Talk:Learning disability

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Reasoning for assessment: a significant issue in US schools.SBaker43 (talk) 06:10, 20 February 2011 (UTC)
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Would like update on what is going on with page[edit]


This article has been changed from a "disambiguation page" for to a regular article, which by itself I don't necessarily have an issue with. In case you're not familiar with disambiguation pages, take a look at Wikipedia:Manual of Style (disambiguation pages)

But I do have a couple of questions regarding the purpose of the page at this point.

- It looks like there is some intention of turning this page into an article series. What is the plan for this change? Which articles are expected eventually to be part of the series?

- It looks like this page is now very U.S.-centric. If there will be a subordinate article for LD in the U.S., shouldn't the "parent" page represent a global view rather than the US view? (which is covered in detail on another page).

Would someone fill me in on the plan for this article, or article series?


Rosmoran 13:20, 20 June 2007 (UTC)



The term developmental disabilities is not really used in UK in social care settings although it may be acceptable in medical circles. People with learning disabilities tend to use to use the term learning difficulties, although that in itself can be confused with dyslexia and other educational learning difficulties. Isn't the term used in the US 'Mental Retardation'?

Mcdad (talk) 20:50, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

No. Mental retardation refers to generalized low intelligence (for shorthand, below 70 points on an IQ test normed at 100 AND impairments in daily living) appearing no later than adolescence. Developmental disability applies to autism and other wide-ranging problems in children's functioning. Learning disability is a specific problem such as difficulty in auditory processing and may appear in adults following stroke or head trauma. None of the three terms has anything to do with mental illness. The terms do get confused in lay usage.

Cwilsyn (talk) 07:58, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Greetings! I'm a random U.S. grad student pulling an all-nighter on a paper on learning disabilities right now who's never edited a Wikipedia page before, so sorry if this is wildly out of format, in the wrong place, etc., but I noticed a question on the Definitions section about the origin of the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities definition of a learning disability. A google search for 'national joint committee on learning disabilities definition' produced this as the second result (the date is different than what is specified in this article, but the language is identical):

Happy editing :) (talk) 06:30, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

Merging articles "Learning disability" and "Learning disability (US)"[edit]

This merge is essentially a "revert" of a restructure I did to the previous organization a few weeks ago. Basic background is: Evidently in the UK, the term "learning disability" means what we call "developmental disability". So as not to cause confusion, I broke the article into two pages turned "Learning disability" into the disambiguation page pointing to "Learning disability in the US" and "Learning disability in the UK".

Subsequently, the UK editors decided to redirect "Learning disabilities in the UK" to "developmental disability." There was discussion of moving the "Learning disabilities in the US" content back into the "Learning disability" page, but I haven't had time to do it until now. Best, Rosmoran 18:08, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

Criticism of Learning Disabilities and of Special Education[edit]

Hi Nburden,

Why did you revert my contribution ?:

19:16, 23 October 2007 Nburden (Talk | contribs) m (26,892 bytes) (Reverted 1 edit by using TW) (undo) 20:11, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

follows copy of: Learning disability 11:01, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Hi Nburden,

why did you revert my contribution ?:

19:16, 23 October 2007 Nburden (Talk | contribs) m (26,892 bytes) (Reverted 1 edit by using TW) (undo) 20:10, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

I feel the information presented would be more appropriate in an article of its own, with better coverage from outside sources. Nburden (T) 20:20, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
An article of its own now, would be a stub. In the meantime, it would be worthwhile permitting students and readers have the option of getting acquainted with this aspect of the subject, don't you think so ?
Cheers, 22:16, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
There's nothing wrong with a stub. There are many wikipedians who try to expand stubs, which means a stub would be very likely to be expanded. Further, it would increase the likelyhood of better sourcing, which was a problem in my opinion. Nburden (T) 01:51, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
There's nothing wrong with a stub, besides being a stub, but it is also not compulsory and inevitable. Better sourcing could be added in the same article even though it is not a problem now in my opinion . I still think it would do very well as it is.
Cheers, 08:47, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

update of this copy: 11:47, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

What I was saying is that a stub is much more visible. Regardless, I would have pulled the section for the sourcing alone. You had only one source for multiple paragraphs, which makes it look like spam. However, if you want to add it back in, I won't remove it right away again. Just know that if the sourcing doesn't get better pretty quick, I'll tag it. Nburden (T) 16:13, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

I have to agree with Nburden, some more sourcing would be helpful--Vannin 00:29, 25 October 2007 (UTC).

The article would benefit from a section that addresses this aspect of the subject. I'm sorry to say, however, that the information in question does not do very well as it is because there are major issues with the content and the point-of-view from which it is written.

