Cover image for Our labeled children : what every parent and teacher needs to know about learning disabilities
Our labeled children : what every parent and teacher needs to know about learning disabilities
Sternberg, Robert J.
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Publication Information:
Reading, Mass. : Perseus Books, 1999.
Physical Description:
xiii, 288 pages ; 24 cm
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LC4704 .S79 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Twenty percent of all school aged children in this country have been labeled Learning Disabled. But what is a genuine learning disability and how does it differ from garden-variety poor learning? How can we more accurately assess and then teach to learning strengths instead of to weaknesses? In this passionately argued yet clear-headed book, internationally acclaimed cognitive psychologist Robert Sternberg and research scientist Elena Grigorenko tackle these controversial issues, urging that we must first understand the full range of factors that contribute to learning disabilities (and sometimes to their misdiagnosis) in order to improve the American educational and diagnostic systems.From the biological bases of dyslexia and other disabilities, to the tests that do and do not accurately assess learning abilities, to the social and educational pressures that contribute to misdiagnosis in this country, Our Labeled Children clearly outlines the issues that concern both parents and teachers, ultimately pointing to clear strategies for improving our system to help children with all manner of learning problems.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Technically, learning-disabled individuals are those who experience difficulty in one or more academic areas despite displaying average or better IQ; 20 percent of all school-aged children in the United States fall into this category. Sternberg (psychology and education, Yale) and Grigorenko (a research scientist at Yale) argue that this criterion is inadequate because it does not differentiate between physiological and external causes. Furthermore, they support flexible teaching methods that address students' individual needs within the classroom and question the wisdom behind encouraging students to train for careers in which their learning disability will cause significant problems. Parents of learning-disabled children will first want a title geared toward negotiating the current system, such as Corinne Smith and Lisa Strick's Learning Disabilities A to Z (LJ 6/1/97), but academic and larger public libraries should also collect this. Broader in scope than Our Labeled Children, Shapiro and Rich's book is a basic primer for those who have become aware in adulthood that they may have a learning disability. The discussion encompasses deficit/ hyperactivity disorder and dyscalculia (difficulty with mathematics) as well as dyslexia. Shapiro and Rich, both experts in special education, describe rather than critique the current system of educational accommodations. Highly recommended as a unique source of information targeted to learning-disabled adults themselves, this belongs in most public libraries.√ĄMary Ann Hughes, Neill P.L., Pullman, WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Believing that everyone has a learning disability of some kind, the authors contend that society labels only those individuals as "learning disabled" who cannot master the skills most people value in schools and on jobs. Unfortunately,"learning disabled" people do not develop the strengths they have, and the label prevents educators from providing effective interventions for the separate conditions lumped together as learning disabilities. However, the authors believe that several conditions, such as funding by state agencies for the treatment of children, tempt local school officials to label more children learning disabled. To repair the situation, the authors recommend that teachers expand their lessons. Instead of asking students to recite from written materials, teachers could have children draw pictures based on the text or write book reviews. In addition, the authors make 11 recommendations such as identifying children according to their level of achievement and offering early special education care before the problems develop fully. Other discussions include Learning Disabilities: Lifelong Issues, ed. by Shirley Cramer and William Ellis (1996). A history of the rise of special education is found in Barry Franklin, From "Backwardness" to "At-risk" (CH, Mar'95). Recommended for general readers and undergraduate students. J. Watras; University of Dayton

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Part 1 What Are Learning Disabilities, Who Has Them, and What Has Been Done About Them?p. 1
Chapter 1 The LD Lottery Who Wins, Who Loses?p. 11
Chapter 2 What's at Stake? Abilities, Disabilities, and Lotteriesp. 29
Chapter 3 Picking the Lucky Tickets Difficulties in Identifying People with Learning Disabilitiesp. 43
Chapter 4 Pretend That No One Lost Issues Regarding Accommodations and Special Servicesp. 75
Part 2 The Science of Reading Disabilitiesp. 91
Chapter 5 The Mind of the Child with LD Cognitive Bases of Reading and Reading Disabilitiesp. 97
Chapter 6 The Brain of the Child with LD Biological Bases of Reading and Reading Disabilitiesp. 119
Chapter 7 The Genes of the Child with LD Genetic Bases of Reading and Reading Disabilitiesp. 155
Part 3 Learning Disabilities in the School, Courtroom, and Societyp. 191
Chapter 8 Getting a Better Ticket LD in the Schoolp. 193
Chapter 9 There Are No Jackpots LD in the Courtroomp. 223
Part 4 What Needs to Be Donep. 243
Chapter 10 LD: The Lottery That Everyone Wins and Losesp. 245
Notesp. 261
Indexp. 279