Frequently Asked Questions

The Texas Center for Learning Disabilities | Testing for Learning and Other Disabilities | Instruction and Disability

The Texas Center for Learning Disabilities

What resources, publications, and links are posted on your site?

We post publications (presentations at professional conferences and peer-reviewed journal articles) developed by TCLD researchers.

We also review and compile external resources, which include research and resources (developed outside of TCLD) related to multitiered interventions in reading, math, and behavior; progress-monitoring tools; and specific identification methods for LD that are based on RTI models, as well as links to other research centers and professional organizations that focus on learning disabilities (LD) and response to intervention (RTI).

Are results from TCLD research available?

Preliminary results from all of our projects are disseminated at conferences and in articles published in peer-reviewed journals. These presentations and articles are posted in our research library.

Where is the TCLD located?

The TCLD is based at three universities in Texas: the University of Houston (in the Department of Psychology and at the Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics); The University of Texas at Austin (at The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk); and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (at the Children’s Learning Institute). Our research projects are conducted at these sites.

How can I request additional information about the TCLD?

Our brochure is available for download on this site. To request bookmarks or printed copies of our brochure, please fill out our contact form. Be sure to include the mailing address that we should use to send you the materials.

Testing for Learning and Other Disabilities

Does the TCLD offer testing, tutoring, or resources for students with LD?

The TCLD is primarily a research center that focuses on developing a more comprehensive classification of LD, a more integrated understanding of intervention at different levels and intensities for children with reading difficulties, and important cross-discipline insights into the nature of LD. Thus, we do not offer testing or tutoring outside of our research projects in Austin and Houston. We have posted several online external resources, along with links to other national and Texas organizations that may offer testing, tutoring, and printed resources.

Where can I find resources specific to my state and/or disability of interest?

The National Dissemination Center for Children With Disabilities for decades put together a library of materials and publications on disabilities, special education, early intervention, and support groups. The project ended in 2014, but many of the resources are now on the website of the Center for Parent Information and Resources. Search the center’s Resource Library, which allows users to apply multiple filters to search results. Also available is a Find Your Parent Center webpage, which provides information alphabetically by state and U.S. territory.

I know a student who is struggling in school. What are the next steps for determining whether he or she has a learning disability?

This type of evaluation can be done through the school with an educational diagnostician or school psychologist, and in most cases is arranged through the student’s district or school at the request of a parent (or teacher, with the parents’ consent). Note, however, that the district is not obligated to conduct the evaluation and may disagree that there is educational need. Some parents decide to have an evaluation completed independently of the school at their own expense. These evaluations should be done by a licensed psychologist with experience in assessment and working with schools.

  • If you would like to learn more about family rights in your district, the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) may be able to advise you. Its Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Parent Guide is a helpful resource.
  • If you live in Texas, the Texas Education Agency is a good source of information, especially its Admission, Review, and Dismissal Process Guide.
  • If you have not yet asked the student’s school for help with your concerns, that would be our first recommendation. Most schools have a staff member or team available to discuss a student’s learning difficulties with his or her family and to make recommendations for further evaluation, if applicable.
  • If you have already contacted officials at the student’s school and they are unable to help, more information about your possible next steps can be found on the NCLD website.

Instruction and Disability

How can RTI help my child, who has recently been diagnosed with a disability?

RTI is a system for allocating instruction and resources within schools. RTI uses assessment and instructional strategies to ensure that each student’s needs are met. RTI can include both students at risk for LD and students identified as having LD, as well as students served in other “entitlement” programs or simply in general education.

Some schools have chosen to include RTI as part of the special education eligibility process. In these schools, an RTI framework provides part of the data used to decide whether a student should be evaluated for LD. However, simply participating in an RTI process is not sufficient to establish eligibility for special education; IDEA requires a comprehensive evaluation that draws from the multiple sources of information that are deemed necessary by the interdisciplinary team that makes the eligibility determination. Some schools have chosen to include special education within the RTI system of tiered instruction. In these schools, students with individualized education plans (IEPs) are provided services within an RTI framework.

For students with disabilities, like all students, an RTI framework will help by encouraging teachers to use data to select instructional strategies that meet students’ specific needs. A student can be referred for evaluation for special education at any time during an RTI process, but most students need the opportunity to participate in multiple interventions in order to establish educational need.

Several external resources that define RTI and how it can be used to help all students have been posted, all within the RTI topic.

What are some research-based strategies I can use in my classroom to help students with LD achieve success on reading achievement tests?

Many different instructional strategies can be used to help students at risk for LD and students identified as having LD achieve reading success. Resources for teachers deveoped by TCLD are posted on our teachers page. External resources that outline the research and describe these strategies, along with  links to other centers that produce instructional resources, are also posted. Filtering these resources by Reading Instruction or Intervention may be particularly helpful.