All of the issues could be addressed with a major revision of the material, but it would be essentially a rewrite. I will point out specifics not to be unkind, but to be clear on what needs to be addressed.

The biggest issue, as has been pointed out, is the complete lack of sourcing. As written, the material can only be interpreted as personal opinion, not to mention very POV (for example, by labeling as "pseudo-science" several illnesses that are proved to be neurological in origin, and claiming that the "unschooling" version of home schooling cures all learning problems).

Aside from the many editorial problems which are easy to fix, the material is also written in a very un-encyclopedic style, for example, it uses the term "Criticism of Learning Disabilities and of Special Education" as the subject of multiple sentences, as though it were a proper noun.

I don't know how new a Wikipedian you are, but I'm sure that many of the repeat editors of this page would be willing to help guide you on how to revise the text so that it comes closer to meeting basic Wikipedia requirements.

Rosmoran 04:59, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

I also think the article would benefit from a section that addresses this aspect of the subject. Still criticism by its own nature must address subjects from a different point-of-view and I wonder if "criticism of one personal opinion" is not as valid and most important criticism.
To my knowledge the "unschooling version of home schooling" issue is not research supported, hence I assume it is not to be included.
As for the neurological origin of the mentioned illnesses, there is no proof of it (see: Gerald Coles, The Learning Mystique: A Critical Look at "Learning Disabilities.").
Cheers, 14:59, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
"Today, with alarming frequency, children of normal intelligence who do not perform at the same level as their peers are branded 'learning disabled', the victims of a neurological dysfunction. This book demonstrates that the theories behind neurological explanations are unproven."
Gerald Coles, The Learning Mystique: A Critical Look at "Learning Disabilities" -- Book Description" 22:06, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
You're absolutely right about the appropriateness of including information reflecting different aspects of a subject. However, it must still be written from a neutral point of view, and the information in its previous form was not. (Using a neutral point of view is not my standard but a Wikipedia principle -- see Wikipedia:Neutral point of view and Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/Examples.) Don't feel discouraged because you didn't know this --- I think most Wikipedians go through a similar learning curve. I certainly did.
The disorders I was referring to that have been proved to be neurological in origin are ADD and OCD (which your information labeled as pseudo-science). Their etiology has been proved not by theorists or by LD professionals, but by medical researchers using functional imaging techniques such as PET and fMRI. These clearly show that brain activity is very different in people with the disorders. (There are similar findings for dyslexia that are also based on brain imaging, but the research has not yet shown solid evidence for LD's in the more general sense.)
If you want to include the information, it can certainly be rewritten from a neutral point of view. If you're not sure how to do this, there are many experienced Wiki contributors who would be happy to help. There are also some good examples of what to do and not to do in the Wiki articles I mention above.
Best, Rosmoran 01:01, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

You might want to tell me after you read Gerald Coles' book I mentioned and the articles I included in my information.

~ "Not brains are different but people and their relations to their environment are different."
Gerald Coles, The Learning Mystique: A Critical Look at "Learning Disabilities."

That's the reason it's called "criticism," because it disagrees, until one of the parties becomes convinced -- if that happens some day.

". . .1. An important factor underlying the dramatic increase in the numbers of "Learning Disabled" children is our culture's preoccupation with the medical model of problem-solving. Simply put, here is what this means. For about 150 years, modern Western medicine has been producing a seemingly unending series of spectacular successes. The process, based on the application of "scientific method", involves identifying a disease with precision; finding a universal cause for the disease; and creating a cure. So well has this process seemed to work in making Western populations healthier, that the model is assumed to be applicable to others areas as well.

This is not the place to discuss whether the model is valid even in medicine, or whether it works in such areas as social or political problem solving, where it has been widely used. But it is worth noting the effect the model has had on education, to which it has been assiduously applied for over thirty years. Schools are viewed as "sick," as plagued with "ills" that must be "cured". Periodically, and with great frequency, educators announce new "remedies" that they have found for specific pathologies in the education process. These remedies are supposed to work like antibiotics against bacterial infection: they are to be applied in a prescribed manner until the ill goes away. The fact that virtually every remedy that has ever been announced for schools has not worked, despite the willingness of the public to pay for them every time, does not faze the "doctors" of education: after all medicine too has had its share of false starts and unsuccessful panaceas, and that has not shaken the faith of the public in doctors, has it?

