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Program Support Meeting Specific Learning Disabilities April 2008. Presented by: Kathy Laffin WI Dept of Public Instruction. PART I: Identifying Specific Learning Disabilities. Interconnections: Identification of Young Children Speech Language Specific Learning Disabilities.

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Program Support Meeting Specific Learning Disabilities April 2008

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program support meeting specific learning disabilities april 2008

Program Support MeetingSpecific Learning DisabilitiesApril 2008

Presented by: Kathy Laffin

WI Dept of Public Instruction

part i identifying specific learning disabilities
PART I: Identifying Specific Learning Disabilities


Identification of Young Children

Speech Language

Specific Learning Disabilities

impairment areas http dpi wi gov sped pi11 0701 html cd
Cognitive Disability

Orthopedic Impairment

Visual Impairment

Hearing Impairment

Speech or Language Impariment

Specific Learning Disability

Emotional Behavioral Disability


Traumatic Brain Injury

Other Health Impairment

Significant Developmental Delay

Impairment Areas
significant developmental delay
Significant Developmental Delay

(a) Significant developmental delay means children, ages 3, 4 and 5 years of age or below compulsory school attendance age, who are experiencing significant delays in the areas of physical, cognition, communication, social—emotional or adaptive development.

significant developmental delay6
Significant Developmental Delay

(b) All other suspected impairments under this section shall be considered before identifying a child’s primary impairment as significant developmental delay.

significant developmental delay7
Significant Developmental Delay

(c) A child may be identified as having significant developmental delay when delays in development significantly challenge the child in two or more of the following five major life activities:

1. Physical activity in gross motor skills

2. Cognitive activity

3. Communication activity in expressive language

4. Emotional activity

5. Adaptive activity

significant developmental delay8
Significant Developmental Delay

(d) Documentation of significant developmental delays under par. (c) and their detrimental effect upon the child’s daily life shall be based upon qualitative and quantitative measures including all of the following:

1. A developmental and basic health history, including results from vision and hearing screenings and other pertinent information from parents ….

2. Observation of the child in his or her daily living environment…

3. Results from norm—referenced instruments OR other instruments to document the significant delays….


NOTE additional information at including Q & A document

state performance plan
State Performance Plan
  • The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) of 2004 requires DPI to have in place a State Performance Plan that evaluates the State's efforts to implement the requirements and purposes of IDEA and describes how the State will improve performance.
  • As part of the State Performance Plan, DPI, with stakeholder input, set measurable and rigorous targets for indicators established by OSEP under the priority areas.
  • For indicators related to compliance, OSEP set the target at 100%. For indicators related to disproportionate representation of racial and ethnic groups, OSEP set the target at 0%.

State Performance PlanSpecial Education Procedural Compliance Self-Assessment
  • The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (WDPI) conducts cyclical compliance monitoring of public agencies.
  • Cyclical compliance monitoring is conducted through a public agency self-assessment of special education requirements. Each year the WDPI verifies the self-assessments of selected public agencies. The assessment uses samples of students' individualized education program records, interviews, and other sources.
  • The requirements are related to Wisconsin's Continuous Improvement and Focused Monitoring System (CIFMS) priorities and IDEA State Performance Plan indicators.
  • All public agencies will be monitored during the current IDEA State Performance Plan (SPP) cycle, ending with the 2010-2011 school year. One-fifth of the public agencies are monitored each year beginning with the 2006-2007 school year.


IDEA Preschool Discretionary Grants

SPP #7



SPP #8



SPP #6




SPP #12


from Part C

State Performance Plan

System of Personnel Development

Early Childhood Program Support/Leadership

Networks and Community Partnerships

child outcome part b indicator 7
Child OutcomePart B Indicator #7

Percent of preschool children with IEPs who demonstrate improved:

A. Positive social-emotional skills (including social relationships);

B. Acquisition and use of knowledge and skills (including early language/communication and early literacy); and

C. Use of appropriate behaviors to meet their needs.

Districts participate in the collection of data for this indicator in the same year in which they complete the self-assessment of procedural compliance. Entry data is collected on all preschool-age children who initially enter special education in the district during the cycle year. Exit data for all these children is collected when they exit from preschool programs or turn age 6.

child outcome part b indicator 716
Child OutcomePart B Indicator #7

preschool educational environments part b indicator 6
Preschool Educational Environments Part B Indicator #6

Percent of preschool children with IEPs who received special education and related services in settings with typically developing peers (e.g., early childhood settings, home, and part-time early childhood/part-time early childhood special education settings).

