Special Education

Specific Learning Disability Posting

July 29, 2010

Each local educational agency and public school academy in Michigan is required to publicly post the process used to determine the existence of a Specific Learning Disability (SLD).

A Specific Learning Disability (SLD) is 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 do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia” that adversely affects a student’s educational performance.  A “Specific Learning Disability (SLD) does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of cognitive impairment, of emotional impairment, of autism spectrum disorder, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.” (MARSE Rule 340.1713)

Consistent with the requirement to publicly post the process to determine SLD, the local education agencies in Eaton County will use a Pattern of Strengths and Weaknesses (PSW) process in the determination of a Specific Learning Disability.  This process is used for students in kindergarten through 12th grade for the skill area of Basic Reading.  This process is also used across all other areas of SLD, kindergarten through 12th grade, which includes, Oral Expression, Listening Comprehension, Written Expression, Reading Comprehension, Reading Fluency, Math Calculation, and Math Problem Solving.

The district uses a Pattern of Strengths and Weaknesses Process for the determination of a Specific Learning Disability for all buildings and all grades in the district and includes the following:

  • The student does not achieve adequately for the student’s age or to meet State approved grade-level standards in one or more of the areas identified at 34 CFR §300.309(a)(1)(i) when provided with learning experiences and instruction appropriate for the student’s age or State-approved grade-level standards.
  • The student exhibits a pattern of strengths and weaknesses in performance, achievement, or both, relative to age, State-approved grade-level standards, or intellectual development, that is determined by the Multi-disciplinary Evaluation Team (MET) to be relevant to the identification of a SLD, using appropriate assessments, consistent with the IDEA Evaluation Procedures and Additional Requirements for Evaluations and Reevaluations. (Michigan Criteria for Determining the Existence of a Specific Learning Disability, May 2010, Page 6, Section VI)

It is noted that regardless of the process used, all schools must follow all of the regulatory requirements in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education, and Michigan laws, policies and procedures for special education.