A factor in the misidentification of hard-to-teach children is “Co-occurring Disabilities.” In 2000, the U. S. Department of Education reported (Education Report 2000):
“One-third of students with disabilities who received special education and related services had co-occurring disabilities. The most common combinations were learning disability and speech/language impairment and learning disability with emotional disturbance.”
We see that speech-language pathologists and school psychologists have been pivotal in the identification of learning disabled children, though their determinations are parallel. Overlap results from the fact that the two disability categories result from the same underlying cognitive-linguistic condition.