Information is collected annually through the ‘child count’ process.

family outcomes part b indicator 8
Family OutcomesPart B Indicator #8

Percent of parents with a child receiving special education services who report that schools facilitated parent involvement as a means of improving services and results for children with disabilities..

This indicator applies to all of Part B (3-21). Data are collected through a sampling strategy in line with the self assessment cycle.


Transitions from Part

Part B Indicator #12

Percent of children referred by Part C prior to age 3, who are found eligible for Part B, and who have an IEP developed and implemented by their third birthdays.

Data are collected annually with the Local Performance Plan (LPP).


Transitions from Part C

Part B Indicator #12

DRAFT Timeline – Pending Part C Regulations

Child’s 3rd Birthday

No more than 9 months prior

and not later than 90 days prior to the 3rd birthday.

At least 9 months prior to the third birthday

120 days prior to the third birthday





B-3 transition




IFSP documentation




Referral Received

Electronically or in writing

Up to 15 business days

Undefined; up to parent.

Within 60 calendar days

Within 30 calendar days

After parent consent

IEP Meeting to Determine Eligibility

Request Parent Consent for Evaluation

Receive Parent Consent for Evaluation

IEP and Placement Developed

IEP Implemented


Notice sent that no additional data are needed


Within 60 calendar days

for more information
For More Information



Listing of Statewide Training and Technical Assistance Personnel:



  • The National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center:
  • The National Early Childhood Transition Center:
  • Naitonal Individualizing Preschool Inclusion Project

  • The National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center
  • The Center for the Social Emotional Foundations of Early Learning CSEFEL

Mary L. Peters

Educational Consultant / 619 Coordinator

speech and language sl
Speech and Language (SL)
  • Special Education Service
  • Related Service

SL Eligibility Checklist:

speech or language sl impairment
Speech or Language (SL) Impairment
  • Speech or Language Impairment means:

An impairment of speech or sound production, voice, fluency, or language that significantly affects educational performance or social, emotional or vocational development.

PI 11.36(5)(a)

sl eligibility criteria oral communication
SL Eligibility CriteriaOral Communication
  • Language
    • Norm Referenced Measures -1.75 S.D.
    • Interferes with oral communication
    • Informal Assessment
          • PI 11.36(5)
eligibility criteria oral communication
Eligibility CriteriaOral Communication
  • Alternate Method
    • Formal tests are inappropriate
    • Requires two informal measurement procedures
    • Affects child’s educational performance or social, emotional, or vocational development
sl eligibility criteria speech or sound production
SL Eligibility CriteriaSpeech Or Sound Production
  • Norm Or Criterion Referenced Testing
    • Below 1.75 S.D. on test of articulation or phonology (or)
    • Sound errors beyond the time when 90% of typically developing children have acquired the sound (or)
sl eligibility criteria speech or sound production28
SL Eligibility CriteriaSpeech Or Sound Production
  • One or more of the child’s phonological patterns of sound are at least 40% disordered (or)
  • The child scores in the moderate to profound range of phonological process use on formal test