The field of special ed is particularly noted for the application of the medical model to individual children who are pupils in the school system. Schools find themselves defining with increasing narrowness and precision what a "normal" or "healthy" child should be like, and "diagnosing" every departure from this norm as some sort of "disorder". In line with medicine's preoccupation with regular checkups for everyone, even for people who feel perfectly fine, the schools develop ever more sophisticated general tests for all pupils of all ages. These tests are used to bring to light alleged learning disabilities, as are the observations and reports of teachers and counselors, who -- though not trained at all in the way medical doctors are trained – become diagnosticians in the educational field. So dominant has the medical model become in schools, that children who are labeled as LD are by now generally considered to suffer from real organic disorder in brain function, even though the evidence is UNIVERSAL that only a tiny fraction of children labeled as LD can be demonstrated to be actually suffering from a neurological or physiological disorder that can be identified by accepted medical means. Anyone who doubts this should read the superb and thorough study written in 1987 by Gerald Coles entitled "The Learning Mystique", published by Ballantine Books. The validity of his conclusions has not been affected by any studies that have appeared since the date of publication.

The medical model is simple, and therein lies its appeal. It makes simple statements, and points to simple remedies. But it just hasn't worked in the schools, and it never will, BECAUSE IT DOESN'T APPLY, Schools are not hospitals, and the sooner we break away from the analogy the more quickly we will put special education into its proper perspective . . ."

fragment of, "SPECIAL EDUCATION" -- a Noble Cause Run Amok

Cheers, 03:38, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

I am not interested in arguing with you about theories of the origin of learning disabilities, nor is this an appropriate location for such a discussion to take place. (Perhaps you could register and create a user page for such discussions.)
If you would like to reframe the information that you want included so that it takes a neutral point of view, I encourage you to do so --- that way the information could be incorporated into the article.
BTW, would like to clarify something. Using a neutral point of view does not mean that controversial or contrary perspectives should not be included. In fact, they *should* be included --- they just need to be represented in a non-partisan way and with apprpriate citation. For example, on the unschooling issue, the lack of research support does not on its own rule out its inclusion. But if included, it needs to presented neutrally and not from the perspective of an advocate. Also, it needs to be based on statements or claims that come from verifiable outside sources, such as a book or a peer-reviewed publication.
Rosmoran 05:40, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

I think we need to focus this discussion page on the article rather than on the topic. In terms of the article, some of this other perspective has already been covered off with the section on Sternberg, and I think that may be sufficient. In many ways the article does not really push for a medical model or organic causes and indeed also has the piece on response to instruction and the role of remediation, so I think it is ok.--Vannin 05:18, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

On home education - homeschooled children in the unschooling approach (just for the record):
"Are learning disorder labels the "emperor's new clothes" of the schools? Philosophers have an interesting tool called Occam's Razor, a handy device for cutting through preposterous theories: "the simplest theory that fits the facts of a problem is the one that should be selected." What are the facts? It is a fact that many school children, mostly males, have learning difficulties. But it is also a fact that there is a group of hundreds of thousands of children in the world, both male and female, among whom this "genetic" defect is absent: homeschoolers. In this group, learning difficulties are virtually unknown, except for those children recently in school."
Fragment of, "Learning Disability": A Rose by Another Name, by Jan Hunt 00:11, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
With all of this evidence, why don't you just rewrite the information as a properly sourced addition, as opposed to listing it on the talk page, where it doesn't really belong? Nburden (T) 02:04, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Perfect: an outside, verifiable source. You can use this as the source for your unschooling material. Just be sure to write it from a neutral perspective, as though you don't have a personal opinion on the topic. Just the facts.
Rosmoran 13:00, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Nburden writes: "Drop the 'pseudo-scientific'."

02:18, 28 October 2007 Nburden (Talk | contribs) m (31,425 bytes) (→Criticism of Learning Disabilities and of Special Education - Drop the "pseudo-scientific.") (undo)

