Our Labeled Children: What Every Parent and Teacher Needs to Know about Learning Disabilities

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A hard-hitting look at the problems of-and solutions for-diagnosing and teaching children with learning disabilities.

Twenty percent of all school-aged children in this country have been labeled Learning Disabled. But what is a genuine learning disability? How does it differ from garden-variety poor learning? How can we more accurately assess and then teach to individual learning strengths instead of merely pinpointing learning weaknesses? In this passionately argued yet ...

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Overview

A hard-hitting look at the problems of-and solutions for-diagnosing and teaching children with learning disabilities.

Twenty percent of all school-aged children in this country have been labeled Learning Disabled. But what is a genuine learning disability? How does it differ from garden-variety poor learning? How can we more accurately assess and then teach to individual learning strengths instead of merely pinpointing learning 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 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, 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.

"...examines the problems of diagnosing and teaching children with learning disabilities and points to clear strategies for improving our systems to help children with all manners of learning problems."

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
The authors talk about "The LD Lottery" throughout this book to explain the identification of learning problems. Many parents agree that this analogy describes the process of identification and obtaining help for learning problems. Some people are winners, others are not. Very readable, this book explains the research and actual practices relating to learning disabilities. Suggestions to improve the system of teaching and learning are also included. 2000, Perseus Books, $16.00. Ages Adult. Reviewer: S. Palmer SOURCE: Parent Council Volume 8
Library Journal
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.--Mary Ann Hughes, Neill P.L., Pullman, WA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Booknews
Sternberg and Grigorenko, both psychologists and researchers at Yale University, are concerned that the way learning disabilities are assessed and treated in American school systems is not consistent. They argue that everyone is learning disabled in something, but that society only chooses to recognize disabilities in certain areas. They also note that lumping all children labeled learning disabled into this one category actually harms most of the children because they do not all have the same needs. The authors suggest that instead of this one form of remediation, the schools should develop a system through which the needs of each child are met on an individualized basis. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738201856
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 9/9/1999
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.52 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert J. Sternberg is IBM Professor of Psychology and Education at Yale University.

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