An article by Edward Schultz in LDA Newsbriefs concerns new definitions of learning disabilities that must be recognized through the 2004 Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA).
This article describes why severe discrepancies between ability and achievement (see below) are no longer required to qualify your child for an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) at school, and the author discusses new methods of determining who can profit from special classes or special teaching methods.
PL 94-142, the original law regarding special teaching and classes for students with handicapping conditions, appeared in the 1970′s. The law was aimed at helping physically challenged students, e.g., those requiring a wheelchair to get around, or those who lacked the muscular control to produce good penmanship, gain access to the comprehensive public school.
However, enterprising educators, psychologists, and others in the helping professions soon realized that there were many students who had no physical challenges, but they did have learning challenges such as dyslexia or poor auditory processing.
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