The use of the concept rests upon at least two sources:
"To achieve this homogenization of the classroom, all the non-standard kids had to be "diagnosed" as having some illness, that justified the expense of special ed. And so, in the past decade or two, a host of new so-called disorders has arisen -- attention deficit disorder (ADD), hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), reading disorders, cognitive disorders, and many others -- none of which have been, or can be, traced to any physiological dysfunction whatsoever. These pseudo-scientific diagnoses have caused a whole generation of non-standard children to be labeled as dysfunctional, even though they suffer from nothing more than the disease of responding differently in the classroom than the average manageable student. When this process of labeling and separation is applied to adults -- as it was for several generations in the Soviet Union -- there is a general hue and cry denouncing such action as a malicious suppression of freedom and individual variation. Alas, when the same process is being applied to more and more children in our own land of the free and home of the brave, hardly a voice is raised in protest, and those few who object are berated for attacking the schools!" [1]
Gerald Coles' research and his book, The Learning Mystique: A Critical Look at "Learning Disabilities."
"The author argues against today's dominant theory that learning disabilities are caused by neurological deficits."
"Yet, as Coles points out in this important critique, there is little concrete, scientific evidence to prove the condition exists as described. By proposing an alternative theory, one that focuses on a variety of social and familial relationships experienced by children, as well as individual neurological differences that are not necessarily dysfunctions, Coles challenges the educational establishment." 07:46, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Hi, I've tightened up the writing in this section so that the key points are highlighted, and the language is less polemic. I hope that this maintains the main issues that are raised here.--Vannin 19:59, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Hi, I've reverted this section so all of the key points be kept as they were, clear, well defined, well explained, well justified and well documented, as fit for Wikipedia. Not all the main issues that were raised here were maintained in the "tightening up", e.g. todays homogenization and standardization of schools that bring with them learning disabilities and special education.
By the way, the phrase, "Special education models in which children are labelled with the term learning disability...," is baseless. 13:31, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Well, I think we'll have to keep working on this because it will have to be rewritten, and needs to be concise and clear, rather than being a general rant. First - let's get agreement on what the key points are. It is a bit hard to tell, but I think you are trying to say that 1. the special education models that involve labelling have been criticized. 2. the current education model that has a chronological lock step focus is the real problem because 3. children learn at different paces in different ways. And further 4. the finding of neurological impairments have not been "proven" (although I think with all the fMRI, autopsy, and other data, this will be a bit harder to get agreement on). You propose 5. that home-schooling is the solution to allowing children to go at their own pace. In the meantime, we may have to take the whole thing out, because what is there now is not up to standard. --Vannin 14:44, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Hi Vannin,
Please notice that the sources for the first four paragraphs of this section are, "SPECIAL EDUCATION" -- a Noble Cause Sacrificed to standardization, "SPECIAL EDUCATION" -- a Noble Cause Run Amok," from the book, Education In America -- A View From Sudbury Valley, and Chapter 5, THE OTHER 'R's, from the book FREE AT LAST -- The Sudbury Valley School, by Daniel Greenberg. NOT, The Learning Mystique: A Critical Look at "Learning Disabilities," by Gerald Coles, as you wrote. 21:49, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
Hi User:80.178.242, I've changed the source as you indicated.--Vannin 23:44, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

I've removed the links to an outside website, to reduce possible spam. Of interest, this website is associated with scientology--Vannin 00:38, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Vannin, Can you clarify how you determined that association? I know the C.o.S. believe psychiatry is junk science but the question to be asked is does the source website merely "borrow" from C.o.S. "research" which happens to agree with their point of view or is the website sponsored/created by the C.o.S ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:19, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Because the Ablechild site is run through a scientology server - see [[2]] and also ownership [[3]]--Vannin (talk) 20:15, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Taken out the lengthy quote from a website. It repeated what has already been said, but with a non-neutral tone.--Vannin 01:16, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Criticism section is very problematic[edit]


I'm sure that it is no surprise to editors following the development of this page that the "Criticism" section is in the process of a major reworking.

I'm not sure where we are in this process, but the section as it now stands is so polemical that the information it contains comes off as highly questionable. At the very least, it is still extremely POV.

I think that the section is important and should be reworked until we can achieve consensus on its form and content. However, I'm thinking that we should remove it from the page until the content and tone has settled a bit.

I am willing to create a "sandbox" page that we can use for the development process. Alternatively, we could do the development on the Discussion page.

Rosmoran 01:54, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Hi Rosmoran, I'm working away at making the material more neutral, paragraph by paragraph, while still trying to keep the key points. I have removed some of the quotes because they really don't add to the main issues that are being raised.--Vannin 03:25, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Oh, good. I'm glad you're still engaged. You're doing a very good job of reframing the material so that it retains the essential content but presents it in a non-partisan tone. Rosmoran 11:48, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
There, I've finished the first go-through, and I think the banner can be removed while we go through it and tidy it up.--Vannin 14:39, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

The home-schooling statement needs a reference - it appears to be pure speculation at the moment. I have certainly worked with adults who were home-schooled as children who qualify as having lds, although it could well be argued that their self-esteem might be better than it would had they stayed in the mainstream. Again, though, I have not seen any research on this--Vannin 14:44, 31 October 2007 (UTC).

Schools are very problematic (or How Schools Cheat)...[edit]

...ditto for people that are not familiar with the subject.

