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Comprehensive Assessment and Specific Learning Disabilities: A Comparison of Discrepancy Versus RTI Psychological Reports


This study examined the differences between special education eligibility psychological reports written for students assessed for Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD). Previous research documents the need for including previously attempted intervention and linking assessment results to intervention in SLD classification efforts in order to inform future instruction (Reschly, 1980). Forty reports were analyzed using a measure called the Psychological Report Survey, which was created for this study and designed to examine reports utility in informing future instruction. Twenty reports were written using a discrepancy approach and 20 reports were written using a Response to Intervention (RTI) approach. Results demonstrated statistical significant differences (p < .01) between the two types of reports for 4 of the 5 categories measured by the Psychological Report Survey. Findings revealed that differences do exist in the reports' use of data and evidence-based practices. However, no significant differences existed between the reports' Conclusion and Recommendations sections. Limitations of the study and future directions for future research in the area are discussed.

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