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ERIC Number: EJ1019742
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Nov
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0731-9487
Applying Objective Diagnostic Criteria to Students in a College Support Program for Learning Disabilities
Sparks, Richard L.; Lovett, Benjamin J.
Learning Disability Quarterly, v36 n4 p231-241 Nov 2013
This study examined whether a large group of postsecondary students participating in a support program for students classified as having learning disabilities (LD) met criteria for five objective diagnostic models for LD: IQ-achievement discrepancy (1.0 SD, 1.5 SD, and greater than 2.0 SD) models, a "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" ("DSM-IV") model, and an academic impairment model. The participants were 336 postsecondary students enrolled in a private liberal arts college who had been previously classified as having LD prior to entering the program. Results showed that the largest proportion of students met the 1.0 SD (48.8%) and the absolute academic impairment (40.2%) criteria. However, 40.5% of the participants were not classified as having LD by any of the five models. Participants exhibited remarkable variability in their aptitude and achievement scores, with mean composite achievement scores ranging from the very low to the average ranges in reading, mathematics, and writing, depending on the achievement test used. The findings of this study and others suggest that little information about a student's academic skills is likely to be conveyed by a diagnosis of LD, leading to great heterogeneity in skill levels within LD support programs.
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: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: ACT Assessment; Gray Oral Reading Test; Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test; Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement; Peabody Individual Achievement Test; Stanford Binet Intelligence Scale; Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale; Wechsler Individual Achievement Test; Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children; Wide Range Achievement Test; Woodcock Johnson Tests of Cognitive Ability; Woodcock Reading Mastery Test
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A