Snell, Lisa, Special education confidential: how schools use the "learning disability" label to cover up their failures.

  • Lisa Snell is director of education policy at the Reason Foundation.

"This winter (Dec, 2002) Congress is scheduled to reauthorize the Individuals With Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA),which dispenses $6o billion a year to school districts around the country. While there's no question that IDEA has provided legal protections and services for students with handicaps, it has also created perverse incentives that encourage schools to call kids disabled as a way of attracting more funding and masking instructional failures. Instead of restructuring the program to mitigate these unintended consequences, Congress is set to simply throw more money at the problem.
Disability As an Excuse
Nearly 12 percent of American students in kindergarten through 12th grade are assigned to the special education system. Children with severe disabilities, such as mental retardation, autism, blindness, and deafness, account for only a tenth of these students. The remaining 90 percent are described as suffering from conditions that are less obvious and harder to verify objectively, such as specific learning disability (SLD), speech and language delays, mild mental retardation, and emotional disorders. SLD is the most common label, accounting for more than half of all students covered by IDEA. SLD diagnoses, which have risen by 34 percent since 1991, are the main factor contributing to the dramatic increase in special education enrollments since 1976." [4]

"Andrew J. Coulson sums it up neatly in his book Market Education: The Unknown History. "In the world of public schooling," he writes, "SLD diagnosis is often reduced to a devastatingly simple formula: if a child is smart but cannot read or do math, he is disabled."
The SLD label is increasingly popular not because it suggests a particular pedagogical approach but because it brings schools extra money." [5]

"EVEN IN A sluggish economy, special education remains a growth industry, reveals LISA SNELL in "Special Education Confidential" (page 40). Snell is the director of the Reason Public Policy Institute's education program, but her most dispiriting encounters with pedagogical bankruptcy have been personal. As a college instructor in public speaking, Snell found that "students didn't have the grammatical or rhetorical skills to write a speech, let alone give one." Her last feature for reason was the August-September 2001 cover story, "Schoolhouse Crock," which related the dismal track record of her son Jacob's public elementary school. As of this fall, Jake is receiving exemplary instruction-from Snell and her husband, at home in Orange County, California." [6]

Criticisms of IDEA

"- Schools label children as "learning disabled" and place them in special education even if the child does not have a learning disability, because the schools have failed to teach the children basic skills."

"The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a United States federal law that governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and related services to children with disabilities. It addresses the educational needs of children with disabilities from birth to the age of 21."

How Schools Cheat, Lisa Snell | June 2005 Print Edition.

From underreporting violence to inflating graduation rates to fudging testscores, educators are lying to the American public.

Cheers, 15:10, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

The discussion page is for discussion of the article itself, not a platform for an ideological position-- Also, you need to create a user account and log in so that people can discuss this with you on your talk page Vannin 15:26, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

It is not an ideological position. Its is the objective reality of the topic of the article itself, and sources that can be included to improve the subject. 15:59, 31 October 2007 (UTC)


The external links section is already quite long and I think we need to be careful to avoid linking to commercial sites. Digital Reporter, I've answered your e-mail on your talk page regarding this issue. Hope that helps explain it--Vannin (talk) 21:47, 5 February 2008 (UTC)


Definition needs a better citation - reference to the National Center for Learning Disabilities site maybe?
--User:Brenont (talk) 21:20, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

Criticism of learning disabiltiies section[edit]

This section is problematic for a couple of reasons. First, the approach is odd --- even aside from personifying "criticism" (which I have attempted to remove).

The section seems to be attempting to address the idea that labeling children as learning disabled actually undermines the child's ability to learn, the alternative being educators looking at each child as a different type of learner and customizing a teaching approach that fits that child's development.

I think the problem I'm seeing has to do with *what* is undermining childrens' learning. It isn't the label itself, but the fact that educational institutions (consciously or unconsciously) lower their expectations for children who have been labeled as "learning disabled." The assumption becomes that the child is incapable of learning, not that the child needs a different method of instruction. Thus, it is the expectations that the institution has of the child that undermine's the child's ability to succeed.

Is this what is intended in the section, or am I missing the point?

