12. Reducing LD

School psychologists, speech-language pathologists and remedial reading teachers must assume greater responsibility for reducing the LD placement rate. Objective information is still desperately needed to support placement decisions. Related services specialists should not be passive but emphasize a thoughtful approach to data collection that protects at-risk children who might be incorrectly labeled “learning disabled.”

Here are the relevant regulations (IDEA 2004 regulations, Education Legacy):

“The determination of whether a child suspected of having a specific learning disability is a child with a disability as defined in 34 CFR 300.8, must be made by the child’s parents and a team of qualified professionals, which must include:

The child’s regular teacher; or if the child does not have a regular teacher, a regular classroom teacher qualified to teach a child of his or her age; or for a child of less than school age, an individual qualified by the State educational agency (SEA) to teach a child of his or her age; and

At least one person qualified to conduct individual diagnostic examinations of children, such as a school psychologist, speech-language pathologist, or remedial reading teacher.
[34 CFR 300.308] [20 U.S.C. 1221e-3; 1401(30); 1414(b)(6)]”

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