)

The definition of psw 34 cfr 300 311 a 5 34 cfr 300 309 a 2 ii

The definition of PSW (34 CFR 300.311(a)(5)), (34 CFR 300.309(a)(2(ii)).

  • Evaluation documentation must consider whether the student exhibits a pattern of strengths and weaknesses

  • In performance, achievement or both

  • Relative to age, State approved grade levels standards, or intellectual development

  • That is determined by the group to be relevant to the identification of SLD using appropriate instruments

A six box interpretation

A six-box interpretation

Osep allows teams to choose

OSEP allows Teams to Choose

  • §300.309(a)(2)(ii) permits, but does not require, consideration of a pattern of strengths or weaknesses, or both, relative to intellectual development, if the evaluation group considers that information relevant to an identification of SLD.

Main idea of psw

Main Idea of PSW

  • Many academic and cognitive abilities in the average range

  • Specific academic weaknesses

  • Specific cognitive weaknesses

  • Research-based links between the academic and cognitive weaknesses

  • Unrelated cognitive abilities are average or above

  • Full Scale IQ is irrelevant, except for MR

Not full scale iq

Not Full Scale IQ

Explosive growth of scientific knowledge about true “processes” that enable acquisition of reading, math and writing

  • Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) Theory of Cognitive Abilities: The Cognitive “Table of the Elements”

  • PASS theory based on Luria

  • All major tests revised to incorprate CHC, even those based on Luria (KABC), except CAS

Four major research based models

Four Major Research-Based Models

  • Cognitive – academic approaches:

    • Flanagan, Oritz & Alfonso, 2007

    • Naglieri, 1999

    • Fiorello & Hale, 2004

  • Academics only approach

    • Fletcher, Lyon, Fuchs, & Barnes 2007

    • Comments from Fuchs 2007: Academics-only approach is based on studies that he conducted that he feels are no longer valid. Therefore, the academics-only approach is not recommended for Oregon schoolchildren.

  • Academics only approach not recommended

    Academics Only Approach: Not Recommended

    • Word recognition & spelling <90 (phonological poor, spatial & motor skills good)

    • Reading fluency <90, accuracy good (automaticity problem: RAN poor)

    • Reading comprehension <90, 7 points below word reading (vocabulary, working memory & attention poor, phonics good)

    • Math computations <90, all reading good (executive functioning, working memory & attention poor, phonics and vocabulary good)

    • Spelling <90 (residuals of poor phonics, fluency often impaired)

    • Word recognition, fluency, comprehension, spelling & math <90 (language and working memory poor)

    Empirical multivariate statistical methods morris 1998

    Empirical multivariate statistical methods: Morris (1998)

    • Rate (affects fluency and comprehension)

    • Rate & Phonology

    • Rate, Phonology, & VSTM (big group)

    • Phonology, VSTM, & Spatial

    • Phonology, VSTM, & Lexical

    • Global & Language

    • Global

    • No longer valid categories according to co-author Fletcher, 2007

    Consistency discrepancy naglieri

    Consistency-Discrepancy (Naglieri)

    • Processing Strength to Academic Strength (no significant difference)

    • Processing Strength to Academic Weakness (significant difference)

    • Processing Weakness to Academic Weakness (no significant difference)

    • Processing Strength to Processing Weakness (significant difference)

    Concordance discordance hale fiorello

    Concordance-Discordance (Hale & Fiorello

    • Cognitive Hypothesis Testing

    • Examine results from cross battery assessment

    • If there are differences between scores on a similar construct (e.g., working memory), use task demands analysis, method of input and output of particular tasks

    • Use other methods such as checklists, dynamic assessment, observations to document strengths and weaknesses for curricular planning

    Hale and fiorello p 135 write

    Hale and Fiorello (p. 135) write:

    Using an intellectual/cognitive measure (e.g., the Woodcock-Johnson III [WJ-III]), a fixed battery (e.g., the Halstead-Reitan), and additional hypothesis-testing measures (e.g., subtests from the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing [CTOPP]) might be the ultimate approach for conducting CHT.

