Eligibility for Special Education under designation of Specific Learning Disability
The Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education (MARSE) define eligibility for special education services within thirteen categories of disability.
R 340.1702 Student with a disability defined.
Rule 2. “Student with a disability” means a person who is determined by an individualized education program team or a hearing officer to have 1 or more of the impairments specified in this part that necessitates special education or related services, or both, who is not more than 25 years of age as of September 1 of the school year of enrollment, who has not completed a normal course of study, and who has not graduated from high school. A student who reaches the age of 26 years after September 1 is a “student with a disability” and entitled to continue a special education program or service until the end of that school year.
R 340.1713 Specific Learning Disability explained; determination.
Rule 13 (1) “Specific learning disability” means a disorder in 1 or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. Specific learning disability does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of cognitive impairment, of emotional impairment, of autism spectrum disorder, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.
(2) In determining whether a student has a learning disability, the state shall:
(a) Not require the use of a severe discrepancy between intellectual ability and achievement.
(b) Permit the use of a process based on the child’s response to scientific, research-based intervention.
(c) Permit the use of other alternative research-based procedures.
(3) A determination of learning disability shall be based upon a comprehensive evaluation by a multidisciplinary evaluation team, which shall include at least both of the following:
(a) The student’s general education teacher or, if the student does not have a general education teacher, a general education teacher qualified to teach a student of his or her age or, for a child of less than school age, an individual qualified by the state educational agency to teach a child of his or her age.
(b) At least 1 person qualified to conduct individual diagnostic examinations of children, such as a school psychologist, an authorized provider of speech and language under R 340.1745(d), or a teacher consultant.
Note– In 2010, MDE published “Michigan Criteria for Determining the Existence of a Specific Learning Disability”. This document issued the following requirement of local school districts: On or before September 1, 2010, each local educational agency (LEA) and public school academy (PSA) must publicly post on their web site, or make public through other means, the process or combination of processes which will be used by the LEA or PSA to determine the existence of a SLD. (§ 300.307(b) and § 300.600(d)(2)).