• Michelle

    3 September 2022 at 0 h 05 min

    Hi Claudia,

    Thank you for your question. A few questions first regarding your case:

    Has the student ONLY been provided instruction in English, or were they in a dual language learning program before going into an English only program? Many of my EL students start off in either primary language instruction or two-way immersion, and by 4<sup>th</sup> grade they end up in an English only program. For these students, my team needs to complete a bilingual evaluation and I also include my speech pathologist for most initial referrals.

    Did you establish English as his dominant language using a language proficiency assessment? What is his level of CALP? Is he truly bilingual and fluent in Spanish?? If he is fluent in Spanish, did you assess memory processing in L1 (Spanish) and was it also an area of deficit/weakness?

    It is true that minority students are often over identified and disproportionately placed in special education programs when they are not actually disabled. Did you do a thorough assessment of potential exclusionary factors for SLD?

    For my EL cases I have a section with the heading of Language Proficiency that explains L1 and L2, use of language in school and other settings, and progress on state language proficiency assessments to analyze their rate of language acquisition. All of this information helps me determine what language to assess in, although my team often completes a bilingual evaluation.

    As for the discrepancy model, I have not used it for many years since my district and SELPA uses PSW for SLD cases. However, when I was in my graduate program it was taught at 1.5 standard deviation from ability to achievement. Technically you should be using the regression to the mean formula, but common practice is the 22.5 points (i.e., FSIQ 97; Auditory Processing 74; Basic Reading Skills 72). However, you really need to do a thorough analysis of the exclusionary factors as well as tease out language proficiency before labeling SLD.

    I hope this helps, but please reach out if you want to chat more!