LDA's Core Principles were developed and approved by the Board of Directors of the Learning Disabilities Association to establish a set of standards and guidelines reflecting the positions and philosophies of our organization. They are based on the purpose of LDA to create opportunities for success for all individuals affected by learning disabilities through support, education and advocacy.

The topics are those determined by the Board of Directors to address the current issues most relevant to achieve LDA's goals. The Core Principles are to guide LDA’s officers, board members, staff, and volunteers at the national, state and local level when engaged in discussions about learning disabilities.

Core Principles: Best Practices in the Use of Cognitive Assessment in Learning Disability Identification

Cognitive assessment of students typically involves administering one or more standardized, norm-referenced tests but also involves recognition of the importance of multiple data sources; that is, cognitive assessment provides only one source of data to inform classification decisions, such as Specific Learning Disability (SLD), Intellectual Disability, and Gifted and Talented. Information gathered from cognitive assessment includes current levels of functioning in multiple cognitive domains such as accumulated knowledge, reasoning, working memory, and many others. In addition, cognitive assessment data provide insight into how a student learns and why he or she is struggling academically (e.g., Compton, Fuchs, Fuchs, Lambert, &… Read More »

Core Principles: Evaluation and Identification of Learning Disabilities

Evaluation and Identification of Learning Disabilities Accurate identification through a thorough evaluative process, is the first step to ensure that individuals with Learning Disabilities[i] receive the services, supports and accommodations that are required for academic and life success. It is the position of the Learning Disabilities Association of America that the domains discussed below, must be assessed as part of a thorough evaluation for potential Learning Disabilities. Learning Disabilities range in severity and interfere with the acquisition and use of one or more of the following:  oral language– listening, speaking, understanding; reading– decoding, phonetic knowledge, word recognition, fluency and comprehension;… Read More »

Core Principles: What are Learning Disabilities?

Learning Disabilities refer to a number of disorders which may affect the acquisition, organization, retention, understanding or use of verbal or nonverbal information. These disorders affect learning in individuals who otherwise demonstrate at least average abilities essential for thinking and/or reasoning. As such, learning disabilities are distinct from global intellectual deficiency. Learning disabilities result from impairments in one or more processes related to perceiving, thinking, remembering or learning. These include but are not limited to: language processing; phonological processing; visual spatial processing; processing speed; memory and attention; and executive functions (e.g., planning and decision-making). Learning disabilities range in severity and… Read More »