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UCLA Diagnosis and Assessment of Learning Disorders Discussion

Discussion 1: Diagnosis and Assessment of Learning Disorders

For this Discussion question, review this week’s Learning Resources and consider the criteria for learning disorders in children.

Learning disorders are a category contained within the DSM-5, and it adversely impacts many children and adolescents. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES, n.d.) reported that for the school year 2010–2011, 4.8% of students in the U.S. public school system were diagnosed with a learning disorder. Given the number of children and adolescents with learning disorders, it is important to include this category focused on the development of children and adolescents.

This week you will examine the nature, diagnosis, development, and treatment of learning disorders. You will also explore the origins of learning disorders. You will have the opportunity to examine the DSM-5 criteria for learning disorders and explain how these disorders are diagnosed.

Part of the traditional definition of a learning disability is a “severe discrepancy between academic achievement and intellectual ability” (Cortiella, n.d., para. 8). The issue is how one evaluates the discrepancy and how much of a discrepancy is needed to determine a learning disability. There is little agreement on the method of identifying an ability-achievement discrepancy, the magnitude of the required discrepancy, or which variables should be entered into the discrepancy formula. These problems have resulted in multiple definitions of learning disabilities in the legal, mental health, and education arenas. Legally, the most widely accepted definition occurs in Public Law 94-142 (Education for All Handicapped Children Act) (National Association of Special Education Teachers, n.d., para. 23). Response to Intervention (RtI) was included in the 2004 revision to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) as an alternative method to identify, and hopefully mitigate, learning disabilities. It has been implemented throughout the United States.

Post an explanation of three criteria used to diagnosis a learning disorder in a child or adolescent. Then explain how you would assess a 10-year-old boy to determine whether a learning disorder in reading existed. Finally, describe whether your assessment would be different for the boy if he were an adolescent. Be specific and provide supporting evidence from the empirical literature. APA

Support your Discussion with specific references to the resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.

Discussion 2: Contributing Factors of Learning Disorders

For this Discussion question, review this week’s Learning Resources and consider the contributing factors to developing a learning disorder.

Post a description of three factors that may contribute to the development of learning disorders and how. Be specific and provide supporting evidence from at least two peer-reviewed journal articles. APA. 

Mash, E. J., & Wolfe, D. A. (2019). Abnormal child psychology (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

  • Chapter      7, “Communication and Learning Disorders” (pp. 194-224) 


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