Learning Disabilities: The Rules May Be Changing! - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Title: Learning Disabilities: The Rules May Be Changing!


1
Learning Disabilities The Rules May Be Changing!
2
Our Mission
  • The National Research Center on Learning
    Disabilities
  • conducts research on the identification of
    learning disabilities
  • formulates implementation recommendations
  • disseminates findings
  • provides technical assistance to national, state,
    and local constituencies

3
Five-Year Focus
  • Review and identify gaps of current knowledge in
    LD
  • Research alternative identification approaches of
    children with LD
  • Analyze the variation in identification of
    children with LD at the SEA and LEA levels
    determine contributing factors
  • Design, implement, and evaluate a dissemination
    and technical assistance approach linking
    research to practice

4
Signature Characteristics of LD
  • Unexpected Learning Failure -- I.E. student is
    generally competent, but profound incompetence in
    a given area
  • Specific Learning Failure Suspected neurological
    dysfunction

5
Long Clinical History for These Two
Characteristics
  • Orton (1920s and 1930s)
  • Morgan and Hinschelwood (late 1800s)
  • Rutter and Yule (1975) on concept of reading
    retardation
  • Unexpected hump in lower portion of distribution
  • 6 times as many males

6
Growth of the LD Construct
  • 1975 high water mark for LD -- Good deal of
    certainty surrounding construct
  • 1977 -- IQ discrepancy in regulations (reasonable
    strategy given clinical/empirical evidence)
  • States bought into discrepancy but all
    operationalized it differently -- led to great
    disparity in prevalence of LD
  • 3 fold increase in LD 1977 to 2000
  • NYC -- 22 of total school budget to SPED. Led to
    questions of how LD being identified

7
Concerns about IQ-Achievement Discrepancy
  • IQ test not valid measure of intelligence (unfair
    to students of color unhelpful to teachers)
  • Students must fail before they can be identified
    (most are identified after age 9 modal age is
    11)
  • Data collected during the identification process
    (e.g., IQ tests) are costly and dont inform
    instruction
  • Labels like LD, BD, MR are stigmatizing and do
    not have instructional validity

8
A Shift in the 1980s -- 1990s
  • Researchers began looking at LA with w/o
    discrepancy -- were they different? (NICHD
    studies with younger children on cognitive tasks
    related to reading found students more common
    than different)
  • Both groups, however, had difficulty with
    phonological awareness (cant hear sounds in
    words)
  • Hence, lets not separate children out for
    purpose of services. There are lots of young
    children who need help than IQ-Achievement
    suggests

9
A Paradigm Shift
  • Modify what we mean by LD so more students get
    services and find additional funding streams to
    serve them (i.e., merge SPED and Title s, etc.)
  • Shift from LD model to LA model

10
Non-responders
  • Many children fail to learn in classrooms
  • Many children learn in classrooms that use best
    practices. Research shows between 10-20 of
    students unresponsive to
  • Phonological awareness training in Pre-K and K
  • Beginning decoding instruction in K and 1st
    grade
  • Cooperative learning in grades 2-6

11
Non-responders (cont.)
  • Many children who fail to learn in classrooms are
    referred for testing possible placement in
    special education
  • Most frequently used marker of LD identification
    is IQ-achievement discrepancy

12
An Alternative -- Responsiveness to Intervention
(RTI)
  • Many (all?) children in a class, school, or
    district are tested by one-point-in-time test
    administration or by repeated measurement in
    given period in general education classroom
    (judged on rate of progress on performance level)
  • At-risk students are identified for
    intervention on the basis of their performance
    level or growth rate or both

13
An Alternative -- Responsiveness to Intervention
(RTI) cont.
  • Intervention is implemented students are tested
    following, or throughout, the intervention period
    (i.e., progress is monitored)
  • Those who dont respond are identified as
    requiring
  • Multi-disciplinary team evaluation for possible
    disability certification SPED or
  • More intensive intervention(s)

