The simple answer is NO!

Specific learning disabilities can include, without limitation, the following:

  • Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
  • Dyslexia
  • Dyscalculia
  • Dysgraphia
  • Language Processing Disorder
  • Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities
  • Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit

Determination of a specific learning disability (SLD) cannot be made using a single criterion. That means that one assessment method, assessment score, or observation can be used. The US Department of Education has opined that the “IQ-discrepancy criterion is potentially harmful to students as it results in delaying intervention until the student’s achievement is sufficiently low that the discrepancy is achieved.”

School districts may adopt a severe discrepancy model to determine whether a student has a SLD. However, if the student does not qualify under the severe discrepancy model, the district must determine if the student does not achieve adequately for the student’s age or meet state-approved standards when provided with age-appropriate learning experiences and instruction in one or more of the following areas:

  • Oral expression
  • Listening Comprehension
  • Written expression
  • Basic reading skills
  • Reading fluency skills
  • Reading comprehension
  • Mathematics calculation
  • Mathematics problem solving

The IEP team may also consider a pattern of strengths and weaknesses in performance and/or achievement. This is not a stand-alone methodology.

If the IEP team determines that a SLD exists, then they need to determine whether special education and related services are needed for the child to receive a free and appropriate public education.

If you suspect your child has a specific learning disability and you are being told your child must fail before the school district will help, or they refuse to look past the discrepancy model, call Kristin at (925) 551-1041.

(Note: This Blog/Web Site is made available for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. The website has been designed to be a resource for information on matters that might be of interest to current or potential clients but does not establish that relationship. For further information visit my Disclaimer page-



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