Specific Learning Disabilities

Specific Learning Disabilities


A child with a Specific Learning Disability exhibits a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or using language: spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations.

The term includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia and developmental aphasia. Students with specific learning disabilities experience variable levels of difficulty using different forms of language in reading, proficiency in writing and spelling, and understanding math. The term does not apply to students who have learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing or motor disabilities; intellectual disabilities; emotional or behavioral disorders; or environmental, cultural or economic disadvantages.


A comprehensive psycho-educational evaluation, progress monitoring indicating a lack of response to intensive interventions, a classroom observation, and analysis of work samples are used to identify a child who may be struggling due to specific learning disabilities. Response to Intervention (RTI) is a systematic system where students who are struggling are provided with increasingly intensive instructional interventions. Early intervention and multisensory instruction are recommended to support these students in the school environment.