chapter  13
Programmatic Research in Learning Disabilities
WithG. Reid Lyon
Pages 12

Our understanding of learning disabilities (LD) has been limited due to a number of factors, some scientific, some social and political (Keogh, 1983, 1986, 1987a, 1987b, 1993, 1994, 1996; Keogh & MacMillan, 1983; Keogh, Major-Kingsley, Omori-Gordon, & Reid, 1982; Speece & Keogh, 1996). On the scientific side, precise definitions of LD have been difficult to frame, because professionals in the field represent many disciplines, each with their own vocabularies, diagnostic assumptions, theories, and treatment considerations. In addition, the ambiguity inherent in extant definitions of LD leaves the diagnostic and identification process open for wide interpretation and misinterpretation. Imprecise diagnostic decision-making criteria allow some children to be identified as having learning disabilities when they do not, whereas others with LD are overlooked.