Students can be referred for an evaluation for a specific learning disability at any time, including during any tier of SRBI instruction. Connecticut Special Education Regulations require that students who demonstrate unsatisfactory behavior, attendance or progress in school must be promptly referred to a PPT. State regulations also require that before a student is referred to a PPT “alternative procedures and programs in regular education shall be explored and, where appropriate, implemented.” Documentation of early intervention strategies are required on appropriate paperwork for students suspected of having a specific learning disability to assist in ruling out that a student’s difficulties were not due to a lack of appropriate instruction in math, reading or writing. SRBI while similar to the implementation of early intervention strategies is a much more comprehensive, systemic process used to document a student’s response to appropriate instruction.
If a student is referred prior to participating in the required SRBI process and it is suspected that a specific learning disability may exist, the student must additionally participate in a diagnostic placement during the same period of evaluation. The diagnostic placement is required to provide scientific researched-based interventions.