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Specific Learning Disability (SLD)

Definition: Specific Learning Disability means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia.  Specific learning disability does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of: visual, hearing, or motor disabilities; intellectual disability; serious emotional disability; cultural factors; environmental or economic disadvantage; or limited English proficiency.

8 Areas of SLD:

  • Oral Expression
  • Listening Comprehension
  • Written Expression
  • Basic Reading Skill

  • Reading Fluency SKills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Mathematical Computation
  • Mathematics Problem Solving

Professional Development Opportunities

ESSU Calendars:


SLD Trainings (Registration Active)


2017 Specific Learning Disabilities Math Webinar Series for Struggling Learners

This opportunity is a series of 5 webinars for professional development in the area of mathematics, with a primary goal of increasing the instructional effectiveness of Colorado K-12 teachers responsible for educating students with disabilities and at-risk concerns. These webinars will cover multiple grade levels, with some sessions focusing more on elementary math level topics and other sessions focusing on secondary level math topics.

See flyer for more details.

Webinar Dates: 4-5pm the first Monday each month beginning February 6, through June 5, 2017

    Registration Link

    Picture of the Flyer: 2017 SLD Math Webinar Series for Struggling Learners (Feb-June 2017)

    View SLD Math Webinars

    Series #1 Non-Strategic Learners
    Originally aired February 6, 2017
    Webinar 1 Link
    Webinar 1 PowerPoint Handout (PDF)

    Series #2 Learning Whole Number Operations
    Originally aired March 6, 2017
    Webinar 2 Link
    Webinar 2 PowerPoint Handout (PDF)

    SLD Trainings in Progress (Registration Closed)

    For information on these trainings select the below link or see flyers

    Affective Competencies Series, Part 2: Mindfulness Institute

    This is a series of five, four hour trainings in which participants will expand their awareness of the research-based benefits of mindfulness practice, actively experience mindful awareness through a variety of practices, develop a foundation for sustaining a personal mindfulness practice, and learn strategies to cultivate a safe and responsive learning environment that will foster academic achievement.

    For more details, see flyer

    Training Dates:

    • January 10, 2017
    • February 7, 2017
    • March 7, 2017
    • April 4, 2017
    • May 2, 2017

    Registration Link

    Picture of the Flyer: Affective Competencies Series: Part 2: Mindfulness Institute (Multiple Dates 2017)



    SLD Considerations for Learners who are CLD (2011 Presentation Slides)

    Technical Assistance Documents

    • SLD in Colorado Rules and Federal Regulations - Update in Progress
      • The above document includes the sections from the Colorado Rules for the Administration of the Exceptional Children's Educational Act pertaining to Specific Learning Disabilities, as well as the sections of the Federal Regulations that are referenced in these Colorado Rules as also being applicable.
    • Guidelines for Identifying Students with Specific Learning Disabilities, Revised October, 2008 (PDF) (NOTE: These guidelines are being revised)
      The guidelines above provide specific guidance in the implementation of the eligibility criteria and identification process for identifying students with Specific Learning Disabilities in Colorado.

    Presentations/Resources from SLD professional development sessions

    Response to Intervention (RtI)

    Determining a child’s response to scientifically, researched-based intervention as required in the identification of a Specific Learning Disability is critical. However, Response to Intervention as a statewide systems’ reform initiative is being promoted across the Colorado Department of Education to improve learning results for ALL students, not just those who may be identified as having a Specific Learning Disability. The follow link will provide access to the RtI Guidebook, sample brochure, training presentations, videos and other resources.

    Twice Exceptional


    Helpful CDE Links:

    Specific Learning Disability Listserv

    The Colorado Specific Learning Disability (SLD) listserv shares professional development and training opportunities and provides information including current trends, research, and ongoing topics of interest related to SLD. The purpose of this network is to facilitate connections, awareness, and access to information, learning opportunities, and resources that will better the lives of students with Specific Learning Disability and benefit the families, communities, and professionals who support them. Sharing of information is encouraged; however, it is at the discretion of the CDE what information will be posted. This service is chat-free and does not include advertisements from vendors or contract-based companies. To subscribe to the CO-SLD Listserv or contribute information to share with this community, please contact Jill Marshall at

    Join the CO-SLD Listserv

    To subscribe to the CO-SLD listserv:

    • Open a new email.
    • In the “To” field, type the email and send the message.
    • You will receive a confirmation email. You will not be added until you respond to this email.
    • If you have a problem, try using “plain” text or check with the technology people in your district.

    To unsubscribe from the CO-SLD listserv: 

    • Open a new email.
    • In the “To” field, type the email and send the message.
    • In the body of the message write, “unsubscribe CO-SLD.”
    • You will automatically be unsubscribed.


    For more information, please contact:

    Jill Marshall
    Phone: 303-866-6883


    A variety of learning opportunities, information, and resources are provided on this listserv. These materials do not represent an exhaustive list, nor are they required or endorsed by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE).  The identification or description is for the purpose of providing information and resources and does not constitute CDE's endorsement. Every effort has been made to identify the citation for the resource; please maintain the citation and/or authorship when adapting or modifying these materials.

    For more information, please contact:

    Jill Marshall
    Phone: (303) 866-6883

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