Identifying and Treating Learning Disabilities in the Context of MTSS


Session Dates

Wednesday December 15, 2021 1:00 PM - 4:15 PM - Webinar

This presentation will discuss a scientific view of learning disabilities that addresses best practices for identification and treatment in the context of MTSS. The first section will focus on the nature of learning disabilities in reading, math, and writing and the different factors that cause them, including the brain, genes, and instruction. Learning disabilities are real, interfere with adaptation, and have definable neurobiological correlates. But the neural systems are malleable and many students can overcome learning disabilities with early intervention. Intractability to instruction makes learning disabilities unexpected, not a cognitive discrepancy. The second section will focus on the nature of the comprehensive evaluation, identifying strengths and weaknesses in traditional discrepancy-based approaches versus approaches implemented in a MTSS service delivery system. The importance of assessing instructional response as a basis for intervention-related decisions as well as part of a multi-component, treatment-oriented approach to identification for special education will be provided. The third component will focus on treatment with an emphasis on the shared responsibilities of general and special education. All students are general education students first. In a MTSS system, general and special education are an integrated, seamless service delivery system focused first on preventing academic problem. If preventative efforts are not successful, more intensive interventions may be needed through special education. Learning disabilities are best treated in the context of MTSS frameworks that prevent academic problems through early identification and prevention with explicit, comprehensive and differentiated core general education. For those who do not respond to core instruction, supplemental instruction and intensive remedial intervention are needed.


Attendees will be able to:

  1. Summarize the types of learning disabilities, their neural and cognitive correlates, and principles of intervention
  2. Outline how comprehensive evaluations for special education fit into a MTSS/RTI system.
  3. Describe how general and special education work together in a MTSS service delivery system
  4. Explain why it is important to prevent learning disabilities
  5. Identify principles of effective intervention for students at risk for or identified with learning disabilities

Target Audience

RTI SLD Cohort Series Teams, School Psychologists, General and Special Education Administrators, MTSS Coordinators, Reading Specialists, SLPs Reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate individuals who have special needs as addressed by the Americans with Disabilities Act and who need assistance at this event. Contact: Kelly Kapp, at 717-901-2271, or

Event Info

Event Type:


Credit Type:

Act 48 Clock Hour
No credit


Jack M. Fletcher Ph.D. ABPP

Event Contact:


Kelly Kapp

Content Contact:

Jennifer Collins