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4. Establishes procedures for evaluating a child suspected of having a specific learning disability.
Notwithstanding Section 607(b), when determining whether a child has a specific learning disability as defined in Section 602:
  • An LEA shall not be required to take into consideration whether a child has a severe discrepancy between achievement and intellectual ability in oral expression, listening comprehension, written expression, basic reading skill, reading comprehension, mathematical calculation, or mathematical reasoning.
  • An LEA may use a process that determines if the child responds to scientific, research-based intervention as a part of the evaluation procedures.


Dialogue Starter - Cross-stakeholder

Reaction Questions

  1. Why do you think Congress changed IDEA 2004 to allow LEAs to use a process that determines if the child responds to scientific, research-based interventions as part of the evaluation procedures when determining whether a child has a specific learning disability?

  2. What are the benefits or drawbacks to not using the IQ/achievement discrepancy requirement?

  3. What are “scientific, research-based interventions”?

  4. What resources might be available to locate scientific, research-based interventions for use in schools?

  5. What are the implications for instructional practices in the general education setting and curriculum?

  6. What are the key components in an effective process that measures the response to research-based interventions?

  7. How much can an intervention be modified and still be considered “scientifically based”?

  8. How important is it for there to be consistency in identification procedures across districts within a state?

Application Questions

  1. What might be the process for selecting, implementing, and evaluating the effectiveness of interventions?
    • Who conducts the intervention?
    • Where does the intervention occur?
    • How long does the intervention last?

  2. What might be the role of SEAs in promoting consistent identification procedures?

  3. When a LEA has chosen to use a Response to Intervention (RTI) model, when would data from an individual cognitive assessment contribute to the decision-making process?

  4. What role will progress monitoring play in both the initial evaluation and the reevaluation?

    These questions were developed by the following stakeholders working together:

    Role: Special Education Researcher
    Location: Kentucky

    Role: School Psychologist
    Location: Maryland:

    Role: Administrator
    Location: Illinois

    Role: LD Researcher
    Location: Kansas

    Role: Related Services Provider
    Location: Ohio

    Role: Parent Advocate
    Location: Maryland