Various Types of Specific Learning Disabilities
Defined in the Virginia Regulations
The Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia (effective March 27, 2002) define the term as follows:
Dyslexia is distinguished from other learning disabilities due to its weakness occurring at the phonological level. Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.
- International Dyslexia Association (IDA) – Includes basic and technical information, including Just the Facts… Understanding Your Dyslexia and Testing and Evaluation (PDF) – this resource provides the characteristics of dyslexia in early childhood/primary grades through middle/secondary school.
- National Center for Learning Disabilities – The National Center for Learning Disabilities works to ensure that the children, adolescents and adults with learning disabilities have every opportunity to succeed in school, work and life.
- DyslexiaEd – This site includes interviews with successful students and adults with dyslexia, who offer advice to children and their parents. The content was developed in part with membership from individual state departments of special education. However, this content does not necessarily represent the policy of any individual state department of education or have the endorsement of the federal or state government.
- Sparktop – This website was created for students in grades 8-12 who have learning difficulties (including dyslexia). Students learn about the brain and how it works and their strengths. Parents and teachers will find useful information and strategies to assist children in the classroom.
- Study of Dyslexia Screening for Kindergartners (PDF) – In 2010, the General Assembly passed Senate Joint Resolution 87 requesting that VDOE study Dyslexia screening for kindergarteners.
Additional Specific Learning Disabilities not defined in Virginia Regulations
Written Language Disability – Dysgraphia/Agraphia
Dysgraphia is a disorder of writing caused by neurological damage. Dysgraphia affects the student’s ability to write which requires motor and linguistic skills.
Mathematics Disability – Dyscalculia
Dyscalculia is the inability to understand and remember mathematics concepts, rules, formulas, basic computation skills, and sequence of operations.
Expressive Language – Developmental Aphasia
Aphasia is a language disorder that affects the student’s ability to understand and express linguistic messages.