    Flanagan ortiz alonzo s aptitude achievement consistency 2007

    Flanagan, Ortiz, & Alonzo’s Aptitude-Achievement Consistency (2007)

    • After RTI and/or documentation of instruction and progress monitoring and rule out exclusionary factors

    • Documentation of underachievement-norm referenced achievement test (Standard Score <85)

    • Measure all cognitive abilities that research shows support the specific area of achievement at specific age of child

    • At least one of those abilities must be below 85 and have documented ecological correlates

    • Cognitive abilities that don’t relate are average or above: “otherwise normal ability profile”

    • Computer Program: “SLD Assistant”

    • The Essentials of Cross Battery Assessment: Second Edition Wiley, New York.

    What is chc intelligence theory

    What is CHC Intelligence Theory?

    • Cattell, Horn and Carroll

    • 7 Broad Categories of Intelligence

    • Clean, Not Mixed Factors (No Sharing)

    • Many Narrow Categories of Intelligence Underneath Each Broad Factor

    • Less Emphasis on a Full-Scale Score

    Http www slideshare net iapsych chc intelligence broad ability brief review


    About broad cognitive abilities

    About Broad Cognitive Abilities

    • Structural: Fifty years of factor analytic research, half a million data sets of all types of intelligence tests

    Chc abilities

    Heritability: Differential heritability rates for different CHC abilities

    Developmental: CHC abilities show different patterns of growth and decline across the life span

    CHC Abilities

    Questions to ask your factors

    Questions to ask your factors

    • How were you derived? From 50 years of research on 500,000 data sets?

    • Structure, heritability, development?

    • How strongly are you related to specific areas of academic achievement?

    Regression coefficients

    Regression Coefficients

    • > .3 = strong relation

    • .1-.3= moderate relation

    • <.1= non-sign

    Phonemic awareness 3

    Phonemic Awareness 3

    Comprehension knowledge


    Working memory

    Working Memory

    Long term retrieval

    Long-term Retrieval

    Processing speed

    Processing Speed

    Fluid reasoning

    Fluid Reasoning

    Visual spatial thinking

    Visual-Spatial Thinking

    Cognitive abilities related to reading

    Cognitive Abilities Related to Reading:

    • Phonological Awareness

    • Verbal (Crystallized) Intelligence including Vocabulary

    • Rapid Automatic Naming

    • Processing Speed

    • Working Memory

    • Associative Memory (Sound/Symbol)

    • Double, Triple, Quadruple Deficit

    Speech pathologist standardized

    Speech Pathologist-Standardized

    • Gc-(Comprehension-Knowledge) Lexical Knowledge tests (PPVT-IV, EVT, etc.)

    • Ga (Auditory Processing) Phonetic Coding: Analysis and Synthesis tests (TAPS-3, TOLD-4, CTOPP, CELF-4, TOPAS, etc.)

    Just the sounds

    Just the sounds…

    • Auditory Discrimination in Depth (Lindamood)

    • Alphabet Phonics (Orton Gillingham)

    • Phonographics*

    • Project Read

    • Read Spell Pat

    • Reading Mastery and Corrective Reading (SRA)*

    • *Some research-based evidence

    Phonics for pa3

    Phonics for PA3

    • Children who were weakest in phonological awareness only performed best on basal curriculums that taught the alphabetic principle explicitly

    • Fletcher et al. (2003)

    Just the associations

    Just the associations

    • PAL Alphabet Retrieval Games

    • Rewards (Archer)

    • Phonics for Reading (Archer)

    • Corrective Reading (SRA)

    Just the sights eight weeks of intervention in georgetown

    Just the sights…eight weeks of intervention in Georgetown

    • Visual imagery (SI) is being tested

    • Cocktail of Visual & Phonemic Awareness (TAAS)

    • Better Non-word reading and PA3 (p<.05)

    • Reading accuracy improves; rate still poor

    • Real word reading and comprehension improvements, but they are not significant.

