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Concept: Learning disabilities


Based on a review of the literature, the diagnostic criteria used for children with nonverbal learning disabilities (NLD) were identified as follows: (a) low visuospatial intelligence; (b) discrepancy between verbal and visuospatial intelligence; © visuoconstructive and fine-motor coordination skills; (d) visuospatial memory tasks; (e) reading better than mathematical achievement; and (f) socioemotional skills. An analysis of the effect size was used to investigate the strength of criteria for diagnosing NLD considering 35 empirical studies published from January 1980 to February 2011. Overall, our results showed that the most important criteria for distinguishing children with NLD from controls were as follows: a low visuospatial intelligence with a relatively good verbal intelligence, visuoconstructive and fine-motor coordination impairments, good reading decoding together with low math performance. Deficits in visuospatial memory and social skills were also present. A preliminary set of criteria for diagnosing NLD was developed on these grounds. It was concluded, however, that-although some consensus is emerging-further research is needed to definitively establish shared diagnostic criteria for children with NLD.

Concepts: Diagnosis, Educational psychology, Learning, Disability, Reading, Learning disabilities, Nonverbal learning disorder


Research has shown that children with learning disabilities (LD) are less prone to evince associative illusions of memory as a result of impairments in their ability to engage in semantic processing. However, it is unclear whether this observation is true for scripted life events, especially if they include emotional content, or across a broad spectrum of learning disabilities. The present study addressed these issues by assessing recognition memory for script-like information in children with nonverbal learning disability (NLD), children with dyslexia, and typically developing children (N=51). Participants viewed photographs about 8 common events (e.g., family dinner), and embedded in each episode was either a negative or a neutral consequence of an unseen action. Children’s memory was then tested on a yes/no recognition task that included old and new photographs. Results showed that the three groups performed similarly in recognizing target photographs, but exhibited differences in memory errors. Compared to other groups, children with NLD were more likely to falsely recognize photographs that depicted an unseen cause of an emotional seen event and associated more “Remember” responses to these errors. Children with dyslexia were equally likely to falsely recognize both unseen causes of seen photographs and photographs generally consistent with the script, whereas the other participant groups were more likely to falsely recognize unseen causes rather than script-consistent distractors. Results are interpreted in terms of mechanisms underlying false memories' formation in different clinical populations of children with LD.

Concepts: Psychology, Causality, Educational psychology, Disability, Dyslexia, Learning disability, Learning disabilities, Nonverbal learning disorder


Specific learning disabilities are disorders that affect the instrumental skills of academic learning, leaving intact the general intellectual functioning. It is possible to distinguish: dyslexia, dysorthography, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia. The diagnosis is made according to DSMV. The aim of this study is to evaluate the implementation of Law N° 170 following a diagnosis of specific learning disabilities in children and their evolution over time.

Concepts: Psychology, Educational psychology, Qualitative research, Dyslexia, Learning disability, Special education, Learning disabilities, Dysgraphia


Thirty years ago in this journal, Aylett Royall Cox reported on the development of Alphabetic Phonics, a revision of the existing Orton Gillingham treatment for children with dyslexia. This paper continues that discussion and reports on the evolution of that curriculum as it is represented in a comprehensive dyslexia treatment program informed by intervention research. The paper describes the curriculum and reports data from a hospital-based learning disabilities clinic that provides qualified support for treatment efficacy and the value of added comprehension instruction. The results are then discussed in the context of current and future issues in dyslexia intervention.

Concepts: Educational psychology, Linguistics, Writing, Dyslexia, Special education, Learning disabilities, Ciara, Michael Keaton


Visuo-constructive and perceptual abilities have been poorly investigated in children with learning disabilities. The present study focused on local or global visuospatial processing in children with nonverbal learning disability (NLD) and dyslexia compared with typically-developing (TD) controls. Participants were presented with a modified block design task (BDT), in both a typical visuo-constructive version that involves reconstructing figures from blocks, and a perceptual version in which respondents must rapidly match unfragmented figures with a corresponding fragmented target figure. The figures used in the tasks were devised by manipulating two variables: the perceptual cohesiveness and the task uncertainty, stimulating global or local processes. Our results confirmed that children with NLD had more problems with the visuo-constructive version of the task, whereas those with dyslexia showed only a slight difficulty with the visuo-constructive version, but were in greater difficulty with the perceptual version, especially in terms of response times. These findings are interpreted in relation to the slower visual processing speed of children with dyslexia, and to the visuo-constructive problems and difficulty in using flexibly-experienced global vs local processes of children with NLD. The clinical and educational implications of these findings are discussed.

Concepts: Educational psychology, Disability, Dyslexia, Reading, Learning disability, Special education, Learning disabilities, Nonverbal learning disorder


The death of every person with learning disabilities will be investigated from this summer under a new scheme to be set up by the Department of Health.

Concepts: Death, Demography, Educational psychology, Down syndrome, Disability, Learning disability, Learning disabilities, Self-advocacy


Plans to move people with learning disabilities who are in residential hospitals back to their community were announced last month as part of NHS England’s transforming care programme for people with a learning disability or autism.

Concepts: Educational psychology, Down syndrome, National Health Service, Mental retardation, Disability, Learning disability, Learning disabilities, Self-advocacy



Dyslexia is the most common form of specific learning difficulty affecting approximately 6% of the general UK population and believed to affect approximately 2% of UK medical students. The impact of dyslexia on early practice has not been studied.

Concepts: Psychology, Educational psychology, Dyslexia, Reading, Learning disability, Special education, Learning disabilities, Dysgraphia


To identify and discuss the competencies required by learning disability nurses to work effectively with people with an offending background in low, medium, high secure and community settings.

Concepts: Educational psychology, Down syndrome, Disability, Learning disability, Learning disabilities, Self-advocacy