Specific Learning Disabilities

Tab/Accordion Items

Learning Disabilities/ADHD Organizations

Learning Disabilities Websites



Definition of Dyslexia:

“Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”

Adopted by the IDA Board of Directors, Nov. 12, 2002. This Definition is also used by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

The definition of dyslexia is included in the NC Policies Governing Services for Children with Disabilities

Policy Spotlight: 

Dyslexia Guidance- US Department of Education 

Memo Dyslexia Topic Brief

Dyslexia Topic Brief

Dislexia - Un Resumen del tema

North Carolina has trained Dyslexia Delegates who provide professional development on dyslexia and Dyscalculia Delegates who provide professional development on specific learning disabilities in mathematics. This map represents the capacity being built in the state and highlights the Public School Units have trainers in each professional development area. (updated August 2022)

Map of North Carolina showing the Dyslexia and SLD in Math Delegate Map

This video from Understood for Learning and Attention Issues (understood.org) features reading specialist Margie Gillis describing how the brain changes when we learn to read and why learning to read is more difficult for some kids than others.

International Dyslexia Association Fact Sheets


Overview of Dyslexia by Tim Odegard at the Center on Dyslexia at Middle Tennessee State University

IDA Webinars

 Structured Literacy

Focus on Structured Literacy- this Expert Minute video from the Center on Dyslexia at Middle Tennessee State University provides an overview of Structured Literacy from Nancy Hennessy

Structured Literacy: an Introduction Guide from the International Dyslexia Association
Structured Literacy Brief

Especially for Parents

The following videos provide parents and other interested individuals information about the characteristics of dyslexia and how dyslexia is addressed in North Carolina Public Schools.

This document, a collaboration between the Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center and the NC Department of Public Instruction, provides questions parents can ask about reading improvement and dyslexia, so you can mutually gather the information needed to support your child’s growth.  (document)

Do you think your child might have dyslexia?  This fact sheet provides a definition of dyslexia and other helpful facts including ways to help your child.  http://www.readingrockets.org/article/dyslexia-basics

A Child Becomes a Reader:  This document provides proven ideas from research for parents for kindergarten to third grade.  Published by the National Institute for Literacy and Partnership for Children. https://www1.nichd.nih.gov/publications/pubs/documents/readingk-3.pdf

The National Center for Improving Literacy provides practical ideas and expert-approved strategies to help your child learn to read and write.  https://improvingliteracy.org/family

IDA Dyslexia Handbook:  What Every Family Should Know


Dyscalculia is a specific learning disability in math for a child who does not learn at an adequate rate when provided sustained, high quality instruction and scientific research-based intervention matched to their needs.

The following video from Understood for Learning and Attention Issues provides a brief overview of dyscalculia.

SLD Task Force White Paper

This paper provides stakeholders a review of the research and findings of the Specific Learning Disability Task Force which culminated in policy changes for the definition, evaluation and identification of students with Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD).

Fletcher, J. M., & Miciak, J. (2019). The identification of specific learning disabilities: A summary of research on best practices. Austin, TX: Texas Center for Learning Disabilities.
This report from the Texas Center for Learning Disabilities summarizes research on the identification of SLD and makes recommendations for best practice, regardless of the method used

Decision-Making and Evaluation Guidance

MTSS and Students with Disabilities

SLD Fact Sheets

SLD Fact Sheet #1-Identification of an SLD

SLD Fact Sheet #2-Insruction Intervention LEP 4.16.21

SLD Fact Sheet #3-Educational Assessment

SLD Fact Sheet #4-Exclusionary Factors

SLD Fact Sheet #5-Inadequate Achievement

SLD Fact Sheet #6-Observation Requirements

SLD Fact Sheet #7-Implementation

SLD Fact Sheet #8-Insufficient Progress

SLD Fact Sheet #9-English Learners

SLD Fact Sheet #10-FAQs

Application Tools

SLD Data Sources Organized by Criterion

Data Mapping Template (PDF) (Google Doc)

East Carolina University STEPP Program
The STEPP Program’smission is to provide students with learning disabilities who aspire to achieve a college education with access and comprehensive support throughout the education experience.

STEPP College Bound Transition Curriculum
Resources intended to be used by teachers and families supporting transition to college for students with learning differences.

College STAR:  Supporting Transition Access and Retention A UNC System Project Supporting Students with Learning Differences

Secondary Transition Webinar:  Specific Learning Disabilities