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ERIC Number: EJ1019695
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-2194
Classification and Identification of Reading and Math Disabilities: The Special Case of Comorbidity
Branum-Martin, Lee; Fletcher, Jack M.; Stuebing, Karla K.
Journal of Learning Disabilities, v46 n6 p490-499 Nov-Dec 2013
Much of learning disabilities research relies on categorical classification frameworks that use psychometric tests and cut points to identify children with reading or math difficulties. However, there is increasing evidence that the attributes of reading and math learning disabilities are dimensional, representing correlated continua of severity. We discuss issues related to categorical and dimensional approaches to reading and math disabilities, and their comorbid associations, highlighting problems with the use of cut points and correlated assessments. Two simulations are provided in which the correlational structure of a set of cognitive and achievement data are simulated from a single population with no categorical structures. The simulations produce profiles remarkably similar to reported profile differences, suggesting that the patterns are a product of the cut point and the correlational structure of the data. If dimensional approaches better fit the attributes of learning disability, new conceptualizations and better methods to identification and intervention may emerge, especially for comorbid associations of reading and math difficulties.
SAGE Publications and Hammill Institute on Disabilities. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 1; Grade 2; Grade 3; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test; Woodcock Johnson Tests of Achievement
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A