    • Increases in left and right hemisphere functioning

    • Eden (2005)

    Just the meaning

    Just the meaning…

    • Children with poor reading comprehension and adequate decoding (who often demonstrate problems with oral language, crystallized intelligence and fluid reasoning) might profit from training in meta-cognition, accessing visual-spatial imagery skills, linking, and explicit teaching of Theme Identification

      Keene, E. & Zimmerman, S., (1997). The mosaic of thought: Teaching comprehension in a readers’ workshop. Heineman: Portsmouth, NH.

    More comprehension

    More comprehension

    • Collaborative Strategic Reading (Vaughn)

    • Reading in the Content Area (Kinsella)

    Just what was that

    Just…what was that?

    • Multi-sensory techniques may improve reading in children with memory span deficits (self-monitoring, generalization, integration, feedback)

    • Swanson, H. and Saez, L. (2003)

    Just my speed

    Just my speed…

    • For Processing Speed and RAN (affecting fluency)

    • RAVE-O and PAL+Fluency Bowers, P. and Ishaik, G. (2003).

    • Six Minute Solution (Hiebert)

    • Read Naturally (Imhott)

    Just about everything

    Just about everything.

    • Students with phonemic, RAN, and memory span deficits had to learn sight words first and then internal phonological structure

    • Fletcher et. al (2003)

    When fluency training doesn t matter

    When fluency training doesn’t matter…

    When slingerland goes awry

    When Slingerland goes awry…

    When even research based phonemic awareness instruction is ineffective

    When even research-based phonemic awareness instruction is ineffective…

    Cognitive skills related to math

    Cognitive Skills related to Math

    • Fluid Intelligence (thinking about relationships among concepts, deduction and induction, higher order algebra)

    • Comprehension/Knowledge-Verbal Reasoning (using language to solve math problems)

    • Working Memory, Processing Speed, & Oral Language (counting strategies and number sense)

    • RAN (fluent number identification)

      Processing Speed (calculations)

    • Quantitative Reasoning? (magnitude comparison, our first task as mammals)

    Aptitude by treatment interaction

    Aptitude by Treatment Interaction

    “We do not dispute the null results for aptitude by treatment interactions. However, it is important to recognize that this is an older literature where cognitive models of the development of reading and math skills were seriously underdeveloped. Moreover, rejection of interactions of special education categories in policy does not negate the relevance of the underlying dimensions themselves, just the classification in federal regulation”

    Fletcher et al. (2003)

    Aptitude by treatment interactions

    Aptitude by Treatment Interactions

    • Assessment methods that reduce uncertainty in understanding the problem and its causes and that lead to specific intervention more efficiently than trial and error also should be incorporated in the intervention validity appraisal (Decker, 2008 p. 2)

    • Real life ATIs are transactional, multivariate, and developmental. This complexity needs to be reflected in our research before we can begin to understand school failure. (Speece, 1990 p. 1146)

    • Cognitive abilities testing as part of the FBA for problem solving (e.g., as a part of “precipitating factors” before the target behavior of reading below benchmarks)

    Cross battery assessment using chc

    Cross Battery Assessment using CHC

    • Use only relatively pure CHC indicators (e.g., NOT Picture Arrangement).

    • Select tests from the smallest number of batteries to minimize the effect of norming differences and ensure reliability.

    • Some neurologists and reading specialists use information from seven different tests/norming populations to make deductions about one student. This is bad practice.

    • To obtain a valid broad ability, chose two subtests that measure different narrow abilities, or aspects of that broad ability

    • Compare broad ability scores to determine if g is valid

    • Compare narrow abilities to determine if broad ability is valid

    • If broad abilities are valid, use SLD Assistant to determine if child has “an otherwise normal ability profile.”

    • If broad ability score is not valid, and information is needed, use tests from another battery to obtain reliable narrow ability scores that can be clinically meaningful.

