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Learning Disabilities Essay

2692 words - 11 pages

Running head: LEARNING DISABILITIES Learning Disabilities Kehar Johal University of Phoenix EDD: C571 Bruce Barnes Learning Disabilities Even though most researchers agree about the characteristics of learning disabilities, there is a disagreement about what should or should not be included in the definition of learning disabilities. While there is some agreement about these general topics, there is continued disagreement in the field about diagnostic criteria, assessment practices, treatment procedures, and educational policies for learning disabilities. A number of influences have contributed to these disagreements, which in turn, have made it difficult to build a generalized body of scientific and clinical knowledge about learning disabilities. Furthermore, this has hindered our ability to establish reliable and valid diagnostic criteria. While some progress has been made during the past decade in establishing more precise definitions and a theoretically based classification system for a LD, it is useful to understand these historical influences because of their continuing impact on diagnostic and treatment practices for children with learning disabilities. The first part of this essay will address the definitional issues, which have molded the field of learning disabilities into its present form, and how to resolve these issues so we can meet the social and educational needs of individuals who display characteristics of learning disabilities. Because LD is often misinterpreted to be synonymous with reading disability or dyslexia, most of the available information concerning learning disabilities relates to reading disabilities, and the majority of the children with LD have their main deficits in reading (Torgenson, 1991). Therefore, the second part of this essay will address the relationship between students? lack of metacognitive skills and reading problems. Also, in order to better understand the difficulties faced by students and teachers in the field of LD, reading disability was chosen for it is one of the more common problems; hence, an examination of this relationship provides a closer look at a concrete example of LD.The prevalence of LD identification has increased dramatically (Torgenson, 1991); however, this identification or ?realness? is in debate because of the lack of an agreed upon definition of LD and objective diagnostic criteria. The increase in the identification of children with learning disabilities has led many to question the validity and reliability of LD as a diagnostic category. Yet, it is critical that the procedures for identifying children and adults with LD be valid and accepted by the scientific and clinical communities. How do we go about increasing the ability to identify individuals with LD accurately? The answer depends how valid estimates can be obtained from a set of criteria for identification that are clear, observable, measurable, and agreed upon.Currently, there is no universally accepted test or...

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