If this sounds like your child or student, and you have had difficulty getting help in Maryland, please consult Decoding Dyslexia Maryland's reference guide and resources below to get your student the help they need! Our handy guide is embedded at the end of this post and can be accessed here: Decoding Dyslexia Maryland Dispute Resolution Guide
Maryland State Department of Education: Information on Identification of Specific Learning Disabilities and Eligibility for Special Education
COMAR 13A.05.01.03B(68) Definitions
“Student with a disability” means a student, 3 through 20 years old:
(a) evaluated in accordance with Regulation .06 of this chapter as having: autism,
deaf-blindness, emotional disturbance, hearing impairment, including deafness, mental retardation, multiple disability, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury, or visual impairment, including blindness; and
(b) who, because of the impairment, needs special education and related services.
These State regulations indicate that, in order to be eligible for services under IDEA, a student must meet the disability definition and require special education and related services. For specific learning disabilities, the regulations provide additional criteria to aid in the identification process. This entails the application of the definition in conjunction with specific procedures outlined in the regulations. (Source: MSDE Specific Learning Disabilities Technical Assistance Guide)
Federal/State Definition of Specific Learning Disability
According to COMAR 13A.05.01.03B(64), the definition of a specific learning disability (SLD) is as follows:
- (a) “SLD” 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 to do mathematical calculations.
- (b) “SLD” includes conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia.
- (c) “SLD” does not include students who have learning problems which are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor impairments, mental retardation, emotional disturbance, or environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.
MSDE Identification of Specific Learning Disabilities in Maryland
SLD Identification Powerpoint (Source: MSDE, 2015)
What is the process to identify a student with specific learning disability in Maryland? Click the powerpoint linked above and learn more about the process. If your school district does it differently, they may be in violation of the student's rights. Please learn about the process so you can ensure your school district and/or school is not denying identification based on incorrect procedures.
Helpful Resources for Parents and Teachers
Department of Education Guidance Letters, Students with Disabilities & Specific Learning Disabilities
Response to Intervention Guidance: RTI cannot be used to deny or delay SLD identification
Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia Guidance for States: schools can say dyslexia, provide interventions for dyslexia and provide teacher education on dyslexia.
Decoding Dyslexia Maryland, Parent Guide: Why Schools Must Say Dyslexia
Letter to State Superintendent Smith, Dyslexia Guidance Request for Maryland
- Maryland Task Force on the Implementation of a Dyslexia Education Program and Pilot in Maryland
- Components of Comprehensive Literacy Instruction
- Dyslexia Specific Resources
- From Emotions to Advocacy
- IDEA Dispute Resolution Chart
- The Differences Between IDEA and Section 504, Wright’s Law
- Using the Woodcock Johnson IV for the Assessment of Dyslexia
- NCLD Position Statement on Determination of SLD
- Dyslexia Training Institute: Dyslexia and the School; What you absolutely need to understand
- Specific Learning Disability Identification: What Constitutes Strengths & Weaknesses?
Decoding Dyslexia Maryland Dispute Resolution Overview and Resources