DSM-5 Criteria Of Learning Disabilities

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When the term began, I had not critically thought about learning disabilities (LD) or its relationship to the DSM-5. I understood that LD was used as an umbrella that encompassed many different disorders that impacted academics. I believed that you needed to have difficulty learning to have an LD. However, the learning difficulties were not the result of lowered intelligence, a traumatic brain injury, deafness or other factors. It is often the case that persons with LD are not able to perform at grade level and need some form of intervention or adaptations to succeed academically. Learning disabilities can vary substantially, impacting a variety of difference academic domains. For example, one child may be struggling in mathematics and be diagnosed …show more content…
LDAC’s defines LD more broadly than the DSM-5 and includes in their definition disorders which may affect the acquisition, organization, retention, understanding or use of verbal or nonverbal information (Walcot-Gayda, 2004). There has been considerable debate over whether to include cognitive processing deficits as part of the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria. A body of literature supports the relationship between cognitive difficulties and LD. For example, Peng and Fuchs (2014) reported in their meta-analysis that children with learning disabilities had significant working memory deficits compared to typically developing children. With that in mind, the DSM-5 does acknowledge that individual’s with SLD usually, but not always, perform poorly on tests of cognitive processing. Cognitive processes under consideration include, but are not limited to language processing; phonological processing; visual spatial processing; processing speed; memory and attention; and executive functions. The DSM-5 does not include cognitive processing deficits as part of the diagnosis. LDAC notes that learning disabilities are life-long, range in severity, and interfere with acquiring or using academic skills such as oral language, written language, reading, and mathematics. LDAC’s definition differs from the DSM-5 in that learning disability may also involve difficulties with …show more content…
These groups work to ensure that the voices of those with learning disabilities are heard by the government. Moreover, advocacy groups aim to offer support, empower, transform policies and advocate for equal opportunities and rights. In the absence of federal laws in Canada, LDAC has played a significant role in regulating education practices for individuals with ID. For example, LDAC had helped fight for equal access to education for individuals with disabilities in the Supreme Court of Canada (Moore v. British Columbia (Education), 2012). Research has shown that on third of Canadians families with children who had LD could not afford the supports and services needs for their children (Learning Disabilities Association of Canada, 2007). Moreover, the Learning Disabilities Association (2007) revealed that Canadians with LD were more likely to experience greater levels of stress and poorer mental health than the general

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