Specially designed instruction means adapting the content, methodology, or delivery of instruction, as appropriate to the needs of a student with a disability to address the unique needs of the child that result from the child's disability; and to ensure access of the child to the general curriculum, so that the child can meet the educational standards.
Specially Designed Instruction is intended to teach a student the skills/strategies required in order for them to access grade level standards.
The specific Specially Designed Instruction to be provided for a student must be determined after IEP goals have been determined. IEP goals can only be determined after appropriate Present Level (PLAAFP) statements have been developed. PLAAFP statements can only be developed after the team has reviewed and analyzed data to understand where the student is performing in relation to the standards/grade level expectation.
The core of SDI revolves around how the school adapts the content, methodology, or delivery of instruction to a specific student in order to teach them those strategies and skills that will help them access the standards / grade level expectations.
If it is not targeting the skills/strategies teams determine are required for a student to meet their IEP goals and access the general curriculum, it is probably not SDI.