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Specific Learning Disability (SLD)

Specific Learning Disability (SLD) is a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using spoken or written language. The disability may be exhibited as an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations. SLD also includes conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia and developmental aphasia. The current Minnesota Rule for SLD was adopted in September 2008 (MDE website).

Two evaluation criteria may be used to determine eligibility for Specific Learning Disabilities (ABC or ABD):
A. Inadequate Achievement
  • in response to appropriate instruction.
  • in one or more of eight areas (Oral Expression, Listening Comprehension, Written Expression, Basic Reading Skills, Reading Comprehension, Reading Fluency, Mathematical Calculation, Mathematical Problem Solving)
  • reported as a pattern of strengths and weaknesses

B. Basic Psychological Processing Deficits
  • documented across multiple settings using a variety of resources (academic observation, CPI)

C. Severe Discrepancy
  • between intellectual ability and achievement

D. Inadequate Rate of Progress
  • 12 data points over seven weeks using
  • repeated measures
  • minimal rate of improvement
  • progress not maintained
  • performance below expectation
  • achievement below five percentile

Staff Resources

Woodcock Johnson III Tests of Achievement
Academic Observation
Basic Psychological Processing
-Observable Indicators
-Interpreting Cognitive Processing Inventory


Marcia Engel
Special Education Supervisor
(952) 681-6520

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