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Controversy in the Field of Learning Disabilities

Why is there so much confusion and controversy in the field of LD?

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To begin, there are so many definitions for the term "learning disability". Which is where most of the confusion and controversy stem from. According to the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities, "Learning disabilities is a general term that refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders manifested by significant difficulties in the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning, or mathematical abilities. These disorders are intrinsic to the individual and presumed to be due to central nervous system dysfunction, and may occur across the life-span. Problems in self-regulatory behaviors, social perception, and social interaction may exist with learning disabilities but do not by themselves constitute a learning disability. Although learning disabilities may occur concomitantly with other handicapping conditions, (for example, sensory impairment, mental retardation, serious emotional disturbance) or with extrinsic influences (such as cultural differences, insufficient or inappropriate instruction), they are not the result of those conditions or influences." (http://www.portals.emory.edu/definitions/learning.html). On the other hand, according to The Interagency Committee on Learning Disabilities, "Learning disabilities is a generic term that refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders manifested by significant difficulties in the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, and writing, reasoning, or mathematical abilities or of social skills. These disorders are intrinsic to the individual and though a learning disability may occur concomitantly with other handicapping conditions (e.g. sensory impairment, mental retardation, social and emotional disturbance) with social environmental influences (e.g. cultural differences, insufficient or inappropriate instruction, psychogenic factors) and ...

Solution Summary

Discusses the current controversies over learning disabilities.

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