Sometimes students who are learning English as a second
language are incorrectly identified as having a learning disability.
Almost 100 educators and psychologists learned more about
properly identifying these students Sept. 9 at a workshop put on by the San Diego
County Office of Education’s South County Special Education Local Plan Area
The six-hour workshop was presented by Dr. Samuel Ortiz, a
professor of psychology at St. John’s University in New York.
Students who aren’t fluent in English can be placed
unnecessarily into special education programs because there are stages of
language acquisition that can resemble some disabilities, said Russell
Coronado, senior director of the SELPA.
“We’re trying to do whatever we can to make sure that
doesn’t happen,” he said.
Dr. Ortiz taught attendees about evaluating students with an
approach based on a pattern of strengths and weaknesses. The lessons included
underlying theories as well as practical applications.
The South County SELPA has worked to find things in the
Local Control and Accountability Plans created by the districts it serves to
guide its professional development offerings, including the free workshop for
school psychologists, special education coordinators, and special education