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The number of individuals classified with learning disabilities (LD) has increased dramatically over the last twenty years. This is because the classification of LD is based on the context of school learning. Consequently, considerable latitude exists among psychologists in defining LD. This latitude is reflected in social/political issues as well as non-operational definitions of LD (see Swanson, 1989, for a review).

The purpose of this entry is to bring some commonality to the assessment of LD. We address this problem by providing an operational definition of LD that will be useful in diagnostic assessment. Directions for future diagnostic research are also provided.


Several definitions refer to LD as reflecting a heterogeneous group of individuals with ‘intrinsic’ disorders that are manifested by specific difficulties in the acquisition and ...

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