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ERIC Number: EJ867492
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 70
ISSN: ISSN-0731-9487
A Time to Define: Making the Specific Learning Disability Definition Prescribe Specific Learning Disability
Kavale, Kenneth A.; Spaulding, Lucinda S.; Beam, Andrea P.
Learning Disability Quarterly, v32 n1 p39-48 Win 2009
Unlike other special education categories defined in U.S. law (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), the definition of specific learning disability (SLD) has not changed since first proposed in 1968. Thus, although the operational definition of SLD has responded to new knowledge and understanding about the construct, the formal definition has remained static for 40 years, creating a schism between theory and practice. Using concepts gleaned from the scientific study of formal and operational definitions as well as the history of another special education category (i.e., mental retardation), in this article we demonstrate why change in the SLD definition is necessary. Finally, we propose a change in the SLD definition in federal regulations to redress the disconnect between theory and practice and restore integrity to the SLD field. (Contains 1 table.)
Council for Learning Disabilities. P.O. Box 4014, Leesburg, VA 20177. Tel: 571-258-1010; Fax: 571-258-1011; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act