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What is Specified Learning Disability (SLD)?

A specified learning disability, also commonly referred to as SLD, comprises approximately more than half of the special education programs in the US. It is by far the largest group of children with disabilities served in the school setting.

According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education ACT (IDEA), “LD is 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, including such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and development aphasia.” In other words, the observed academic problems are greater than what might be expected based on the child’s intellectual ability. Children with LD are performing below their ability, intelligence or potential.

Currently, SLD is defined by the state of Nebraska as a discrepancy between a child's measured ability and academic performance. This split must be 20 points or more before a child is considered to have a learning disability. Due to upcoming changes with Response to Intervention (see link); however, this process of verification is subject to change.

Special Education Departments


Questions? Comments? Please email Scott or Tracey.