10. Reducing LD

The eligibility group must be familiar with federal and state eligibility criteria for learning disability, including changes (IDEA 2004 regulations, Education Legacy). It must interpret changes in the discrepancy standard and the reasons for making them. The wording is nuanced:

“Must not require the use of a severe discrepancy between intellectual ability and achievement for determining whether a child has a specific learning disability, as defined in 34 CFR 300.8(c)(10);”

It does not say the school psychologist must stop giving a standard psychometric battery of tests. It says that the group should consider a variety of findings including PATTERNS of test performance revealed by psychometric testing. It places more responsibility on the group to integrate and interpret different kinds of information in support of placement decisions.

It may be that local school eligibility groups in the past have too often deferred automatically to the findings of the school psychologist without considering a range of observations.

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