Reading Disabilities

learning disabilities

learning disabilities, in education, any of various disorders involved in understanding or using spoken or written language, including difficulties in listening, thinking, talking, reading, writing, spelling, or arithmetic. They may affect people of average or above-average intelligence. Learning disabilities include conditions referred to as perceptual handicaps, minimal brain dysfunction (MBD), dyslexia, developmental aphasia, and attentional deficit disorder (ADD); they do not include learning problems due to physical handicaps (e.g., impaired sight or hearing, or orthopedic disabilities), mental retardation, emotional disturbance, or cultural or environmental disadvantage. Techniques for remediation are highly individualized, including the simultaneous use of several senses (sight, hearing, touch), slow-paced instruction, and repetitive exercises to help make perceptual distinctions. Students are also assisted in compensating for their disabilities; for example, one with a writing disability may use a tape recorder for taking notes or answering essay questions. Behavior often associated with learning disabilities includes hyperactivity (hyperkinesis), short attention span, and impulsiveness. School programs for learning-disabled students range from a modified or supplemental program in regular classes to placement in a special school, depending upon the severity of the disability. The field of learning disabilities is considered to have emerged as a separate discipline in 1947 with the publication of the book Psychopathology and Education of the Brain-Injured Child by neuropsychiatrist Alfred A. Strauss and Laura E. Lehtinen. The need to help students with these disabilities was first recognized on the federal level in 1958, when Congress appropriated $1 million to train teachers for the mentally retarded. Famous people considered to have had a learning disability include Winston Churchill, Thomas Edison, and Nelson Rockefeller.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Reading Disabilities: Selected full-text books and articles

Perspectives on Learning Disabilities: Biological, Cognitive, Contextual By Robert J. Sternberg; Louise Spear-Swerling Westview Press, 1999
Librarian's tip: Chap. 1 "Genes, Environment, and Reading Disabilities," Chap. 5 "Phonologically Based Reading Disabilities: Toward a Coherent Theory of One Kind of Learning Disability," and Chap. 6 "Reading Disabilities and the Interventionist"
The Connections between Language and Reading Disabilities By Hugh W. Catts; Alan G. Kamhi Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2005
Visual Processes in Reading and Reading Disabilities By Dale M. Willows; Richard S. Kruk; Evelyne Corcos Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1993
Developmental Perspectives on Children with High-Incidence Disabilities By Ronald Gallimore; Lucinda P. Bernheimer; Donald L. MacMillan; Deborah L. Speece; Sharon Vaughn Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1999
Librarian's tip: Chap. 8 "Reading Disabilities"
Reading Comprehension Difficulties: Processes and Intervention By Cesare Cornoldi; Jane Oakhill Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1996
Off Track: When Poor Readers Become "Learning Disabled" By Louise Spear-Swerling; Robert J. Sternberg Westview Press, 1996
Speaking, Reading, and Writing in Children with Language Learning Disabilities: New Paradigms in Research and Practice By Katharine G. Butler; Elaine R. Silliman Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2002
Librarian's tip: Chap. 3 "The Language Basis of Reading: Implications for Classification and Treatment of Children with Reading Disabilities"
Subtypes of Learning Disabilities: Theoretical Perspectives and Research By Lynne V. Feagans; Elizabeth J. Short; Lynn J. Meltzer Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1991
Librarian's tip: Chap. 5 "Genetic Etiology of Individual Differences in Reading Disability"
Children with Reading Disabilities: Does Dynamic Assessment Help in the Classification? By Swanson, H. Lee; Howard, Crystal B Learning Disability Quarterly, Vol. 28, No. 1, Winter 2005
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Reading and Spelling: Development and Disorders By Charles Hulme; R. Malatesha Joshi Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1998
The Causes of High and Low Reading Achievement By Ronald P. Carver Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2000
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