sl eligibility criteria speech or sound production29
SL Eligibility CriteriaSpeech Or Sound Production
  • Intelligibility of the child’s speech is significantly affected
    • Anecdotal reporting (e.g. parent report)
    • Intelligibility ratio (analysis of child’s speech)
          • PI 11.36(5)
eligibility criteria voice
Eligibility Criteria: Voice
  • Documentation of a vocal impairment
    • Atypical characteristic of loudness, pitch, quality, or resonance for child’s age and gender
  • Not due to temporary factors
    • Allergies, respiratory virus, puberty
          • PI 11.36(5)
eligibility criteria fluency
Eligibility Criteria: Fluency
  • Speaking behaviors characteristic of a fluency disorder are present
    • Repetitions, irregular speaking rate, anxiety toward speaking, avoidance of speaking situations
          • PI 11.36(5)
eligibility criteria exclusions
Eligibility CriteriaExclusions
  • Mild, transitory or developmentally appropriate speech or language difficulties.. unless the child requires speech or language services in order to benefit from his or her educational programs in school, home, and community environments.
eligibility criteria exclusions33
Eligibility CriteriaExclusions
  • Dialectal differences or from learning English as a second language
  • Difficulties with auditory processing…
  • Tongue thrust
  • Elective or selective mutism or school phobia
a comparison of instruction to therapy

A comparison ofinstruction to therapy

According to purpose, knowledge base, sequence, and individualization

Ehren, 1999, 2000

  • Speech and language therapy framework focuses on underlying processes, skills, and strategy remediation with a problem solving approach rather than a sheltered academic environment.
  • Instruction
    • Deals with learning new information and skills in the normal course of development
  • Therapy
    • Deals with remediation or compensating for deficient skills that have not fully developed or that have been lost
knowledge base
Knowledge Base
  • Instruction
    • Requires basic understanding of language and language processes.
  • Therapy
    • Necessitates in-depth knowledge of language, language development and language disorders
  • Instruction
    • Uses a teaching sequence based on external criteria, such as curriculum standards and progression
  • Therapy
    • Requires that the sequence of activities be based on individual needs and individual degree of progress
  • Instruction
    • Oriented toward group goals; does not always address individual needs due to time constraint and number of students; typically uses standard approach (i.e.. Third-grade content taught in third grade)
  • Therapy
    • Requires selection of individual goals; must address individual needs; requires a diagnostic or prescriptive approach
speech and language

Speech and Language

And the IEP team process

iep team makes decisions
IEP Team Makes Decisions
  • IEP team determinations:
    • Eligibility
    • Present level of academic achievement and functional performance
    • Goals
    • Services to meet the child’s needs, as identified in the goals
    • Amount/frequency/duration of services
iep team makes decisions42
IEP Team Makes Decisions
  • The IEP team determines how the communication needs will be met:
    • In the general education curriculum


    • Through another special education provider


    • That the communication needs require speech and language services
questions to ask
Questions to ask….
  • If the IEP team is considering another special education provider/service to meeting the communication needs of the child…..
    • Can the teacher or other service provider identify when a communication breakdown has occurred?
    • Can they recognize that it is related to the individual’s communication disability?
    • Do they know the appropriate procedures to implement to bring about change at that time?
questions to ask44
Questions to ask….
  • What is the level of understanding, experience, and training relative to the language disability and the necessary language interventions the child needs to be successful?
  • What will be the level of contact between the teacher and the SLP?
  • What method (s) will be used to determine if the language need is being met?
current sld criteria
Current SLD Criteria
  • Classroom Achievement Delay
  • Significant Discrepancy
  • Information Processing
  • Absence of any exclusionary factors
  • Data from observation

SLD Checklist (Initial Evaluation):

SLD Checklist (Re-evaluation):

making decisions sld sl sdd
Making Decisions: SLD-SL-SDD

- Using the IEP to provide services.

- What about achievement delay?

- What about WI certification requirements?

- What about re-evaluation?

- Other questions?

summary sld assessment guide http www dpi wi gov sped doc elgguideld doc
Summary: SLD Assessment Guide
  • Students are considered to have a primary speech and language impairment if they meet speech and language impairment criteria and do not display a significant discrepancy in basic reading skill, reading comprehension, written language, mathematical calculation, or mathematical reasoning. Pg. 72
identification of sld




Identification of SLD
definition exclusions
Definition: Exclusions

Exclusions mean “LD is not primarily the result of other conditions that can impede learning” which are listed in federal regulations as:

  • A visual, hearing, or motor disability;
  • Mental retardation;
  • Emotional disturbance;
  • Cultural factors;
  • Environmental or economic disadvantage; or
  • Limited English proficiency.