14
Advantages to RTI Approach
  • Provides assistance to needy children in timely
    fashion. It is NOT a wait-to-fail model.
  • Helps ensure that students poor academic
    performance is not due to poor instruction (i.e.,
    a scientifically-validated intervention will be
    used)

15
Advantages to RTI Approach (cont.)
  • Assessment data are collected to inform the
    teacher improve instruction. Assessments
    interventions are closely linked
  • In some RTI models (e.g., IA, MN, SC)
    non-responders are not given labels, which are
    presumed to stigmatize that represent
    disability categories that have little
    instructional validity

16
Two Approaches to RTI
  • Problem solving approach (favored by
    practitioners)
  • Standard treatment protocol approach (favored by
    researchers)

17
4-Stage Problem Solving Model
  • Problem identification
  • Problem analysis and intervention design
  • Implementation of the intervention
  • Evaluation of intervention effectiveness
  • If it doesnt work, cycle back to step 2

18
1-Level Problem Solving Model (Prereferral
intervention)
  • Behavioral consultation (e.g., Mainstream
    Assistance Teams)
  • Collaborative consultation (e.g., Teacher
    Assistance Teams)
  • Collaborative Problem Solving (PA Instructional
    Support Teams)
  • (These are popular ways to deal with over
    identification problem. Add extra resources to
    increase the quality of instruction)

19
Multiple-level Problem Solving
  • Heartland, IA
  • Level 1 Teacher-parent
  • Level 2 Teacher-teacher (Building Assistance
    Teams)
  • Level 3 Heartland staff-teachers
  • Level 4 Special education eligibility
  • Bottom Line (1) Does it work? (2) Is it
    feasible?

20
Standard Treatment Protocol RTI
  • Used only by researchers. Hasnt been embedded
    into natural settings
  • Advantage All students get the same
    intervention, rigorous, validated, can easily
    monitor fidelity of implementation
  • Disadvantage Dont tailor to unique needs of
    students

21
LD State of the States
  • National Center for Research
  • on Learning Disabilities
  • Vanderbilt University and the University of
    Kansas
  • Supported by the Office of Special Education
    Programs

22
LD State of the States
  • 50 states responded to LD Survey
  • General Trends
  • 82 use federal LD definition or slight revision
  • 90 include processing factors in dn., but only
    26 specify the processes
  • IQ level and LD eligibility is not specified by
    78 of states

23
LD State of the States
  • All states specify the following exclusion
    conditions, VI, HI, MI, MR, ED, environmentally
    disadvantaged, culturally disadvantaged, and
    economically disadvantaged

24
LD State of the States
  • 94 of states require as severe discrepancy
    between achievement and intellectual ability, BUT
  • No consistent method
  • 32 of states provide no guidance on how to
    determine the discrepancy or the size of the
    discrepancy required

25
LD State of the States
  • Discrepancy determination methods
  • 24 use standard score difference, stated in
    terms of SD or point spread
  • 24 use regression method
  • 42 do not specify method or criteria OR leave it
    to the professional judgment of the team
  • 20 miscellaneous, or uninterpretable
  • Percentage criterion (NY)
  • Unspecified statistical formula
  • Differences between achievement areas

26
LD State of the States
  • Salient trends
  • Too many students classified as LD
  • Students often classified as LD even though they
    do not have a real disability
  • Opposed to retaining the IQ-ach discrep
  • Support identification of LD using dual
    discrepancy criteria

27
LD State of the States
  • Salient trends (cont.)
  • Support for RTT as identification method
  • Disagree that IQ-ach discrep. identifies readers
    most likely to make gains
  • Agree that IQ-ach discrep. often causes harm by
    delaying ident. and tmt.
  • Early tmt more effective than later tmt

