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Learning Disorders

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Zack Batchelder

on 8 March 2013

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Transcript of Learning Disorders

Learning Disorders What is a Learning Disorder? Prevalence Rates Co-Morbidity Diagnosing Learning Disorders Definition: A difficulty in learning that cannot be accounted for by any of the well understood limitations on academic achievement: general intelligence, sensory or motor disability, emotional or behavior disorder, environmental or educational deficiency -Estimated 5% of school-age children
-About half of children in special education Learning Disabilities have a very high rate of co-morbidity with other disorders, including: “Learning Disorders are diagnosed when the individual's achievement on individually administered, standardized tests in reading, mathematics, or written expression is substantially below that expected for age, schooling, and level of intelligence." (DSM-IV-TR, 2000, p. 49) General Intelligence – These are not individuals who lack the ability to learn, the basic intellectual component is there Sensory Disability – Individual is not blind, deaf, etc. The information can get in Motor Disability – Not unable to demonstrate learned material due to inability to write, talk, etc. Emotional disorder – Difficulty learning is not explained by other difficulties such as depression (ex: doesn't care enough to learn material) or anxiety (ex: too busy attending to perceived threats or own internal state to learn material). Behavior Disorder – Learning is not compromised by the learner's behavior, such as choosing not to listen or interact (such as with Oppositional Defiant Disorder) or 'playing along' to get by (manipulation as in Borderline Personality Disorder) Environmental Deficiency – Learning is not being hindered (at least exclusively) by details about the place the learning is supposed to be occurring in (ex: poor lighting, frequent disruptive sounds such as trains or construction, or the classroom being in a volcano) Educational Deficiency – Learning is not (at least exclusively) being hindered by the way in which the material is (or is not) being presented by an instructor (or lack thereof) Learning Disorder vs. Intellectual Disability An intellectual disability is considered a severe impairment of intelligence that affects functioning in daily life Intellectual Disability trumps Learning Disorders diagnostically -ID gets first crack at explaining learning difficulties -ADHD
-Mood and Anxiety Disorders
-Substance Abuse/Dependence
-Behavior Disorders (ODD, Conduct Disorder) The Chicken-And-Egg Problem of LD Co-Morbidity -Are these other factors influencing learning as well, or exclusively?
-Are learning difficulties resulting in reactions that become co-morbid disorders?
-Are people who are predisposed to learning disorders also predisposed to other disorders? -DSM-IV-TR considers 'substantially below' to be 2 SDs below Two Common Methods "No Child Left Behind" Standard Ability/Achievement Discrepancy -a.k.a. Placement/Performance Discrepancy
-Students under the 40th percentile for their grade level diagnosed -Uses Psychodiagnostic testing
-Compares IQ to Achievement and measures discrepancy Reading Disorder -Closest to what we consider 'dyslexia'
-Problems with word identification, phonological naming, etc.

-More prevalent among primary speakers of languages with deep orthography (many exceptions and inconsistencies in relationship between letters and sounds) Mathematics Disorder Mazzocco's (2001) three subtypes:
1. Semantic
-Poor number-symbol association and math fact automaticity
2. Procedural
-Poor strategy or algorithm use
3. Visuo-spatial
-Problems with column alignment, place values, operation adherence Disorder of Written Expression Problems with handwriting and/or spelling When the English tongue we speak
Why is "Break" not rhymed with "Freak"?
Will you tell me why it's true
We say "sew" but likewise "few"?
And the maker of a verse
Cannot cap his "horse" with "worse."
"Beard" sounds not the same as "heard."
"Cord" is different from "word."
Cow is "cow," but low is "low."
"Shoe" is never thymed with "roe."
Think of "hose" and "dose" and "lose."
And think of "goose" and yet of "choose."
Think of "comb" and "tomb" and "bomb,"
"Doll" and "roll" and "home" and "come."
And since "pay" is rhymed with "say,"
Why not "paid" with "said," I pray?
We have "blood" and "food" and "good,"
"Mould" is not pronounced like "could."
Wherefore "done" but "gone" and "lone."
Is there any reason known?
And, in short, it seems to me
Sounds and letters disagree. A Theory of Dyslexia - 3D / Visuo-spatial Thinkers b d -Easy to picture 'cow' or 'airplane'
-Hard to picture 'and' or 'with' High co-morbidity with Reading Disorders
Argument that they have shared qualities and are not distinct disorders "There are only 26 letters in the alphabet, but over 500 spellings used in representing the 44 phonemes in the English language” (Tompkins, 1998) Very rare in isolation, usually co-morbid with other LDs or language disorders Treatments How it often goes: How research suggests: New and non-empirical: Two Case Studies Billy Billy is a 10-year-old who is struggling keeping up with his classmates in reading. His school counselor (who somehow still has funding to do this) completes a psychodiagnostic battery of a WISC-IV (intelligence), WIAT-II (achievement), IVA-CPT (attention) and a personality measure. Results show that Billy is a fairly bright kid, but anything visually-mediated is a real struggle for him. The school counselor notes that any time he has to write, read or look carefully at a stimulus Billy frequently rubs his eyes and squints. His personality profile shows that he is pretty normal for his age and his attention testing shows that he can maintain attention. His achievement in reading, writing and mathematics are all fairly low, with reading and writing falling more than 1.5 standard deviations below his IQ. What might be going on with Billy? What might you diagnose him with? Why? Hint: Jane Jane is a brilliant 13-year-old (150 IQ) with perfect eyesight, hearing and language production. She struggles in school with reading, mispronouncing many words and stumbling over little words, but otherwise does just fine with everything else. An achievement test confirms that her reading achievement is very poor, but everything else is great. She has no pathological personality factors, attentional difficulties or conduct problems. What might you diagnose Jane with?
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