IQ’s Corner: Understanding, educating and supporting children with specific learning disabilities: 50 years of science and practice. General knowledge

E. L. Grigorenko, D. L. Compton, L. S. Fuchs, R. K. Wagner, E. G. Willcutt & J. M. Fletcher (2020). Understanding, education and support for children with specific learning disabilities: 50 years of science and practice. American psychologist, 75(1), 37-51.

Specific learning disabilities (SLDs) are both historically and currently of great relevance to the science and practice of psychology, which illustrates the integration of interdisciplinary approaches to human relationships. They can manifest themselves as primary conditions – difficulties in acquiring specific academic skills – or as secondary conditions associated with other developmental disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. In this synthesis of historical and contemporary trends in research and practice, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the recognition of SLDs as disabilities in the United States. In particular, we deal with the manifestations, occurrence, identification, comorbidity, etiology and treatment of SLDs, whereby the integration of information from the interdisciplinary areas of psychology, education, psychiatry, genetics and cognitive neuroscience is in the foreground. SLDs, exemplified by the specific reading of words, reading comprehension, mathematics and the impairment of written expression, represent spectrum disorders that occur in approximately 5% to 15% of the school-age population. In addition to the risk of academic deficiencies and the related functional social, emotional and behavioral disorders, people with SLD often have poorer long-term social and professional outcomes. Given the high frequency of SLDs and their lifelong negative effects on non-treatment functioning, it is important to establish and maintain effective prevention, monitoring, and treatment systems that involve professionals from different disciplines who are trained to minimize risk and the protection factors for SLDs to maximize SLDs. (PsycINFO database entry (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)


Kevin S. McGrew, PhD

Educational & School Psychologist


Institute for Applied Psychometry (IAP)


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