28
LD State of the States
  • Salient trends (cont.)
  • Agree that progress monitoring should be required
    in regs/rules
  • Disagree with retaining IQ-ach. discrep. because
    it is unique to LD
  • Agree that too many minority students are
    identified as LD

29
LD State of the States
  • Rule replacement-Waiver
  • 14 states permit sp. ed. rule replacement or
    waiver----Low estimate ???
  • Very few reported waivers now, and nearly all
    reported very few districts involved
  • Example MO has permissive rules regarding
    alternative criteria, but no districts so far
  • Example MN Waiver to Minneapolis, palpable
    hostility by SDE and Bureau of Sp Ed

30
States with Rule Replacement or Rule Waiver Percentage of Districts involved
Alaska 999- no report
California .5
Colorado 2
Idaho 1
Illinois 2
Maine 10
Michigan 999
Minnesota 1
Missouri 0
New Jersey 999
South Dakota 999
Tennessee 89- 58 waivers, 31 permits
Washington 0
Wisconsin .2
31
States allowing non-categorical eligibility Yes Yes With Waiver
Idaho X
Iowa X
Kentucky X
Minnesota X
Missouri X
New Jersey X
South Dakota X
Virginia X
Wisconsin X
32
LD State of the States
  • Regional units vs. Districts
  • SERRCs in OH AEAs in IA, BOCES in NY
  • Usually provide specialized services, but do not
    establish special ed. progams
  • Influence over districts varies significantly
  • Implementation by districts often at the
    discretion of the districes
  • In IA and OH, work with both SERRCs and AEAs
  • Similar patterns in other states

33
LD State of the States
  • States with current alternative identification
    policies/projects
  • IA-state rules permit non-categorical
    identification and problem solving identification
    methods
  • IL-several projects underway, Chicago, Northern
    Suburban Sp Ed District, probable other sites
  • MN-one site, Minneapolis, controversial, also
    Pine Co, SCRED,
  • FL-State Dept, U. of South Florida Note the
    Torgeson group at FSU
  • SC-Horry Co., other places likely to initiate
    projects

34
LD State of the States
  • States with good potential or a districts with
    expertise
  • KS-state director one regional unit, probably
    more
  • ID-Hear about activity there, no contacts
  • CA-Delano district, probably others
  • MO-has rules that permit alternative
    criteria-Columbia district has potential
  • PA-Instructional consultation model in place, but
    not in identification
  • MD-Instructional consultation as prereferral, but
    not in identification

35
LD State of the States
  • States with good potential or a districts with
    expertise
  • OH-Several SERRCs-regional units- are interested,
    influence on districts
  • OR-U. of Oregon group, cooperating school
    districts
  • TX-Sharon Vaughn et al., UT Houston group
  • NC-expressed interest, but strong cross currents

36
Designing a Model for Utilization
  • The Utilization Model is as important as the LD
    identification model
  • Validation is evidential- and consequential-based
  • Constituent-centered activities
  • Opportunities for sustained interactions
    (exploring values, beliefs, contextual issues)

37
Audience Perspectives
  • 1. What is the LD identification problem from
    your perspective?
  • 2. What distinguishes a student with a disability
    from other students who have difficulty?
  • 3. Based on your experience, what is/are the
    distinguishing characteristics of students with a
    specific learning disability?
  • 4. What is your role in the schools?
  • 5. How long have you worked in that role?
  • 6. How long have you worked in the schools all
    together?
  • 7. Whose role has the most important voice in
    determining whether a student is classified as
    having a specific learning disability?
  • 8. When you hear discussions about the value of
    identifying students or of not identifying
    students with a specific learning disability,
    what values or benefits do you hear expressed?
  • 9. When you think of a specific learning
    disabilities identification model, what
    attributes do you think are particularly
    important for that model?

38
Premise Changes in technology and policy are not
sufficient
  • We have to understand and address
  • How key stakeholders see their role
  • the technology used with LD
  • the school realities that support current
    practices.

