Identification of Learning Disabilities: Research to Practice

Identification of Learning Disabilities: Research to Practice

Identification of Learning Disabilities: Research to Practice

Identification of Learning Disabilities: Research to Practice

Synopsis

Identification of Learning Disabilities: Research to Practice is the remarkable product of a learning disabilities summit conference convened by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) in August 2001 and the activities following that summit. Both the conference and this book were seen as important preludes to congressional reauthorization of the historic Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) scheduled for 2002 and subsequent decision making surrounding implementation. The OSEP conference brought together people with different perspectives on LD (parents, researchers, practitioners, and policymakers) and resulted in this book, which examines the research on nine key issues concerning the identification of children with learning disabilities. Coverage includes alternative responses to treatment, classification approaches, processing deficit models, and approaches to decision making.

Chapter Structure -- Each of the first nine chapters is organized around a lengthy, issue-oriented paper, which presents the most current research on that topic. These primary papers are then followed by four respondent papers that reflect a variety of viewpoints on the topic.

Summarizing Chapter -- A small group of researchers (listed in the final chapter) dedicated an enormous amount of time to summarizing the research and developing key consensus statements regarding the identification of children with learning disabilities. Their work is sure to have a tremendous impact on future discussions in this area.

Expertise -- The following well-known scholars have helped summarize the vast amount of research presented in this book as well as the consensus statements derived therefrom: Lynne Cook, Don Deshler, Doug Fuchs, Jack M. Fletcher, Frank Gresham, Dan Hallahan, Joseph Jenkins, Kenneth Kavale, Barbara Keogh, Margo Mastopieri, Cecil Mercer, Dan Reschley, Rune Simeonsson, Joe Torgesen, Sharon Vaughn, and Barbara Wise.

Excerpt

In 1975, Congress enacted the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (Public Law 94-142), now known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), to support states and localities in protecting the rights of, meeting the individual needs of, and improving the results for infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities and their families. This landmark civil rights law and state grant program established procedures for ensuring that all individuals with disabilities have the right to an individualized, free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.

In the 27 years since the passage of Public Law 94-142, significant progress has been made toward meeting major national goals for developing and implementing effective programs and services for early intervention, special education, and related services. Before IDEA, many children with disabilities were denied access to education and opportunities to learn. For example, in 1970, U.S. schools educated only one in five children with disabilities, and many states had laws excluding certain students, such as children who were deaf, blind, emotionally disturbed, or mentally retarded.

Today, over 6 million children and youth with disabilities receive special education and related services. IDEA is responsible for many improvements in the lives of children with disabilities and their families. The majority of children with disabilities are now being educated in their neighborhood schools in regular classrooms with their nondisabled peers. High school graduation rates and employment rates among youth with disabilities have increased dramatically: graduation rates increased by 14 percent from 1984 to 1997, and today's post-school employment rates for youth served under IDEA are twice those of older adults with similar disabilities who did not have the benefit of IDEA. Post-secondary enrollments among individuals with disabilities receiving IDEA services also have sharply increased: the percentage of . . .

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