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ERIC Number: EJ1023405
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0827-3383
What Is behind the Diagnosis of Learning Disability in Austrian Schools? An Empirical Evaluation of the Results of the Diagnostic Process
Gebhardt, Markus; Krammer, Mathias; Schwab, Susanne; Rossmann, Peter; Gasteiger Klicpera, Barbara
International Journal of Special Education, v28 n2 p147-153 2013
Every school system has to deal with children with Learning Disabilities (LD). However, the concepts of LD, the assessment procedures, the diagnostic criteria as well as their interpretation vary widely from country to country. What they usually have in common is that general cognitive abilities, as measured by standardized IQ tests, are seen as an important aspect. In Austrian schools the diagnosis of LD is largely based on expert opinions provided by special education teachers. The diagnostic procedure is quite unregulated and open to individual interpretation. As a rule, standardized tests are not used in this connection. In the present study the characteristics of children with a diagnosis of LD are evaluated in terms of standardized testing. 37 pupils diagnosed as having LD and 136 regular school children were assessed at the end of the 5th grade in Austrian schools using standardized tests of intelligence, reading, writing and arithmetic skills and questionnaires regarding social integration in their class, emotional integration in their school and the cultural capital of their families. Compared with a group of pupils without LD, matched for IQ and age, the LD children showed significantly worse basic arithmetic and reading skills, inferior social integration in class and lower familial cultural capital. A stepwise logistic regression analysis indicated that poor basic arithmetic and reading skills were the strongest predictors of having a diagnosis of LD. Other variables, including IQ, had significantly less weight. The results are seen as indication of the fact that precise guidelines for diagnosing LD in the school system and a transition to a system of evidence-based allocation of resources are urgently needed.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Austria
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A