Rosmoran (talk) 07:32, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

I think this section was created as criticism of the entire educational system, with the idea being that teachers are opting out of teaching children who are more demanding, and school districts are using the label to get extra funds etc. If I remember correctly the section evolved in part out of some anti-psychiatry/psychology websites that oppose all labelling (of course they are missing the real labelling that goes on in the school yard if there is an absence of appropriate intervention. The section was pretty much an attempt at compromise, but well worth revisiting and re-doing I would think.--Vannin (talk) 05:54, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

So, it occurs to me that this label/no label issue is more than just criticism of categorizing some kids in a bucket called "learning disabled." Some researchers actually approach the problems from a different perspective, avoiding categorical labels of disability. For example, Mel Levine talks about approaching learning difficulties by identifying the place in the learning process that breaks down for each child.
This approach is, at best, implied criticism of the LD label.
Would it make sense to reframe the section so that it is something like "Alternatives to the learning disability label"???
Rosmoran (talk) 08:43, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

Additional thoughts[edit]

There is an argument by some that die-hard behaviorists would like to do away with the learning disabilities label all together. The argument goes that behaviorists really don't see the point in labeling kids because struggling kids should always get additional support. Putting these kids in special classes doesn't improve their academic outcomes and it subjects them to a lot of cognitively-based intervention that behaviorists think serves no purpose (since it doesn't link directly to clearly measurable [i.e., behavioral] outcomes). That's not my opinion, and I wish i could think of a reference at the moment, but I can't. An example of a behaviorist who might be seen as having this perspective is Reschly (see his 2005 article in the Journal of Learning Disabilities).

So, I'm not sure whether that was the intention or not, but clearly a better version of this should be written. I would encourage you to just go ahead and rewrite it. Save some of the content, but it really needs a rewrite to be made NPOV and clearer. Kearnsdm (talk) 04:38, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

On labeling, there has been a move by disabled activists in the UK to redefine and reclaim the meaning of words such as 'disabled', 'impaired' and so on; much in the same way that African-Americans have sought to reclaim words like 'black' and 'nigger'. These words may in one context stigmatise people and reproduce inequalities, but in other contexts they can also form the basis of collective action amongst oppressed peoples. We should keep this in mind when editing. I'm not sure that disabled people themselves are calling for the phrase 'learning disabled' to be abandoned. --Nicholas (talk) 11:20, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. Keep in mind, also, that the purpose of the article is not for editors to make decisions or recommendations. It's to describe the facts objectively, including opposing points of view if they are "significant" (meaning that it's not just the opinion of some lone crackpot ....).
Based on what I know, it seems like a large percentage of stakeholders agree that the labels are helpful (for various reasons). A smaller percentage assert that labels are not helpful, and another smaller percentage assert that labels are actually harmful (for various reasons).
Our job is to objectively represent all reasonable sides of the issue, using the undue weight and NPOV Wikipedia guidelines.
Best, Rosmoran (talk) 23:12, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

You might try this: increasing intelligence[edit]

If you have a good natural gesture communication with your pupil, you can try the following: The task of thinking is to form a correct picture of the environment. That is very close to the task of the senses. If the pupil manages to be clear headed about what is where of his or her experiences, he or she can learn things quicker. So encourage the pupil to use the sense of sight, a seen picture of the enviroment and of all the things in it, even when he or she is naturally concentrated mainly on other things, for example on social life. That can make your friend clear-headed. In addition, encourage your friend to use his or her senses and listen to sensations and feelings, so as to observe things better instead of acting out of the memory, or solely out of social kind of guesses of what you want from him or her. InsectIntelligence (talk) 07:49, 21 February 2008 (UTC) Ok so this is the dumbest thing I have ever heard what the hell do you mean? Need more clairification. Learning Disabilities is just to put people down. It's shit! That's what it is. I have a very close friend with a LD, she is soo smart. But was she given a chance no!

Substantial revision needed[edit]

This article is drawing many well-intentioned contributions and criticisms. It needs a thorough reworking with substantial explanation of what a learning disability is or seems to be, before getting into causation and social effect. The treatment section is simply a list of generic educational approaches, some of which should not be used together; it is not specialized to situations of learning disabilities.

I am coming off Hurricane Ike and had previously promised to work on other articles, but I will check back in October to see what y'all think Cwilsyn (talk) 07:44, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Move to "Learning disability (USA)"?[edit]

The page was just moved to Learning disability ( USA). I reverted the move, because I didn't see that there was any consensus for it, and because it is likely inaccurate, given that the article mentions Canada as well. I also think that, if the article doesn't represent a universal point of view, a better option would be to bring it to the talk page and add sourced information to try to improve the article. Is there, in fact, consensus for the move to Learning disability (USA)?--Dawn Bard (talk) 01:13, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

This Article as it stands can only relate to North America and the issues related to how learning Disabilities are defined on that continent, whcih would not be the case for any other area of the world, as eacxh country isuall has thei own constitutions and legal statutes which define these issues, which in turm wouls not include the USA or Canada. So ~There needs to be a Geographicb reference for the nature of the content of any WIKI article and this article can only refer to issues in the USa anjd Canada, or North America.

