How many learning disabilities are school made, caused by teaching methods or curricula? Vicky S asks the question on Kitchen Table Math.
Catherine Johnson comes up with one estimate: 70 percent of significant reading problems, which often lead to a learning disability diagnosis, could be eliminated by early identification and intervention.
In 2008, I visited two charter schools that specialized in integrating special ed and mainstream students, including gifted students. At both schools, the principal said entering kindergarteners were screened for developmental issues — movement, coordination, vision, hearing, etc. — that often lead to school problems and a disability diagnosis. Those who needed help got it immediately. Very few went on to need special education. The principal at one school said he thought few learning disabled students had a genuine, unpreventable disability. I can’t remember the percentage he came up with. Ten percent? Twenty percent? It’s part of the Hopes, Fears & Reality 2008 report by the Center on Reinventing Public Education.