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Theories of Specific Learning Disabilities 

Theories of Specific Learning Disabilities
Chapter:
Theories of Specific Learning Disabilities
Author(s):

Yitzchak Frank

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199862955.003.0003
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date: 18 January 2020

The fact that some people have a learning disability has been recognized since the end of the 19th century. It has also been suspected that such disabilities are related, at least partially, to brain dysfunction. The etiology and pathophysiology of these conditions, though, have been constantly debated. A theory for SLD needs to explain the cognitive and brain-related deficits that cause the specific academic difficulties. For reading disability, a theory has to explain the key academic skill deficits in word decoding and encoding, and the brain changes that cause these deficits. Other questions include whether the SLD seen in some metabolic and genetic conditions and syndromes is different from that of “idiopathic” SLD, or is there a final common mechanism in the brain for developmental learning disorders that encompass all these different etiologies.

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