Specific Learning Disorder

April 30, 2016

A.    Difficulties learning and using academic skills, as indicated by the presence of at leastone of the following symptoms that have persisted for at least 6 months, despite theprovision of interventions that target those difficulties:

1. Inaccurate or slow and effortful word reading (e.g., reads single words aloud incorrectlyor slowly and hesitantly, frequently guesses words, has difficulty soundingout words).

2. Difficulty understanding the meaning of what is read (e.g., may read text accuratelybut not understand the sequence, relationships, inferences, or deeper meanings ofwhat is read).

3. Difficulties with spelling (e.g., may add, omit, or substitute vowels or consonants).

4. Difficulties with written expression (e.g., makes multiple grammatical or punctuationerrors within sentences; employs poor paragraph organization; written expressionof ideas lacks clarity).

5. Difficulties mastering number sense, number facts, or calculation (e.g., has poorunderstanding of numbers, their magnitude, and relationships; counts on fingers toadd single-digit numbers instead of recalling the math fact as peers do; gets lost inthe midst of arithmetic computation and may switch procedures).

6. Difficulties with mathematical reasoning (e.g., has severe difficulty applying mathematicalconcepts, facts, or procedures to solve quantitative problems).


B.     The affected academic skills are substantially and quantifiably below those expectedfor the individual’s chronological age, and cause significant interference with academicor occupational performance, or with activities of daily living, as confirmed by individuallyadministered standardized achievement measures and comprehensive clinicalassessment. For individuals age 17 years and older, a documented history of impairinglearning difficulties may be substituted for the standardized assessment.


C.     The learning difficulties begin during school-age years but may not become fully manifestuntil the demands for those affected academic skills exceed the individual’s limited capacities (e.g., as in timed tests, reading or writing lengthy complex reports for a tight deadline, excessively heavy academic loads).


D.     The learning difficulties are not better accounted for by intellectual disabilities, uncorrected visual or auditory acuity, other mental or neurological disorders, psychosocial adversity, lack of proficiency in the language of academic instruction, or inadequate educational instruction.



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