ERIC Number: EJ1131590
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 75
When Theory Trumps Science: A Critique of the PSW Model for SLD Identification
McGill, Ryan J.; Busse, R. T.
Contemporary School Psychology, v21 n1 p10-18 Mar 2017
There has been vigorous debate within the state of California and elsewhere as to what constitutes appropriate procedures for determining whether an individual qualifies for special education and related services under the category of specific learning disability (SLD). Within the professional literature, there is growing support for educational agencies to adopt an approach to SLD identification that emphasizes the importance of an individual's pattern of cognitive and achievement strengths and weaknesses (PSW). In 2014, the California Association of School Psychologists released a position paper endorsing this approach. As a vehicle for examining the PSW model, we respond critically to three fundamental positions taken in the position paper: (a) diagnostic validity for the model has been established; (b) cognitive profile analysis is valid and reliable; and (c) PSW data have adequate treatment utility. We conclude that at the present time there is insufficient support within the empirical literature to support adoption of the PSW method for SLD identification. Implications for professional practice are discussed.
Descriptors: Special Education, Learning Disabilities, School Psychologists, Position Papers, Clinical Diagnosis, School Psychology, Cognitive Processes, Disability Identification, Outcomes of Treatment
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California