Oklahoma State University

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Addendum: Guidelines for Documentation of LD

Guidelines for Documentation of Learning Disabilities

  1. Testing must be comprehensive. More than one assessment device should be administered for the purpose of diagnosis. Testing must address, at the minimum, the following three domains.
    Aptitude: A complete intellectual assessment with all sub-tests and standard scores reported.
    Achievement: A comprehensive academic achievement battery is essential with all sub-tests and standard scores reported for those sub-tests administered. The battery should include current levels of academic functioning in relevant areas such as reading (decoding and comprehension), mathematics, and oral and written language.
    Information Processing: Specific areas of information processing (e.g. short- and long-term memory, sequential memory, auditory and visual perception/processing, processing speed, executive functioning and motor ability) should be assessed.
  2. Documentation must be current. In most cases, this means within the past three years. For older documentation, it should be an adult evaluation. The evaluation must include a clear diagnostic statement. Evidence of a substantial limitation to learning or other major life activity must be provided. Individual "learning styles," "learning differences," "academic problems," and "test difficulty or anxiety," in and of themselves, do not constitute a learning disability. Avoid using terms such as "suggests" or "is indicative of." Provision of reasonable accommodations and services is based on assessment of the impact of the disability on academic performance at a given time in a student's life. Therefore, the best assessment will be made with recent and appropriate documentation relevant to the student's learning environment.
  3. Professionals conducting assessment and rendering diagnoses of specific learning disabilities must be qualified to do so. Experience in working with an adult population is essential. Diagnostic reports must include the names, titles, and professional credentials of the evaluator(s) as well as the date(s) of testing. All reports should be on letterhead, typed, dated, and signed.