Unless you wish to include all the legisalation from every country in the world regarding Learning Disability in which case the article should retain ists current Title.

dolfrog (talk) 01:31, 26 May 2009 (UTC) in the United Kingdom

I have added the {{worldwide}} tag to the article - can anyone point to any sources about how the definitions of learning disabilities are different in other parts of the world? I think that, even if there end up being separate articles like "Learning disability (USA)" there should still be a catchall article here that provides an overview and points to the geography-specific fork articles. Dawn Bard (talk) 01:54, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

this could bedone by creating a WIKI "Learing Disability" Category, not too sure how that is done, and then you can have a template for the category which could include the various geographical locations. This was done for the Dyslexia WIKI page but those who their way around WIKI have now left the project

dolfrog (talk) 02:40, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Worldwide view?[edit]

Is there a general consensus that the "worldwide view" tag is needed? I put it there based on the discussion above, but if only one editor feels this way, and nobody has any suggestions to improve the "worldwideness" of the article, maybe it should be deleted. Dawn Bard (talk) 13:41, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was page not moved. @harej 03:51, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

Learning disabilityLearning disorder —Learning disability is quite offensive in areas such as the United Kingdom. I would like to gain a consensus here. If anyone can offer suggestions, on rather this move would be appropriate or not, I would appreciate it. Esthertaffet (talk) 14:01, 11 August 2009 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's naming conventions.
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


I realized that learning disability is caused by unknown factors because if someone who suffers from mental retardation but cannot learn effectively does this person has a learning disability? No, because it is caused by mental retardation, a known factor. Someone who suffers from learning disability, there is no known factors. It is all theories but nothing about real causes. If you have any issues with this, please let me know. Esthertaffet (talk) 16:02, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

History merge[edit]

I've history merged this page with Learning disability (U.S.), so all the edit attribution is in one place. There will be some overlapping edits between April 2007 and early July 2007. Graham87 14:26, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

"Disorder" only partly accurate in the US[edit]

While concrete afflictions like dyslexia are disorders, Learning Disability is, in the US, more a label than a disorder--disorders and diseases are diagnosed by doctors and psychiatrists, while the LD label is often applied by school councilors with very little medical or psychiatric qualifications. Disorders are contained within the label LD, but nobody has ever been diagnosed by a doctor as simply learning disabled, there has to be a more specific problem to meet the rigor of science. The diagnostic links on the classification and external resources say as much. To be generous, LD is a classification including several disorders, and to be honest, it is a label (at least in the US) applied to children with learning disorders, behavioral problems and stress or that generally don't get along in class. (talk) 17:37, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Intelligence Citations Bibliography for Articles Related to IQ Testing[edit]

Because the article mentions IQ testing, I thought I should mention a bibliography that should be helpful for Wikipedians working on updating this article. That is the bibliography of Intelligence Citations for the use of all Wikipedians who have occasion to edit articles on human intelligence and related issues. I happen to have circulating access to a huge academic research library at a university with an active research program in those issues (and to another library that is one of the ten largest public library systems in the United States) and have been researching these issues since 1989. You are welcome to use these citations for your own research and to suggest new sources to me by comments on that page. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk) 23:08, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

Phrasing word-for-word with LD OnLine[edit]

Hi all,

At the end of the first and the beginning of the second paragraphs we find:

"if left to figure things out by themselves or if taught in conventional ways.

A learning disability cannot be cured or fixed."

The exact same is found at LD OnLine's "What is a Learning Disability" article:

"if left to figure things out by themselves or if taught in conventional ways.

A learning disability can't be cured or fixed[...]"

I'm not sure which came first, but I wanted to bring attention to this as neither Wikipedia nor LD OnLine cites any source.

Educe (talk) 00:23, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

Learning Disorder NOS[edit]

Doesn't this article need some information on Learning Disorder Not Otherwise Specified? It has mostly everything besides that. Lighthead þ 20:50, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

I have tagged the page. Thanks. Lighthead þ 20:07, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
I would also recommend that if someone has a copy of the DSM-IV-TR, that they create the article Learning Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, or some variation on the capitalization thereof. Lighthead þ 22:12, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

No mention of learning styles?[edit]

This article does not mention the alternative concept of learning styles or of multiple intelligence types, whether Howard Gardner's or Sternberg's Triarchic. Without listing these, this article is not truly neutral. Also this article seems to be written in support of the concept of learning disabilities. Especially since there is an advocacy section and no criticism section with my fellow wikipedians screening criticisms of learning disabilities to make sure they fit into your standard of reasonable criticism.