    • Use two subtests to measure BRS, RC, MC, MR, LC, OE, and WE

    Rasch equal interval scoring the relative proficiency index

    Rasch Equal Interval Scoring & The Relative Proficiency Index

    • In a perfectly distributed score population, the RPI for SS=100 and PR=50 is 90/90.

    • An absolutely average student of that age/grade would demonstrate 90% mastery level on that material and get an RPI of 90/90.

    • Standard scores and percentiles are fine when the distribution of scores on a certain (sub)test is a perfect bell curve. In that case, SS=85=PR=16=RPI=75 and SS=115=PR=84=RPI=96. HOWEVER:

    Narrow and wide

    Narrow and Wide

    • If the distribution of scores is either narrow, wide or skewed, then the standard score MOVES in relation to the center. An Equal Interval, however, stays the same.

    • If kids are closer together in their skills, they are easier to teach with only one curriculum. If kids are not equal in their skills, they need differentiated instruction or specialized instruction. (RPI 75/90-96/90)

    • Got a test with a wide distribution (like every first grade reading skill)? Then the standard score of 85 moves farther away from the center and thus, farther down the equal interval (stationary) scale.

    Wide distribution big difference

    Wide Distribution, Big Difference

    • On a test or composite with a wide distribution of scores (like Basic Reading Skills) a kid with a standard score of 85, rather than having an RPI of 75, now has an RPI of about 25/90

    • How well is a kid doing in the classroom when she is only demonstrating a 25% mastery level? She’s missing almost 75% of the stuff she’s supposed to get!

    Kid s reading or psych s math

    Kid’s reading or Psych’s math?

    • Never use a standard score to determine if a first grade student has a reading problem. Use the RPI; it more closely reflects classroom performance and you will not have to shrug your shoulders and say to an unbelieving teacher, “But she’s doing fine on my test.”

    How the abilities work together

    How the Abilities Work Together

    Fmris or brad pit

    fMRIs or Brad Pit?

    Which Shall We Choose?

    Diffusion tensor imaging dti

    Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI)

    • Processing efficiency, not localization of function

    • Axonal tract illumination

    • Strength of the flow from one area to another during a task

    • Fletcher-Janzen 2008

    • PET in 3D and on acid

    Back to brad pitt

    Back to Brad Pitt

    • The Information Processing Model (WJ COG p. 80) or

    • Brad Pitt : Gv, Angelina Jolie: RAN, Jennifer Anniston: MA, Colin Farrell: Gs, Robert DeNiro: Gf, Barbara Streissand: Gc, Donald Trump: Executive Control; Pamela Anderson: Outputter, Tommy Lee: Sensory Inputter, The Dalia Lama as Phonemic Awareness, and Paris Hilton as MW, the Phonological Loop.

    Why use this approach

    Why use this approach?

    • When we test students with poor reading or math achievement, we expect to find that at least one of the cognitive abilities that underlies achievement is compromised. If there is no cognitive weakness, it’s probably not a neurological difference and therefore, not a learning disability.

    • IQ/Achievement discrepancy with no impairments in any related cognitive skill – may indicate false positives for SLD: instructional casualties, ADHD, emotional problems, second language issues, and/or environmental challenges.

    • Cognitive testing is a part of the problem solving process.

    • Case Example: the neurologically intact Kindergartener with environmental challenges

    Another reason for psw suhr 2008

    Another Reason for PSW (Suhr, 2008)

    Identification of (children’s) overall pattern of cognitive strengths and weaknesses is in itself therapeutic, especially when coupled with exploration of their feelings about their particular information processing weaknesses… and in my clinical experience has been crucial to the academic and psychological health of those whom I have assessed.

