Intellectual, educational and demographic characteristics of students with learning disabilities and serious emotional disturbances
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This study examined the WISC-III, reading, math and selected family and demographic characteristics of 301 learning disabled students (LD) and 99 emotionally disturbed students (ED). Specifically, this study sought to determine which variables can successfully discriminate between LD and ED students and which variables can discriminate between the different service delivery models in which the students were taught.
Reading skills and the family composition were identified as statistically significant discriminators between the LD and ED students. Reading skills were also determined as significant discriminators among the LD service delivery models. Parent's educational level and WISC-III scale and subtest scores were measured as statistically significant discriminators for the ED service delivery models.
To gain further understanding of the intellectual and academic achievement differences between LD and ED students, a series oft-tests were ran. The t-test results indicated that the WISC-III scale profiles of the groups were similar. However, the reading skills were higher for the ED students. Correlation analyses revealed significant relationships among intelligence, achievement, family characteristics and the level of special services a student received. Students with higher IQ and achievement scores and who resided with their biological parents received fewer special education service.
It is recommended that school psychologists stop using the WISC-III to distinguish between LD and ED students. Furthermore, school psychologists need to incorporate comprehensive reading assessment practices and family assessment procedures to better understand the complex characteristics of LD and ED students. Finally, the results of this study suggest that there are more similarities than differences between LD and ED students which seem to support those who recommend non- or cross-categorical special education placements.
- Doctoral Dissertations