39
Doug Fuchs Synopsis
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Learning Disabilities: The Rules May Be Changing!

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Title: Learning Disabilities: The Rules May Be Changing!


1
Learning Disabilities The Rules May Be Changing!
2
Our Mission
  • The National Research Center on Learning
    Disabilities
  • conducts research on the identification of
    learning disabilities
  • formulates implementation recommendations
  • disseminates findings
  • provides technical assistance to national, state,
    and local constituencies

3
Five-Year Focus
  • Review and identify gaps of current knowledge in
    LD
  • Research alternative identification approaches of
    children with LD
  • Analyze the variation in identification of
    children with LD at the SEA and LEA levels
    determine contributing factors
  • Design, implement, and evaluate a dissemination
    and technical assistance approach linking
    research to practice

4
Signature Characteristics of LD
  • Unexpected Learning Failure -- I.E. student is
    generally competent, but profound incompetence in
    a given area
  • Specific Learning Failure Suspected neurological
    dysfunction

5
Long Clinical History for These Two
Characteristics
  • Orton (1920s and 1930s)
  • Morgan and Hinschelwood (late 1800s)
  • Rutter and Yule (1975) on concept of reading
    retardation
  • Unexpected hump in lower portion of distribution
  • 6 times as many males

6
Growth of the LD Construct
  • 1975 high water mark for LD -- Good deal of
    certainty surrounding construct
  • 1977 -- IQ discrepancy in regulations (reasonable
    strategy given clinical/empirical evidence)
  • States bought into discrepancy but all
    operationalized it differently -- led to great
    disparity in prevalence of LD
  • 3 fold increase in LD 1977 to 2000
  • NYC -- 22 of total school budget to SPED. Led to
    questions of how LD being identified

7
Concerns about IQ-Achievement Discrepancy
  • IQ test not valid measure of intelligence (unfair
    to students of color unhelpful to teachers)
  • Students must fail before they can be identified
    (most are identified after age 9 modal age is
    11)
  • Data collected during the identification process
    (e.g., IQ tests) are costly and dont inform
    instruction
  • Labels like LD, BD, MR are stigmatizing and do
    not have instructional validity

8
A Shift in the 1980s -- 1990s
  • Researchers began looking at LA with w/o
    discrepancy -- were they different? (NICHD
    studies with younger children on cognitive tasks
    related to reading found students more common
    than different)
  • Both groups, however, had difficulty with
    phonological awareness (cant hear sounds in
    words)
  • Hence, lets not separate children out for
    purpose of services. There are lots of young
    children who need help than IQ-Achievement
    suggests

9
A Paradigm Shift
  • Modify what we mean by LD so more students get
    services and find additional funding streams to
    serve them (i.e., merge SPED and Title s, etc.)
  • Shift from LD model to LA model

10
Non-responders
  • Many children fail to learn in classrooms
  • Many children learn in classrooms that use best
    practices. Research shows between 10-20 of
    students unresponsive to
  • Phonological awareness training in Pre-K and K
  • Beginning decoding instruction in K and 1st
    grade
  • Cooperative learning in grades 2-6

11
Non-responders (cont.)
  • Many children who fail to learn in classrooms are
    referred for testing possible placement in
    special education
  • Most frequently used marker of LD identification
    is IQ-achievement discrepancy

12
An Alternative -- Responsiveness to Intervention
(RTI)
  • Many (all?) children in a class, school, or
    district are tested by one-point-in-time test
    administration or by repeated measurement in
    given period in general education classroom
    (judged on rate of progress on performance level)
  • At-risk students are identified for
    intervention on the basis of their performance
    level or growth rate or both

13
An Alternative -- Responsiveness to Intervention
(RTI) cont.
  • Intervention is implemented students are tested
    following, or throughout, the intervention period
    (i.e., progress is monitored)
  • Those who dont respond are identified as
    requiring
  • Multi-disciplinary team evaluation for possible
    disability certification SPED or
  • More intensive intervention(s)

