Learning Disabilities as a Cultural Construct Essay

Learning Disabilities as a Cultural Construct Essay

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While perceptions of learning disabilities (LD) may vary according to country, culture, and teachers, it is often necessary to diagnose students in order to receive funding for services. It can be helpful to recognize those learning disabilities that students may have in order to provide extra assistance when necessary. It would be advantageous, too, if wide recognition of LD could take away the stigma that is often present. However, since LD is a multi-faceted topic, labeling often carries a negative connotation and can lead to ostracizing of students. It is beneficial for a student if the classification of a student with LD results in an enhanced educational experience.
According to New York State Part 200 Regulations, a learning disabilities is “a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which manifests itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations […]” (“Section 200.1 definitions:’, 2011). This definition is part of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004, known as IDEA (A. Turnbull, R. Turnbull, and Wehmeyer, 2010) and is taken on by New York State in order to receive federal funding; it provides an overview of what is officially recognized as a learning disability. A learning disability can be evident when a student struggles with reception or expression of language, as well as difficulty with mathematics.
There are two methods employed by IDEA that are currently practiced to determine if a student has LD. Following the discrepancy model, schools can administer tests to determine a student’s intellectual ability and compare it with demonstra...


... middle of paper ...


...o fund those services, however, the schools have to comply with specific regulations set forth by the government. This process can take away the focus of the benefit for the student and put it on the results that the schools can produce. If it allows the student to take advantage of necessary assistance and enhances the learning experience, then the student is the main beneficiary of the classification.



Works Cited

Grumpel, T.P., & Sharoni, V. (2007). Current best practices in learning disabilities
in Israel. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 22(3), 202-209.
Section 200.1 definitions: Special education. (2011, September 7). Retrieved from
http://www.p12nysed.gov/specialed/lawsregs/sect2001.htm
Turnbull, A., Turnbull, R., & Wehmeyer, M.L. (2010). Exceptional lives: Special
Education in today’s schools. (Sixth ed.). Upper Saddle River: Merrill.

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