The 2004 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) changed the way that districts can assess students to determine the presence of a Specific Learning Disability (SLD).  Districts are no longer required to use the ability-achievement discrepancy model and may use alternative approaches to identify students with SLD.  Assessment teams in the Ventura County SELPA may either use a Discrepancy Model or the Pattern of Strengths and Weaknesses (PSW) Model.


The use of the PSW Model for SLD identification is described in California Education Code. The Ventura County SELPA approved the use of the model in 2014, and it has been implemented since. 


The Ventura County SELPA PSW Model Procedural Manual serves as guidance and information for school teams to help determine if a student is eligible for special education as a students with a specific learning disability. The information in the manual should be used in conjunction with all other special education assessment processes and data gathering to help IEP teams in determining needs and strengths of students. The manual should not be used in isolation or without consideration of individual student profiles. Professional judgement must always be used by all IEP team members when determining student needs and special education eligibility considerations. 

Ventura County SELPA PSW Model Procedural Manual

enlightened See tab at left for resources and training opportunities in the Pattern of Strengths and Weaknesses model