14
Advantages to RTI Approach
  • Provides assistance to needy children in timely
    fashion. It is NOT a wait-to-fail model.
  • Helps ensure that students poor academic
    performance is not due to poor instruction (i.e.,
    a scientifically-validated intervention will be
    used)

15
Advantages to RTI Approach (cont.)
  • Assessment data are collected to inform the
    teacher improve instruction. Assessments
    interventions are closely linked
  • In some RTI models (e.g., IA, MN, SC)
    non-responders are not given labels, which are
    presumed to stigmatize that represent
    disability categories that have little
    instructional validity

16
Two Approaches to RTI
  • Problem solving approach (favored by
    practitioners)
  • Standard treatment protocol approach (favored by
    researchers)

17
4-Stage Problem Solving Model
  • Problem identification
  • Problem analysis and intervention design
  • Implementation of the intervention
  • Evaluation of intervention effectiveness
  • If it doesnt work, cycle back to step 2

18
1-Level Problem Solving Model (Prereferral
intervention)
  • Behavioral consultation (e.g., Mainstream
    Assistance Teams)
  • Collaborative consultation (e.g., Teacher
    Assistance Teams)
  • Collaborative Problem Solving (PA Instructional
    Support Teams)
  • (These are popular ways to deal with over
    identification problem. Add extra resources to
    increase the quality of instruction)

19
Multiple-level Problem Solving
  • Heartland, IA
  • Level 1 Teacher-parent
  • Level 2 Teacher-teacher (Building Assistance
    Teams)
  • Level 3 Heartland staff-teachers
  • Level 4 Special education eligibility
  • Bottom Line (1) Does it work? (2) Is it
    feasible?

20
Standard Treatment Protocol RTI
  • Used only by researchers. Hasnt been embedded
    into natural settings
  • Advantage All students get the same
    intervention, rigorous, validated, can easily
    monitor fidelity of implementation
  • Disadvantage Dont tailor to unique needs of
    students

21
LD State of the States
  • National Center for Research
  • on Learning Disabilities
  • Vanderbilt University and the University of
    Kansas
  • Supported by the Office of Special Education
    Programs

22
LD State of the States
  • 50 states responded to LD Survey
  • General Trends
  • 82 use federal LD definition or slight revision
  • 90 include processing factors in dn., but only
    26 specify the processes
  • IQ level and LD eligibility is not specified by
    78 of states

23
LD State of the States
  • All states specify the following exclusion
    conditions, VI, HI, MI, MR, ED, environmentally
    disadvantaged, culturally disadvantaged, and
    economically disadvantaged

24
LD State of the States
  • 94 of states require as severe discrepancy
    between achievement and intellectual ability, BUT
  • No consistent method
  • 32 of states provide no guidance on how to
    determine the discrepancy or the size of the
    discrepancy required

25
LD State of the States
  • Discrepancy determination methods
  • 24 use standard score difference, stated in
    terms of SD or point spread
  • 24 use regression method
  • 42 do not specify method or criteria OR leave it
    to the professional judgment of the team
  • 20 miscellaneous, or uninterpretable
  • Percentage criterion (NY)
  • Unspecified statistical formula
  • Differences between achievement areas

26
LD State of the States
  • Salient trends
  • Too many students classified as LD
  • Students often classified as LD even though they
    do not have a real disability
  • Opposed to retaining the IQ-ach discrep
  • Support identification of LD using dual
    discrepancy criteria

27
LD State of the States
  • Salient trends (cont.)
  • Support for RTT as identification method
  • Disagree that IQ-ach discrep. identifies readers
    most likely to make gains
  • Agree that IQ-ach discrep. often causes harm by
    delaying ident. and tmt.
  • Early tmt more effective than later tmt

