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OS SLD Guidance: A Presentation for Local District Special Educators. Oakland Schools October 2011. The OS SLD Document is designed to: provide background information review critical requirements of the IDEA Federal Regulations
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Since the inception of Learning Disabilities as
an eligibility category in the 1970’s, the difficulty
of operationalizing the diagnosis of a specific
learning disability (SLD) has plagued special
The special education system has become
overburdened, interventions are not typically
“specialized” and it has become increasingly
difficult to distinguish between students with
low achievement due to a lack of adequate
instruction and those with a true SLD.
IDEA 2004 provides several options regarding the use of inclusionary procedures of SLD identification including:
“The regulations reflect the USDOEs position on the identification of children with SLD and our support for models that focus on assessments that are related to instruction and promote intervention for identified children. Consensus reports indicate a need for major changes in the approach to identifying children with SLD. Models that incorporate RtI represent a shift in Special Education toward goals of better achievement and improved behavioral outcomes for children with SLD because the children who are identified under such models are most likely to require Special Education.”
(Federal Regulations, pg. 46647)
What sense do you make of this data?
33.3% Oakland County Average
Keep the discrepancy model under PSW even though it is discouraged and can never be used exclusively to determine SLD.
Use data from the district’s RtI process to document interventions and student progress for the purpose of determining the existence of SLD.
Move to PSW with Cognitive Processing at the center. This may not be different from what many teams have been doing for years.
Choose a PSW model with academic achievement and instruction at the center. This would position your district for implementation of RtI in the future.
Does the option I am considering fit with the spirit of the USDOE?
Will this option solve the achievement gap that exists in my district?
How does this option accurately distinguish between underachievement and SLD?
Will this emphasize prevention, early identification and treatment?
Does my decision impact the problem?
The purpose of this document is both to assist districts in complying with all state rules and federal regulations regarding SLD, and to encourage districts to make a long-term plan for reshaping identification practices. It is not intended to mandate an approach, nor is it intended to establish a single methodology for SLD identification across the county.
The intended audience for this document includes special education directors and supervisors, and the MET representatives who have a role in developing district procedures for the identification of SLD. Decisions about practice implications cannot and should not be made at the ISD level.
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