The Nature of Learning Disabilities: Critical Elements of Diagnosis and Classification, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Nature of Learning Disabilities

Critical Elements of Diagnosis and Classification, 1st Edition

By Kenneth A. Kavale, Steven R. Forness


448 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780805816075
pub: 1995-07-01
Hardback: 9780805816068
pub: 1995-07-01
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203052990
pub: 2012-12-06
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The category of learning disabilities continues to be among the most contentious in special education. Much of the debate and dissent emanates from a lack of understanding about its basic nature. The failure to evolve a comprehensive and unified perspective about the nature of learning disabilities has resulted in the concept being lost. The loss is best illustrated through the failure to answer this seemingly simple question: What is a learning disability?

Using historical, empirical, theoretical, conceptual, and philosophical analyses, this volume explores a number of problems and issues facing the field of learning disabilities. The chapters cover historical influences, definitional problems, primary characteristics, assessment practices, theoretical development, major themes, research and measurement models, and long-term outcomes. The goal is to explicate the nature of learning disabilities by analyzing what it was supposed to be, what it has become, and what it might be. A predominant theme running through this text is the necessity for the field of learning disabilities to regain integrity by recapturing its essence.


"…offers many valuable insights….These authors paint a clear picture of the LD field today, and it is not pretty. However, they also offer a variety of solutions for the majority of the problems they present….The historical revelations offered by the book allow a much clearer understanding about why the LD field has struggled."

John R. Fleming, M.Ed.^LDevelopmental Learning Solutions

"This fascinating and very important book provides an up-to-date review of the state of the field of learning disabilities (LD) in the USA….It is considered to be essential reading for all psychologists and others who work with children with SpLD [specific learning difficulties]."

British Journal of Educational Psychology

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface. Dilemma of Learning Disabilities. The Historical Context of LD. The Emergence of LD. Thematic Foundations of LD. Intelligence and LD. Research and Measurement Problems in LD. Elements of LD. Characterizing LD. A Retrospective Look at LD. What Is LD? Appendices: Abbreviations Used in Text. Test Abbreviations.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Special Education / General