The Impact of Data Presentation on SLD Identification Decision Making

This session is from the NASP 2021 Annual Convention

  • PMD: 1,10
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Session 4: Assessment and Intervention in an RTI Framework

Learner Objectives

This session will help participants…

  1. engage in self-reflective practice regarding SLD identification.
  2. describe the impact of assessment data sources on SLD identification.
  3. describe the impact of incremental amounts of assessment data on SLD identification.


There is little consensus regarding appropriate identification of students with specific learning disabilities (SLD). This paper presents the results of an experimental study examining the impact of the amount of assessment data and data order presentation on school psychologists’ SLD identification decisions using patterns of strengths and weaknesses. Findings showed that overall identification consistency was poor and that the amount of student data did not improve identification consistency. Implications for practice will be discussed.



Kathrin E. Maki, University of Florida
Ryan J. McGill, William & Mary
Sarah J. Conoyer, University of Southern Illinois Edwardsville
Sarah A. Fefer, University of Massachusetts-Amherst


Letter to Supervisor

Looking for a concise way to pitch the convention to your employer? This letter and the corresponding talking points are here to help!