Learning Disability Identification: What You Need to Know about the Discrepancy and Patterns of Strengths and Weaknessess ("Third Method") Models

The special education process for identifying a student with specific learning disabilities is one of the greatest challenges the parent of a child with specific learning disabilities can face.  Not only do you need to understand how your district defines/identifies what a specific learning disability is, but you need to know how your child qualifies for special education services under their definition.  This challenge arises because we do not have a hard and fast definition of a specific learning disability.  You as a parent see that your child is not performing well in school.  It would seem to be cut and dried that your child has a specific learning disability of some sort or another.  However, there are many factors involved with identifying a learning disability, and not all academic problems are caused by a specific learning disability. Written by Joyce Reynolds-Ward, M.S. (and reprinted with permission from Doug Goldberg at The Special Education Advisor (www.SpecialEducationAdvisor.com).  This issue of NASET’s LD Report will focus on LD identification and what teachers and parents need to know about the discrepancy and patterns of strengths and weaknesses (“third method”) models.

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