Specific learning disabilities are heterogeneous in nature, often differing markedly from one person to the next. The Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia, effective on July 7, 2009, and reissued on January 25, 2010 (the Virginia Regulations) define the terms as follows.
"Specific learning disability" means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or do mathematical calculations. The term includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. The term does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities; of intellectual disabilities; of emotional disabilities; of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage. (COV § 22.1-213; 34 CFR 300.8 (c) (10) )
Various Types of Specific Learning Disabilities – More information on the conditions below:
- Dyslexia (Reading Disability)
- Dysgraphia (Writing Disability)
- Dyscalculia (Mathematics Disability)
- Developmental Aphasia (Expressive language)
- Virginia's Guidelines for Educating Students with Specific Learning Disabilities (PDF) Also available as Accessible Word Document (Word) – A resource for teachers and administrators as they address the educational needs of students with a Specific Learning Disability (SLD). These guidelines offer an overview of best practices for educating individuals with SLD. Parents of children with SLD may find this document useful as well.
- Specific Learning Disability Supplementary Guide Dyslexia: Frequently Asked Questions-This is a PDF document. (PDF) – This document is designed to be a resource for teachers, administrators and parents to address the educational needs of students with dyslexia. It provides information on the resources and services available to students with dyslexia through general education, as well as any student with dyslexia who may qualify to receive services as a student with a Specific Learning Disability (SLD) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504).
- The document Procedures for Participation of Students with Disabilities in Virginia's Accountability System has been updated and reorganized into two documents as follows:
- Students with Disabilities: Guidelines for Assessment Participation (PDF) – Provides the state assessment options available to students with disabilities, the participation criteria, and information about the roles and responsibilities of Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams and 504 committees in making assessment determinations.
- Students with Disabilities: Guidelines for Special Test Accommodations (PDF) – Provides information on a four-step process for selecting and using test accommodations and a description of test accommodations currently permitted on state assessments.
- Responsive Instruction: Refining Our Work of Teaching All Children (PDF) – This Virginia Response to Intervention (RTI) guidance document and its supplement monographs are designed to assist school divisions in understanding what RTI is, its origins in educational practice and research, its usefulness and value and several ways it can be implemented.
- RTI and the Special Education Eligibility Process: Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)
- Virginia Tiered Systems of Supports (VTSS)
- Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia (PDF)
- Supporting the Identification and Achievement of Twice-Exceptional Students
- Supporting World Language Learning for Students with Disabilities-This is a PDF document. (PDF) – Overview and practical manual for including students with disabilities, difficulties, or other specialized learning needs in the foreign language classroom.
- Accessible Instructional Materials Center of Virginia (AIM-VA) produces and provides – at no cost to school divisions – accessible instructional and educational materials meeting NIMAS requirements for blind students and those with print disabilities. These materials include core instructional materials, trade books, reading interventions, test preparation materials, etc. in accessible digital formats.
- LDOnline – dedicated to the education of students with learning disabilities, learning disorders and differences. Parents and teachers of learning disabled children will find guidance on attention deficit disorder, ADD / ADHD, dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, dysnomia, reading difficulties, speech and related disorders.
- National Association for the Education of African American Children with Learning Disabilities (AACLD) – information and resources provided by an established network of individuals and organizations experienced in minority research and special education.
- National Center for Learning Disabilities – an effective, easy-to-use resource for people seeking authoritative information on learning disabilities. This website includes information on types of LD, for parents, at school, adults with LD and addiontal resources.
- NCLD has a new resource – the LD Navigatorv, an online, comprehensive, clinical tool, developed by the field’s leading experts that enablespediatric professionals and parents to navigate a child’s learning disability.
- National Research Center on Learning Disabilities (NRCLD) – addresses the complex issues surrounding proper identification of students with learning disabilities.
- Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) – the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving the educational success of individuals with disabilities and/or gifts and talents
- Council for Learning Disabilities (CLD) – promotes effective teaching and research.
- International Dyslexia Association – helps individuals with dyslexia.
- Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) – advances the education and general welfare of children and adults with learning disabilities.
- National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY) – Information on disabilities in infants, toddlers, children and youth, IDEA, NCLB and effective educational practices
- Instructional Resources – Reviews of the evidence of effectiveness of curriculum-based interventions and instructional programs can be found at the following: