What is a Learning Disability?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 16,713
    Dr. Jack Naglieri provides the definition of a learning disability.

    Jack Naglieri

    Dr. Jack A. Naglieri is Professor of Psychology at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Prior to his current position he was Professor of School Psychology and Psychology at the Ohio State University where he taught from 1982 to 2000. The author of more than 150 scholarly papers, chapters, books, and tests, he has focused his efforts since the late 1970s on reconceptualizing intelligence. He also the recipient of the Senior Scientist Award, and holds an appointment as a senior Research Scientist at the Devereux Foundation's Institute for Clinical Training and Research. Dr. Naglieri obtained his Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Long Island University, Master of Science from St. John's University, and Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Georgia in 1979. He worked as a school psychologist in the New York area from 1974-1977. Jack A. Naglieri is also the author of the Cognitive Assessment System (Naglieri & Das, 1997), the CAS Scoring Aide (Naglieri, 2002), the General Ability Measure for Adults (Naglieri & Bardos, 1997), Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (Naglieri, 1996), Devereux Scoring Assistant (LeBuffe, Naglieri, & Pfeiffer, 1996), Devereux Scales of Mental Disorders (Naglieri, LeBuffe, & Pfeiffer, 1994), Devereux Behavior Rating Scales School Form (Naglieri, LeBuffe, & Pfeiffer, 1994), Draw A Person: Screening Procedure for Emotional Disturbance (Naglieri, McNeish, & Bardos, 1990), Draw A Person: Quantitative Scoring System (Naglieri, 1988), Matrix Analogies Test (Naglieri, 1985).

    What is a learning disability?

    Dr. Jack Naglieri: Sometimes people ask me what a learn disability is and one of the first things that I have try to help people understand is that when you talk about learning disability that is a very broad term, but learning disabilities are really very specific and essentially what they mean is a person, who is capable in most areas is not capable in a specific area that s the term specific learning ability. If you are disabled in all areas of academics usually that s because you mentally retardate and that you have more broad disability and impacts your learning in many areas.

    So, one important thing to recognize about specific learning disability or SLD is that it is just does not requires focused on a specific area of academics. It could be reading decoding, could be reading comprehension, or it could be map. Usually, it s reading, especially early reading and especially reading decoding. It could be other areas, but most of the time what we see specific learning disabilities it s about a reading failure.