§ 300.309 (a)(3)

lack of appropriate instruction
Lack of Appropriate Instruction

§ 300.309 (b) To ensure that underachievement in a child suspected of having a specific learning disability is not due to lack of appropriate instruction in reading or math, the group must consider, as part of the evaluation . . .

(1) Data that demonstrate that prior to, or as a part of, the referral process, the child was provided appropriate instruction in regular education settings, delivered by qualified personnel; and

(2) Data-based documentation of repeated assessments of achievement at reasonable intervals, reflecting formal assessment of student progress during instruction, which was provided to the child’s parents.

reasons for exclusions
Reasons for Exclusions
  • To examine all potential explanations of underachievement.
  • Complicated since these factors may interfere with skill development.
  • The exclusionary factors may co-exist with SLD.

KEY CONCEPT:Unexpected Underachievement.

what about low achievement
What about low achievement?
  • What does data from student’s response to intervention suggest?
  • For a cognitive disability to be present, factors other than an IQ delay must be present.
  • Is the primary concern availability of services?
summary sld assessment guide http www dpi wi gov sped doc elgguideld doc53
Summary: SLD Assessment Guide
  • An exclusionary factor must be the primary reason for the existence of the significant discrepancy.
  • With the exception of the impairment of “cognitive disability,” students who exhibit characteristics noted under “exclusions” may have SLD if the IEP team concludes the student would exhibit significant discrepancy even if the exclusionary factor were not present.

pg. 72

key questions exclusionary factors
Key Questions: Exclusionary Factors
  • Has the child received appropriate instruction and interventions?
  • Does the child clearly meet the SLD eligibility requirements?
  • Have any other potential disabilities been reviewed and eliminated?


update sld rule revision
Update: SLD Rule Revision
  • Another round of public hearings will be set
  • Continued stakeholder comments sought
  • Timeline for hearings yet to be established
  • Continue with current SLD criteria until further notice
other dpi updates
Other DPI Updates
  • Seclusion & Restraint Activities

  • Inclusion Conference: July 28-30, Wausau
  • Adolescent Literacy Task Force
  • DPI Internet Resources
  • Local Performance Plan Indicators

Part II:

Developing an

Integrated Education System

Begin with effective practices for students

with specific learning disabilities.

effective instruction for students with sld includes
Effective Instruction for Students with SLD includes:

Research based practices that are:

- specific & individualized

- explicit

- carefully designed

- intensive

- supportive

- closely related to the academic area of need.

What is Special About Special Education? Cook, B. . & Schirmer, B. 2006. Pro-Ed, Inc.

Austin, TX. Pg. 2 – 3.

effective instruction for students with sld includes60
Effective Instruction for Students with SLD includes:
  • Small group and 1:1 instruction

- increased teacher – student interactions

- individualization of instruction

- student on-task behavior

- increased teacher monitoring and feedback

  • Accelerated instructional intensity through increased time per day and increased duration of interventions

What is Special About Special Education? Pg. 4-5.

classroom educational research
Classroom Educational Research
  • “What students learn” from their classroom experiences is a function of “what they do” during class time.
  • Time spent on task by individual students with LD in direct and indirect reading activities was highly predictive of reading growth.
  • Teaching and learning opportunities, NOT THE SETTING, account for reading growth.

Naomi Zigmond, pg. 115 in: Swanson, Harrris & Graham. Handbook of Learning Disabilities. (2003). The Guilford Press.

students with sld experience improved school outcomes when
Students with SLD experience improved school outcomes when:
  • Delivery of instruction is the focus.
  • Student instructional gaps are clearly identified.
  • Instruction is explicit and intensive.
  • Student progress is monitored frequently in relation to learning needs.
  • Observation: Effective practices for students with SLD are also effective with a range of other learners.
special education defined
“Special Education” defined:
  • “Specially designed instruction . . . to

meet the unique needs of the child with a disability.”