    Weaknesses strengths of psw

    Cognitive factors only half the variance in reading outcomes

    Requires knowledgeable assessor and interpreter

    Time to train

    Time to test

    New research on interventions

    Answers the question why a student is not responding

    Addresses federal definition: says what SLD is, not what SLD is not

    Constructs research-based

    Don’t have to buy new tests

    Includes medical community, research

    Starting at age five

    Can be conducted at any time in the process as requested by team or parent

    Prioritizes interventions effectively based on comprehensive assessment

    Effective for future situations

    Decreases differences among districts

    Likely to hold up in court

    Weaknesses/Strengths of PSW

    World health organization model fletcher janzen 2008

    Health Condition (disorder or disease)

    Body functions/structures



    Environmental Factors

    Personal Factors

    Transcends politics, settings, and country boundaries

    Holistic understanding of the elements of a disability

    The right to receive a comprehensive evaluation

    Critical to mental as well as educational health

    World Health Organization Model (Fletcher-Janzen 2008)

    Neurology and chc converge

    Neurology and CHC converge

    Neuropsychology and schools

    Neuropsychology and Schools

    • Handbook of Clinical Child Neuropsychology, Third Edition (2008)

    • Handbook of Learning Disabilities (2006)

    • School Neuropsychology (2004)

    • Data from many different neuropsychological tests into a cognitive science framework useful for school-based teams

    • Essentials of Cross-Battery Assessment-Second Edition (2007)

    Wolf s double deficit model

    Wolf’s Double Deficit Model

    • Phonological Processing

    • Rapid Automatized Naming

    Shaywitz fletcher and mcgrew

    Shaywitz, Fletcher, and McGrew

    Phonological Awareness (Ga, PC)

    Working Memory (WM) & Associative Memory (MA)

    Processing Speed (Gs), & Naming Facility (NA)

    • Phonologic Weakness

    • Memory

    • Rapid Word Retrieval

    • Phonologic Awareness

    • Working Memory

    • Rapid Naming

    Dyscalculia arithmetic disability

    Dyscalculia: Arithmetic Disability

    • 8% of children

    • Parents 10 times as likely to have AD

    • IQ-Achievement Discrepancy over-identifies

    • Math tests aren’t sensitive to subtypes or areas within subtypes

    • 26% of AD are ADHD

    • 17% of AD are RD

    • 50% of AD have Spelling Problems

    From geary to mcgrew

    Phonetic and semantic memory systems

    Understanding the quantity associated with words

    Ability to represent or retrieve information

    Working Memory & Gs-Processing Speed, & Oral Language

    Gq-Quantitative (Ability and Knowledge)

    Glr-Long Term Memory Storage and Retrieval including RAN (& perhaps Auditory Attention for inhibiting competing stimuli?)

    (Gf-Fluid Intelligence)

    From Geary to McGrew

    The first type of ad

    The first type of AD


    • Uses developmentally immature procedures

    • Execution errors

    • Poor concepts

    • Multiple Steps (e.g., misalignment, carrying, borrowing)

    The second type of ad

    The second type of AD


    • Retrieving math facts/strategies from long-term memory: wrong and/or slow

    • High error rate

    • Associational errors:

      not inhibiting irrelevant associations (e.g., counting string associations such as 2+7=8, 8 is closer)

    The third type of ad

    The third type of AD


    • Spatial representation of numbers and relationships

    • Misinterpretation of graphic information

    Arithmetic disabilities ad

    Arithmetic Disabilities (AD)

    Math strategies rti dynamic assessment

    Math Strategies-RtI & Dynamic Assessment

    • Finger Counting: Counting All

    • Finger Counting: Counting On

    • Verbal Counting: Counting All

    • Verbal Counting: Counting On

    • Retrieval of a basic fact from long-term memory

    • Decomposition: Retrieval of a partial sum and counting on.

    Don t wait for psw use rti

    Magnitude Comparison

    Counting Strategies

    Fluent Number Identification

    Working Memory-Numbers Reversed

    Number Sense

    Russell, G., Jordan, N., and Flojo, R., (2005). Early identification and interventions for students with mathematics difficulties. In Journal of Learning Disabilities 38 (4)

    Don’t Wait for PSW, Use RTI:

    A six box interpretation1

    A six-box interpretation

    The integrated report

    The Integrated Report

    Does integrated report meet ode standards

    Does Integrated Report Meet ODE Standards?

