Specific Learning Disability

Specific learning disability means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia.

1. Disorders not included. Specific learning disability does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.

Prior to and as part of the evaluation and in order 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 mathematics, the following must be considered:

1. Data that demonstrates the child was provided appropriate instruction in reading (as described in 20 USC, §6368(3)), and/or mathematics within general education settings delivered by qualified personnel; and

2. Data‐based documentation of repeated assessments of achievement at reasonable intervals, reflecting formal evaluation of student progress during instruction. Data‐based documentation of repeated assessments may include, but is not limited to, response to intervention progress monitoring results, in‐class tests on grade‐level curriculum, or other regularly administered assessments. Intervals are considered reasonable if consistent with the assessment requirements of a student's specific instructional program.

3. A student with a learning disability is one who:

a. Has been determined through a variety of assessment tools and strategies to meet the criteria for a specific learning disability and,

b. does not achieve adequately for the child's age or meet state‐approved grade‐level standards in oral expression, listening comprehension, written expression, basic reading skill, reading fluency skills, reading comprehension, mathematics calculation, or mathematics problem solving when provided appropriate instruction, as indicated by performance on multiple measures such as in‐class tests; grade average over time (e.g. six weeks, semester); norm‐ or criterion‐referenced tests; statewide assessments; or a process based on the child's response to scientific, research‐based intervention; and

(I) does not make sufficient progress when provided a process based on the child's response to scientific, research‐based intervention (as defined in 20 USC, §7801(37)), as indicated by the child's performance relative to the performance of the child's peers on repeated, curriculum‐based assessments of achievement at reasonable intervals, reflecting student progress during classroom instruction; or

(II) exhibits a pattern of strengths and weaknesses in performance, achievement, or both relative to age, grade‐level standards, or intellectual ability, as indicated by significant variance among specific areas of cognitive function, such as working memory and verbal comprehension, or between specific areas of cognitive function and academic achievement.