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Specific Learning Disability

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA '97) defines Specific Learning Disability (SLD) as "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 an 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. The term 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."

A team may determine that a student has a specific learning disability if:

The student does not achieve commensurate with his or her age and ability levels in one or more of the areas listed below, when provided with learning experiences appropriate for the student's age and ability levels, and
The team finds that a student has a severe discrepancy between achievement and intellectual ability in one or more of the following areas:

Oral expression
Listening comprehension
Written expression
Basic reading skill
Reading comprehension
Mathematics calculation
Mathematics reasoning
The team may not identify a student as having a specific learning disability if the severe discrepancy between ability and achievement is primarily the result of:

A visual, hearing, or motor impairment
Mental retardation
Emotional disturbance
Environmental, cultural or economic disadvantage.

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