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Dynamic approach to learning disability assessment: DLD test

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A severe discrepancy between intellectual ability and achievement is one major criterion for diagnosis of learning disability (LD). This manuscript describes the shortcomings of this paradigm and offers a new dynamic approach for LD assessment based on evaluation of LD during a standard learning process of how to read and write a new language. The dynamic learning disability (DLD) test, K‐ABC IQ test, and K‐ABC reading test were administered to 56 normal 4th grade students and to 48 LD students. It was hypothesized that the results using the conventional criteria may mismatch the results of DLD, and that DLD predicts the progress of students in a long‐term group learning process better. The results indicated that LD students, as a group, manifested significant difficulties in the DLD test. Among 48 students who meet the conventional criteria for LD diagnosis 14 students (29.16%) were able to learn a new language in the DLD test (Inconsistent LD sub‐group). From the 14 students who have low achievement in reading without serious indications of cognitive difficulties, six students (42.857%) manifested serious difficulties in learning a new language in the DLD test (Latent LD sub‐group). The DLD test as well as the labels of the sub‐groups was validated by the amount of progress in the long‐term group learning process. The DLD test proved to have high reliability and predictive validity coefficients. It is suggested that it become part of the diagnostic battery of tests of LD. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Keywords: achievement; assessment; dyslexia; learning disabilities; reading; tests

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Emek Yezreel College and University of Haifa, Israel

Publication date: February 1, 2004

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