Latest Research on Learning Disabilities : April 21

[1] Learning disabilities

This chapter reviews briefly the historical events that have molded the general field of learning disabilities (LDs) into its current form, with a focus on the origins of current policy-based definitions of LDs. LDs by definition refer to deficits in one or more of several domains, including reading disabilities, mathematical disabilities, and disabilities of written expression. Since each type of LD is characterized by distinct definitional and diagnostic issues, as well as issues associated with heterogeneity, each is covered separately in this chapter. Thus, for each LD domain, a review of critical background information, constructs, and research policy trends is provided. More specifically, a review of each major domain of LD is organized to address (1) a review of definitional and diagnostic issues confronting each specific type of disability within the domain; (2) the epidemiology and developmental course of the disability; (3) core processes that have been identified for each disability; (4) a review of the neurobiological mechanisms hypothesized to cause and/or contribute to the specific type of LD, when any have been identified; and (5) intervention research. The chapter concludes with a brief review of issues and a look toward the future. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

[2] Mathematics and Learning Disabilities

Between 5% and 8% of school-age children have some form of memory or cognitive deficit that interferes with their ability to learn concepts or procedures in one or more mathematical domains. A review of the arithmetical competencies of these children is provided, along with discussion of underlying memory and cognitive deficits and potential neural correlates. The deficits are discussed in terms of three subtypes of mathematics learning disability and in terms of a more general framework for linking research in mathematical cognition to research in learning disabilities.

[3] The Sociopsychometrics of Learning Disabilities

The Boston University (BU) case illustrates how the psychometrics of ability differences interact with the concept of learning disability and with the sodopolitics of schooling and society. It also illustrates that learning disabilities advocacy will not be on a sound footing as long as the field refuses to rid itself of its IQ fetishism, refuses to jettison its fixation on aptitude-achievement discrepancy, and fails to free clinical practice from the pseudoscientific neurology that plagued the field in the 1970s. A more inclusive definition of learning disability—one that abandons discrepancy notions-and a more self-critical attitude toward its own claims would advance the field of learning disabilities and help to rid it of distractions such as the BU case.

[4] Does the Presence of a Learning Disability Elicit a Stigmatization?

Aims: To determine whether or not a Learning Disability(LD) label leads to stigmatization.

Study Design: This research used a 2(sex of participant) x 2(LD label)x 2 (Sex of stimulus person) factorial design.

Place and Duration of Study: Bucknell University, between October 2010 and April 2011.

Methodology: Sample: We included 200 participants (137 women and 63 men, ranging in age from 18 – 75 years, M = 26.41. Participants rated the stimulus individual on 27 personality traits, 8 Life success measures, and the Big-5 personality dimensions. Also, participants completed a Social Desirability measure.

Results: A MANOVA revealed a main effect for the Learning Disability description, F(6, 185) = 6.41 p< .0001, eta2 = .17,for the Big-5 personality dimensions, Emotional Stability, F(1, 185) = 13.39, p < .001, eta2 = .066, and Openness to Experiences F(1,185) = 7.12, p< .008, eta2 = .036.Stimulus individuals described as having a learning disability were perceived as being less emotionally stable and more open to experiences than those described as not having a learning disability. Another MANOVA revealed a main effect for having a disability or not, F(8, 183) = 4.29, p< .0001, eta2 = .158, for the Life Success items, Attractiveness, F(1, 198) = 16.63, p< .0001, eta2 = .080, and Future Success,F(1, 198) = 4.57, p< .034, eta2 = .023. Stimulus individuals described as having a learning disability were perceived as being less attractive and with less potential for success than those described as not having a learning disability.

Conclusion: The results of this research provide evidence that a bias exists toward those who have learning disabilities. The mere presence of an LD label had the ability to cause a differential perception of those with LDs and those without LDs.

[5] The Impact of a Training Program on the Development of Perceived Cognitive Competence among Students with Learning Disabilities: An Experimental Study

Aims: This paper aims to examine the relationship between a training program designed for students with learning disabilities and their perceived competence. The research investigates the strong need for detecting the obstacles hindering Jordanian students, especially those at the early stages, who are continually require intensive care and attention.

It is obvious that students with different disabilities need to attain special training programs and individualized and adequate treatment. The first step in learning and participating in different activities is the cognitive competence of students which they receive from different sources.

Study Design: The study used a quasi-experimental design.

Place and Duration of Study: Ministry of Education in the Jerash District, in Jordan.

Methodology: The current research adopted a self-report instrument “Perceived Competence Scale for Children” [1] as the main tool. The study sample consisted of 26 fourth-grade students (13 male and 13 female) with learning disabilities who joined the resource rooms. The samples were distributed among eight schools. The instrument was modified by Sheikha to cope with the Jordanian environment and the unique societal traits. In order to achieve the research objectives and answer the research questions, the current research employed the analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) on the control group prior to the employment of the training program. This type of analysis was employed to test the DIFFERENCES in the students’ with learning disabilities performance prior to the employment of the training program and in a later stage. Additionally the mean and the standard deviation were employed to detect variations between the experimental and the control group.

Results: The results showed that there were no statistically significant differences among the students with learning disabilities performance due to gender. The mean values also indicated that the students with learning disabilities cognitive competence signaled obvious differences in the performance of the students after conducting the training program on the experimental group.



[1] Lyon, G.R., Fletcher, J.M. and Barnes, M.C., 2003. Learning disabilities.

[2] Geary, D.C., 2004. Mathematics and learning disabilities. Journal of learning disabilities37(1), pp.4-15.

[3] Stanovich, K.E., 1999. The sociopsychometrics of learning disabilities. Journal of Learning disabilities32(4), pp.350-361.

[4] Lisle, K. and Wade, T.J., 2014. Does the presence of a Learning Disability elicit a stigmatization?. Journal of Education, Society and Behavioural Science, pp.211-225.

[5] Alfawair, A.M., 2016. The Impact of a Training Program on the Development of Perceived Cognitive Competence among Students with Learning Disabilities: An Experimental Study. Journal of Education, Society and Behavioural Science, pp.1-9.

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