To identify a student with LD, many school districts use a discrepancy model of achievement and cognition model (Mercer, Jordan, Allsop, & Mercer, 1996). Using this model, a school psychologist administers intelligence and achievement tests to see whether a large score discrepancy exists between the two. When a large score discrepancy occurs, the student is diagnosed as having an LD (this is true only when other possibilities have been ruled out). Although well intended, this model has had several flaws and has lead to a 200% increase in the incidence of LD (Vaughn, Linan-Thompson, & Hickman, 2003). Also, this model does not consider whether remedial instructional strategies appropriate for children at-risk for LD were employed. Furthermore, even if a child at-risk for LD was receiving remedial instruction, there is no mechanism to determine whether that instruction was appropriate. Last, rather than preventing learning problems, the discrepancy approach leads to a “wait-to-fail” school culture that encourages an ill-guided attempt to insure students receive services (Berkely, Bender, Peaster, & Saunders, 2009).
Blum, C. and Bakken, J.P. (2010), "Chapter 8 Labeling of students with disabilities: Unwanted and not needed", Obiakor, F.E., Bakken, J.P. and Rotatori, A.F. (Ed.) Current Issues and Trends in Special Education: Identification, Assessment and Instruction (Advances in Special Education, Vol. 19), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 115-125. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0270-4013(2010)0000019011Download as .RIS
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