28
LD State of the States
  • Salient trends (cont.)
  • Agree that progress monitoring should be required
    in regs/rules
  • Disagree with retaining IQ-ach. discrep. because
    it is unique to LD
  • Agree that too many minority students are
    identified as LD

29
LD State of the States
  • Rule replacement-Waiver
  • 14 states permit sp. ed. rule replacement or
    waiver----Low estimate ???
  • Very few reported waivers now, and nearly all
    reported very few districts involved
  • Example MO has permissive rules regarding
    alternative criteria, but no districts so far
  • Example MN Waiver to Minneapolis, palpable
    hostility by SDE and Bureau of Sp Ed

30
States with Rule Replacement or Rule Waiver Percentage of Districts involved
Alaska 999- no report
California .5
Colorado 2
Idaho 1
Illinois 2
Maine 10
Michigan 999
Minnesota 1
Missouri 0
New Jersey 999
South Dakota 999
Tennessee 89- 58 waivers, 31 permits
Washington 0
Wisconsin .2
31
States allowing non-categorical eligibility Yes Yes With Waiver
Idaho X
Iowa X
Kentucky X
Minnesota X
Missouri X
New Jersey X
South Dakota X
Virginia X
Wisconsin X
32
LD State of the States
  • Regional units vs. Districts
  • SERRCs in OH AEAs in IA, BOCES in NY
  • Usually provide specialized services, but do not
    establish special ed. progams
  • Influence over districts varies significantly
  • Implementation by districts often at the
    discretion of the districes
  • In IA and OH, work with both SERRCs and AEAs
  • Similar patterns in other states

33
LD State of the States
  • States with current alternative identification
    policies/projects
  • IA-state rules permit non-categorical
    identification and problem solving identification
    methods
  • IL-several projects underway, Chicago, Northern
    Suburban Sp Ed District, probable other sites
  • MN-one site, Minneapolis, controversial, also
    Pine Co, SCRED,
  • FL-State Dept, U. of South Florida Note the
    Torgeson group at FSU
  • SC-Horry Co., other places likely to initiate
    projects

34
LD State of the States
  • States with good potential or a districts with
    expertise
  • KS-state director one regional unit, probably
    more
  • ID-Hear about activity there, no contacts
  • CA-Delano district, probably others
  • MO-has rules that permit alternative
    criteria-Columbia district has potential
  • PA-Instructional consultation model in place, but
    not in identification
  • MD-Instructional consultation as prereferral, but
    not in identification

35
LD State of the States
  • States with good potential or a districts with
    expertise
  • OH-Several SERRCs-regional units- are interested,
    influence on districts
  • OR-U. of Oregon group, cooperating school
    districts
  • TX-Sharon Vaughn et al., UT Houston group
  • NC-expressed interest, but strong cross currents

36
Designing a Model for Utilization
  • The Utilization Model is as important as the LD
    identification model
  • Validation is evidential- and consequential-based
  • Constituent-centered activities
  • Opportunities for sustained interactions
    (exploring values, beliefs, contextual issues)

37
Audience Perspectives
  • 1. What is the LD identification problem from
    your perspective?
  • 2. What distinguishes a student with a disability
    from other students who have difficulty?
  • 3. Based on your experience, what is/are the
    distinguishing characteristics of students with a
    specific learning disability?
  • 4. What is your role in the schools?
  • 5. How long have you worked in that role?
  • 6. How long have you worked in the schools all
    together?
  • 7. Whose role has the most important voice in
    determining whether a student is classified as
    having a specific learning disability?
  • 8. When you hear discussions about the value of
    identifying students or of not identifying
    students with a specific learning disability,
    what values or benefits do you hear expressed?
  • 9. When you think of a specific learning
    disabilities identification model, what
    attributes do you think are particularly
    important for that model?

38
Premise Changes in technology and policy are not
sufficient
  • We have to understand and address
  • How key stakeholders see their role
  • the technology used with LD
  • the school realities that support current
    practices.

39
Doug Fuchs Synopsis
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