  • Any related services needed to benefit from special education
  • Supplemental aids and services; accommodations, modifications
  • Services not a place
what is special about special education
What is special about “Special Education” ?
  • Linked to an individual education plan (IEP).
  • IEP is designed to address individualized student needs.
how do we know an iep is leading to improved student outcomes
How do we know an IEP is leading to improved student outcomes?



what the law says about progress monitoring of iep goals
What the Law says about progress monitoring of IEP Goals.
  • Identify procedures for measuring the student’s progress toward meeting the annual goal.
  • State when reports about the student’s progress toward meeting the annual goal will be provided to parents.


improving progress monitoring for students with disabilities
Improving Progress Monitoring for Students with Disabilities
  • Match progress monitoring approach to the IEP goal.
  • Collect data using:

- direct measures

- indirect measures

- authentic measures

progress monitoring approaches
Progress Monitoring Approaches
  • Direct Measures:

- Behavior observation

- Curriculum based assessment

  • Indirect Measures (usually to supplement direct measures)

- Rubrics

- Goal attainment scaling

- Student self-monitoring

  • Authentic Measures of performance

- informal conferences

- portfolios, student work samples

improving progress monitoring on ieps best practices
Improving Progress Monitoring on IEPs – Best Practices
  • Develop progress monitoring plans that include multiple measures whenever possible
  • Specify who, where, and when progress monitoring will occur.
  • Monitor both academic and behavior goals.
why focus on iep progress monitoring
Why focus on IEP progress monitoring?
  • Progress monitoring is essential to evaluating the appropriateness of the student’s program.
  • Adequate progress monitoring helps focus on improved results for students with disabilities.


Roles for

Special Educators

in an Integrated Education System

foundation whole school collaboration
Foundation: Whole School Collaboration
  • Effective Instructional Practices for all students
  • Inclusive Environments
  • Practices to support the process of response to instruction and intervention
features of an integrated system
Features of an Integrated System
  • Coordinated general and special education instruction
  • Core classroom instruction using flexible grouping, scaffolding and formative feedback.
  • Instructional options that are intensive, explicit and coordinated with core classroom instruction and delivered in small, homogeneous groups
getting the job done
Getting the Job Done!
  • Foundation: Collaboration
  • Build on:

- Knowledge of Effective Instructional Practices

- Understanding the Process of Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTI)

- Understanding Inclusion Practices

- Understanding WI Special Education Teacher Licensing Requirements

rti in wisconsin
RTI in Wisconsin
  • A process that includes:

High Quality Instruction

Continuous Review of Student Progress


rti in wisconsin76
RTI in Wisconsin
  • RtI is for ALL children and ALL educators
  • RtI must support and provide value to effective practices
  • Success for RtI lies within the classroom through collaboration
  • RtI applies to both academics and behavior
  • RtI supports and provides value to the use of multiple assessments to inform instructional practices
  • RtI is something you do and not necessarily something you buy
  • RtI emerges from and supports research and evidence based practice
the rti process
The RTI process:
  • Is interconnected, interrelated and dynamic.
  • Provides differentiated classroom instruction responding to individual differences.
  • Includes appropriate interventions and additional services based on student need.
  • Includes collaboration among a variety of educators, support personnel, parents and community resources.
  • Is a fluid process based on student need.
Response to Instruction and Intervention has applications for:

General Education

Special Education

Gifted and Talented

Title I

English Language Learners


defining roles for wisconsin s special educators in rti
Defining Roles for Wisconsin’s Special Educators in RTI

Wisconsin Licensing Requirements

for Special Education Teachers

Be sure to use these rules!

collaboration through co teaching
Collaboration through Co-teaching
  • Addressing the instructional needs of students with disabilities
  • Options within co-teaching

- Developing differentiated lessons

- Modeling specific instructional practices

- Incidental benefit during instruction

collaborative environments for special educators
Collaborative Environmentsfor Special Educators
  • Problem Solving Teams
  • Grade Level Teams and Meetings
  • Common professional development
  • Participation in Professional Learning Communities
  • Mentoring, coaching and modeling effective practices
Collaboration Question

What are the opportunities and the challenges in creating a collaborative, whole school system for academic instruction and social, emotional support?

essential collaboration questions
Essential Collaboration Questions

What opportunities for action does RTI present?

How can I share what I already know?

What other connections need to be made?