    Implementation step by step process

    Implementation:Step-by-Step process

    Step 1:

    • Determination of underachievement

      Step 2:

    • Determination of Response to Interventions or Pattern of Strengths and Weaknesses (or both)

      Step 3:

    • Rule out lack of appropriate instruction as determining factor

  • Step 4:

    • Rule out other factors as primary basis

  • Step 1 determination of underachievement

    Step 1: Determination of Underachievement

    • Does the student fail to achieve adequately for his age in one or more of the following eight areas:

      • Basic reading skill

      • Reading fluency skills

      • Reading comprehension

      • Mathematics calculation

      • Mathematics problem solving

      • Written expression

      • Oral expression

      • Listening comprehension

  • Consider student’s performance related to Oregon’s state’s academic content standards in these areas.

  • Step 2 determination of response to interventions or a pattern of strengths and weaknesses or both


    Does the student fail to make sufficient progress in achievement considered adequate for his age (or enrolled grade-level standards) when provided with a series of scientific, research-based interventions?


    Do the results of the student’s assessments and evaluations show a pattern of strengths and weaknessesin academic performance, achievement (or both), relative to age, Oregon state grade level standards, or intellectual development relevant to the identification of a specific learning disability?

    Step 2: Determination of Response to Interventions or a Pattern of Strengths and Weaknesses (or Both)

    Example what to write on the new state forms

    Example: what to write on the new state forms

    John's associative memory, working memory and phonemic awareness (three important cognitive skills for early reading) are below his other cognitive abilities, which are within the average range. Impairments on these skills have been documented in the classroom by observation, work sample analysis, and teacher checklists of executive functions. John's relatively lower memory and phonemic awareness skills impair his ability to remember sound/symbol associations, decode words, read words and sentences fluently, and remember their content. This pattern has been document on age-scored standardized tests, state achievement tests, report cards and work samples.

    Step 3 determination of appropriate instruction

    Step 3: Determination of Appropriate Instruction

    • Consider progress monitoring data to rule out lack of appropriate instruction as basis for underachievement.

    • Appropriate instruction in reading must include explicit and systematic instruction inessential components of reading including:

      • phonemic awareness,

      • phonics,

      • vocabulary development,

      • reading fluency, including oral reading skills, and

      • reading comprehension strategies.

    Step 3 continued

    Step 3: Continued

    • If the group charged with determining whether a student has an SLD decides that this documentation is not adequate, a decision may be made to delay making a final determination and continue to collect additional information about the student.

    • In order to extend the time by which the evaluation will be completed, parents must consent to the time extension.

    Step 4 rule out other factors as primary basis for underachievement

    Step 4: Rule out other factors as primary basis for underachievement

    • Students whose lack of achievement can be attributed primarily to one of the following factors should not be determined to have an SLD.

      • visual, hearing, or motor disability

      • mental retardation

      • emotional disturbance

      • cultural factors

      • environmental or economic disadvantage

      • limited English proficiency

    • Such students may be served in other disability categories of IDEA or through programs for at-risk or disadvantaged students, such as Title I of the No Child Left Behind Act.

    President s message1

    President’s Message

    “I would hope that the goal here is to expand the methods of assessment available to the practitioner and not to limit them. It seems possible that these two very valuable approaches can be utilized along a continuum of collecting information about a child that would culminate in a very clear and comprehensive evaluation that would be of value to all.”Huff, L. (2005, February). President’s Message. NASP Communique, 33, 2-3.

    Resources citations upon request

    Resources (Citations upon Request)

    • Oregon School Psychologists Association (OSPA): www.ospaonline.com

    • National Center on Student Progress Monitoring: www.studentprogress.org/

    • National Research Center on Learning Disabilities: www.nrcld.org/index.shtml

    • Center on Instruction:


    • ODE website & RTI initiative: www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?id=315

    • NASP Resources: www.nasponline.org/resources/index.aspx

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