A Model for Addressing Behavior and Learning Disabilities

By Moody, Madeleine | National Association of School Psychologists. Communique, May 2016 | Go to article overview

A Model for Addressing Behavior and Learning Disabilities


Moody, Madeleine, National Association of School Psychologists. Communique


A Model for Addressing Behavior and Learning Disabilities LEARNING DISABILITIES AND CHALLENGING BEHAVIORS: Using the building blocks Model to guide intervention and Classroom Management, Third edition By N. Mather, S. Gold stein, & K. Eklund 2015, Brookes

Review by Madeleine Moody

Learning Disabilities and Challenging Behaviors is a textbook that early career teachers or other education-based professionals could use to provide them with a general overview and history of topics related to behavior and learning disabilities, as well as related strategies that teachers could use to improve classroom environment and learning outcomes.

There are 12 chapters, and the book starts by explaining the authors' framework for assessing and approaching challenging behaviors and learning disabilities. The framework is called the Building Blocks Model. The Building Blocks Questionnaire (provided with the book) is a teacher and parent report scale with general statements related to the model. The authors point out that their model has not undergone critical evaluation but is their way of trying to bridge research and educational practice to explain why children struggle and how to help them. The authors explain the thinking behind the model, relating it to psychological and neuropsychological theories pertaining to intelligence (e.g., Planning, Attention, Simultaneous, Successive theory; Cattel-Horn-Carroll theory).

The book is particularly useful for understanding ways that teachers or other school staff can impact the learning environment and culture to positively affect students. There is a great explanation for why and how teachers should describe the behaviors they observe rather than labeling students or problems. They also provide guidance for the use of multimodal (i.e., medical, behavioral, and environmental) treatment. …

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