--RowdyShortPerson (talk) 05:28, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Politically correct term[edit]

for people of low intelligence. Some people aren't very intelligent. Doesn't make them bad people, but it isn't a complete disability either. Many intelligent people have "athletic difficulties".--MacRusgail (talk) 16:01, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

SES? what does it stand for?[edit]

The sentence starts off with "others have argued that racial/ethnic minorities are overidentified because of their lower average SES... Then continues on without explaining what it is. If I had to take a wild guess from the SES list I sure hope it doesn't mean Socioeconomic status because that is flat racism and should be on wikipidea. Pity racism is by far worse then overt racism.
--OxAO (talk) 20:14, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

The sentence immediately before that says, "One of the most clear indications of the social roots of learning disabilities is the disproportionate identification of racial and ethnic minorities and students who have low socioeconomic status." If you disagree that racial minorities in the U.S. are, as a group, of lower socioeconomic status than the general population, you either do not understand what SES is or need to read a newspaper or two. If you don't understand how lower SES can result in overidentification of learning disabilities (etc.), you need to read the rest of the paragraph you are criticizing. - SummerPhD (talk) 01:13, 25 October 2011 (UTC)


I haven't seen yet, but does Dyspraxia count as one? I'm pretty sure it does. (talk) 22:12, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

No. Developmental dyspraxia is ICD-9 315.4. Learning disabilities are ICD-9 315.0-315.3. (315 codes are "Specific delays in development".) - SummerPhD (talk) 02:14, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
Why does Specific Learning Disability lead here then, as as Dyspraxia is an SpLD? (talk) 21:08, 27 December 2011 (UTC)


Can we redirect "Learning disability" to "Learning disabilities" since "Learning disabilities" include ALL the various disorders but learning disability does not? It would clear the misconception that a person with learning disability must have average to above-average intelligence when people with lower IQ can still be labeled as moderate to severe learning disabilities. Mellywelly15 (talk) 20:22, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

Actually, this article should make space for all the various learning disabilities. We commonly have the title of the article in singular form, for example Personality disorder describes all personality disorders. So, please be bold and add or edit in this article - as long as you have good sources. Lova Falk talk 10:05, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

"Anglo-Saxon individuals"[edit]

I have removed this material: "Most teachers are Anglo-Saxon individuals, they may offer an underlying discomfort for children who are of a different race or culture, and therefore make this student feel uncomfortable:".

Anyone who wishes to restore this, please consider that "Anglo-Saxon" does not mean what it seems you think it means and the quote given does not say the teachers are white (let alone descendants of a particular Germanic tribe). It says many of the "students are from a cultural or linguistic group different from their own". Yeah, many of the teachers in the United States are white. They are also U.S. born, middle-class and above, speak only English, are highly educated, etc. Their students do not match them in one or more of these areas.

Further, the sections quoted do not say this makes the students "feel uncomfortable". Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. This single source offers the differences as possible "contributing factors to their underachievement". (We should also find a way to clarify the meaning of "CLD". As it is buried in a direct quote, we can't just add a link, we'll need to write it in somehow.) - SummerPhD (talk) 15:23, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

Thank you SummerPhD! Of course you are right. I wonder about the source of the next sentence as well, “On average, almost one-fourth of special education teachers’ students are from a cultural or linguistic group different from their own, and 7 percent are English language learners” - is this really from the Fletcher book? I have tried to search the book via Google books, but I didn't find anything that came close to this sentence. Lova Falk talk 18:36, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
PS I found it. It was originally sourced with the Fletcher article, not the book. It's possible it was me who confused these two sources... Blush.png But now it is fixed.

Culture - merge with social roots for parsimony?[edit]

I think this section needs a bit of touching up. First, there is a great deal of overlap conceptually between this section and 'social roots of learning disability in the US'. Secondly, this section is mostly made up of quotes from sources, which does not lend itself to easy reading. I suggest we merge this section with the social roots section.

The following section is overly prescriptive and suggests silent reading is a cure-all for students with reading difficulty.[edit]

Teachers need to focus on giving students extra time to read silently in class, and to never force them to do it out loud in front of the whole class. This can discourage the student from wanting to read. Silent reading time is good for all students, however, will give the student dealing with dyslexia more time to practice on their own, and if they need help they can always ask their teacher. Another aspect to pay attention to is to create a quiet area of the classroom. Doing so will give the student a space to concentrate and not be bothered by the noise of the other students.

This should be at the least re-written, but should probably be eliminated. (talk) 14:57, 6 April 2016 (UTC)Michelle McDowall, Teacher