Learning Disabilities

  • According to the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), "learning disability means 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 the 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...Specific learning disability 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."

    Students with learning disabilities typically struggle with one or more areas of academic achievement, despite intensive, scientifically-based interventions implemented by the instructional support team. 

    In New York State, effective July 1, 2012, all school districts must have a Response to Intervention (RtI) framework in place as part of the process to determine if a student in grades kindergarten through grade four has a learning disability (LD) in the area of reading. Furthermore, a school district may not use the severe discrepancy criteria to determine if a student in kindergarten through grade four has a learning disability in the area of reading. 

    If you suspect your child has a learning disability, please speak with your child's teacher, who will refer to the instructional support team to implement interventions and monitor progress.