Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP, Chair, Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Lisa Hain, PsyD, Chairperson

Second Advisor

George McCloskey, PhD

Third Advisor

Barbara B Williams, PhD


After the reauthorization of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in
2004, the federal regulations indicated that there are three possible methods for the identification of a Specific Learning Disability (SLD). The three methods include the ability-achievement discrepancy (AAD), Response to Intervention (RTI), and the addition of a third method, which consists of other alternative research-based procedures. Hale and Fiorello (2004) proposed the use of a Concordance-Discordance Model (CDM), which suggests that learning disabled students have discordance between processing strength and both processing weakness and achievement deficit. In addition, SLD students have a concordance between the achievement deficit and processing weakness. It is suggested that CD-M represents a more accurate method in identifying children with learning disabilities than the AAD model. The current study was designed
to determine if students previously classified through AAD would also be found eligible for special education through CD-M. Cognitive and academic profiles for CD-M and AAD identified students were examined, as well as academic placement and SLD subtypes. In this sample of data drawn from a population of students identified with SLD (n = 173), chi square, independent samples t-tests, bivariate correlations, and analyses of variance were performed. Results indicated that approximately half of the students previously classified through AAD were eligible for special education through CD-M. No differences between noted between the two groups with academic placement. Significant differences were found between Full Scale IQ, index scores, and identified WISC-IV subtests and academic achievement domains between the two groups. Significant, positive relationships were noted on WISC-IV and achievement measure.