The ABCs of Learning Disabilities

The ABCs of Learning Disabilities, 2nd Edition

The ABCs of Learning Disabilities, 2nd Edition,Bernice Wong,Lorraine Graham,Maureen Hoskyn,Jeanette Berman,ISBN9780123725530

Wong   &   Graham   &   Hoskyn   &   Berman   

Academic Press




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A concise, introductory textbook to the field of learning disabilities.

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Key Features

* Undergraduate level text
* 90% new material
* Concise introduction to field
* Covers current concepts like removing the IQ-performance discrepancy formula in diagnosing learning disabilities
* New chapter on self-regulation and learning disabilities
* Whole school approach to social skills intervention


The ABCs of Learning Disabilities, Second Edition, discusses major research findings on learning disabilities in children, adolescents and adults in language, memory, social skills, self-regulation, reading, mathematics, and writing, with an additional chapter on assessment. This concise primer is intended for use as an undergraduate introductory text to the field. Written with an evenness of tone, breadth, and depth, the conveys an engaging style meant to encourage the beginning student to identify the “big picture” and to be interested in conceptual issues as well as research findings.


Psychology students studying learning disabilities and special education, as well as special educators, regular classroom teachers, school psychologists, speech pathologists, and other education and health care professionals.

Bernice Wong

Bernice Wong is Professor Emeritus at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia. Prior to retirement, her passion had been writing intervention research with students with and without learning disabilities. In retirement, her love for writing has transformed from academic writing to short stories about interesting events in her life.

Affiliations and Expertise

Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada Simon Fraser University, Faculty of Education, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada

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The ABCs of Learning Disabilities, 2nd Edition


Chapter 1: Learning Disabilities: From Past to Present

The Influence of Europe (1800-1920)

The Influence of America (1920-1960)

The Rise and Consolidation of the Learning Disabilities Field (1963-1985)

Definitions of Learning Disabilities

Some Additional Points


Genetic Contributions to Reading and Writing Disabilities

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Characteristics of Children, Adolescents, and Adults with Learning Disabilities

Achievements in the Learning Disabilities Field

Winds of Change

Critique of RTI



Chapter 2: Language and Learning Disabilities

What is Language?

How Does Children's Language Develop?

Early Language Development and Learning Disabilities

Communication of Children with Learning Disabilities


The Timing Hypothesis


Lexical Knowledge and Access





Chapter 3: Working Memory and Learning Disabilities

Working Memory and Learning Disabilities

The Construct of Working Memory

Theories of Working Memory and Working Memory Development

Constructivist Theories of Working Memory Development

Information Processing Models and Learning Disabilities



Chapter 4: Social Dimensions of Learning Disabilities


The Beginning

Social Cognitive Problems



The Risk and Resilience Theoretical Framework

Social Competence Interventions

Future Directions for Research



Chapter 5: Self-Regulation and Learning Disabilities

Characteristics of the Whole Learner

Components of Self-Regulated Learning

Self-Regulation and Learning Disabilities: A Summary

Assessment of Aspects of Self-Regulation

Instructional Approaches

Cognitive Education

General Classroom Instruction for Self-Regulation

Concluding Comments and Continuing Questions



Chapter 6: Assessment for Learning

A Classroom Framework for Assessment

Why Assess Learning?

What are We Assessing?

How Do We Assess Learning?

Adapted Conventional Assessment Procedures

Alternative Assessment Procedures

Interpretation of Assessment Information




Chapter 7: Reading

Reading: Word Recognition

Summary of Word Recognition Section

Reading: Reading Comprehension

Summary of Difficulties in Reading Comprehension Experienced by Students with Learning Disabilities

Effective Reading Comprehension Instruction

Implementing Effective Instructional Interventions for Students with Learning Disabilities

Improving Students' Comprehension of Narrative Text

Improving Students' Comprehension of Expository Text




Chapter 8: Mathematics


What is Mathematics?

Mathematics Development and Communication

Mathematics and Learning Disabilities

Origins of Mathematics-Learning Disabilities



Chapter 9: Writing Instruction

Prior Training

Instructional Foci




Appendix I

Appendix II. Teaching the Chair Strategy in Opinion Essay Writing

Author Index

Subject Index

Quotes and reviews

Review of the 1st edition:

"The breadth of pertinent information packed into the 237 pages of text of this book is most impressive. The wide scope of essential material is presented succinctly and in a very readable and engaging style. The author did a tremendous job of selecting from current and relevant literature across different areas and summarizing the material into a very cohesive whole... The book is an excellent potential text for any undergraduate or beginning graduate class on learning disabilities. This book would also be valuable for special educators, regular classroom teachers, school psychologists, speech pathologists, and other education and health care professionals...It is rare to see a book that covers both the research and the practical applications components of a field so well."
--Contemporary Psychology--
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