Nonverbal Learning Disabilities

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Increasing numbers of children and adolescents are being diagnosed with nonverbal learning disabilities (NLD), yet clinicians and educators have few scientific resources to guide assessment and intervention. This book presents up-to-date knowledge on the nature of NLD and how to differentiate it from DSM-5 disorders such as autism spectrum disorder and developmental coordination disorder. Effective strategies for helping K-12 students and their families address the challenges of NLD in and outside of the classroom are illustrated with vivid case material. The authors thoughtfully consider controversies surrounding NLD, discuss why the diagnosis is not included in the current DSM and ICD classification systems, and identify important directions for future research.
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About the author

Cesare Cornoldi is Full Professor in the Department of General Psychology at the University of Padua, Italy, where he also directs a laboratory that provides assessment and intervention for learning disabilities and developmental disorders. He conducts research both nationally and internationally on memory, mental imagery, learning disabilities, and human intelligence. Dr. Cornoldi serves on the editorial boards of many national and international journals and has been visiting professor at a number of universities, including, most recently, Columbia University, New York University, and the University of California, Irvine. He has served as president of the European Society for Cognitive Psychology, among other associations, and is a Fellow of the International Academy for Research in Learning Disabilities and the Association for Psychological Science. His publications include 300 peer-reviewed journal articles, 10 books, and numerous widely used Italian achievement tests.

Irene C. Mammarella, PhD, is Lecturer in the Department of Developmental and Social Psychology at the University of Padua, Italy, where she directs a postgraduate course in Developmental Psychopathology. She conducts clinical practice at the laboratory directed by Cesare Cornoldi that provides assessment and intervention for learning disabilities and developmental disorders. Her main areas of research are NLD, mathematical learning disability, the role of working memory in both academic achievement and calculation, and visuospatial abilities in high-functioning autism. The author of many peer-reviewed journal articles, Dr. Mammarella serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.

Jodene Goldenring Fine, PhD, is Associate Professor of School Psychology at Michigan State University, where she teaches graduate students and conducts research on autism, NLD, and dyslexia, using neuropsychological and neuroimaging techniques. Dr. Fine has lectured worldwide on the importance of a neuropsychological perspective in education, particularly with regard to the identification and treatment of children with learning challenges. A member of the National Academy of Neuropsychology and the International Academy for Research in Learning Disabilities, she served on the editorial board of Psychological Assessment.
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Additional Information

Guilford Publications
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Published on
Aug 12, 2016
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Best For
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Education / Special Education / Learning Disabilities
Medical / Neuroscience
Psychology / Developmental / Child
Psychology / Neuropsychology
Social Science / Social Work
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Recognizing the characteristics of children with learning disabilities and deciding how to help them is a problem faced by schools all over the world. Although some disorders are fairly easily recognizable (e.g., mental retardation) or very specific to single components of performance and quite rare (e.g., developmental dyscalculia), schools must consider much larger populations of children with learning difficulties who cannot always be readily classified. These children present high-level learning difficulties that affect their performance on a variety of school tasks, but the underlying problem is often their difficulty in understanding written text. In many instances, despite good intellectual abilities and a superficial ability to cope with written texts and to use language appropriately, some children do not seem to grasp the most important elements, or cannot find the pieces of information they are looking for. Sometimes these difficulties are not immediately detected by the teacher in the early school years. They may be hidden because the most obvious early indicators of reading progress in the teacher's eyes do not involve comprehension of written texts or because the first texts a child encounters are quite simple and reflect only the difficulty level of the oral messages (sentences, short stories, etc.) with which the child is already familiar. However, as years go by and texts get more complex, comprehension difficulties will become increasingly apparent and increasingly detrimental to effective school learning. In turn, studying, assimilating new information, and many other situations requiring text comprehension -- from problem solving to reasoning with linguistic contents -- could be affected.

Problems with decoding, dyslexia, and language disorders have attracted more interest from researchers than have specific comprehension problems and have occupied more room in specialized journals. Normal reading comprehension has also been a favorite with researchers. However, scarce interest has been paid to subjects who have comprehension difficulties. This book is an attempt to remedy this situation. In so doing, this volume answers the following questions:
* Does a reading comprehension problem exist in schools?
* How important and widespread is the problem?
* Is the problem specific?
* How can a reading comprehension difficulty be defined and identified?
* Does the "syndrome" have a single pattern or can different subtypes be identified?
* What are the main characteristics associated with a reading comprehension difficulty?
* When can other well-identified problems add to our understanding of reading comprehension difficulties?
* Which educational strategies are effective in preventing and treating reading comprehension difficulties?
* What supplementary information can we get from an international perspective?
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