The mastery of skills required for reading, writing, and mathematics is normally distributed across the population. Approximately 80% of students will effectively learn to read, write, and compute, when provided daily instruction in the classroom. Students who do not respond to general education instruction should be provided with specific interventions to remediate academic skill deficits and progress should be monitored to determine whether appropriate growth is made with additional supports. Depending upon students’ response to interventions, specialized instruction through an IEP may not be necessary. If a student does not demonstrate an adequate rate of growth in response to intervention, this may indicate the need for an IEP Team to conduct a comprehensive evaluation to determine if an educational disability exists, and whether or not specialized instruction or accommodations are required for the student to receive FAPE.
Students with Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, and Dyscalculia may fall within this group of struggling learners. However, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, and Dysgraphia are not their own disability categories, but rather examples of a Specific Learning Disability (SLD) under IDEA. Thus, having a diagnosis of Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, or Dysgraphia does not automatically qualify a student for services. The severity of the academic difficulty and their response to interventions, will determine which tier of support will be most appropriate, rather than the specific diagnosis. If a student with Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, or Dysgraphia is demonstrating significant academic deficits and is not responding adequately to intervention, then the IEP team should conduct a comprehensive evaluation to determine that the student meets criteria for one of the disability categories under the IDEA, and determine whether the student requires specialized instruction in order to meet their unique needs.