What’s Hot In Learning Disabilities Research in Canada? Introducing the Research of Early Career Scholars

Nancy Perry


In the past quarter century, there have been major theoretical, methodological, and instructional advances in the field of learning disabilities (LD: Swanson, Harris, & Graham, 2003), and many of these are reflected in the research presented in this special issue. One of the most profound advances is the adoption of definitions of LDs emphasizing that LDs are biological and affect core psychological processes, and acknowledging that LDs are lifelong and affect all areas of an individuals life, not just education (LDAC 2002). In this regard, research has expanded to focus not only on the difficulties individuals with learning disabilities have in school, but also on difficulties that emerge before children begin school (e.g., language delay, attention deficits) and are manifest in and beyond school contexts (e.g., in peer and family relationships, in the work place).
Contributors to this issue are early career, Canadian scholars doing state of the art research on variables associated with social, cognitive, and neuropsychological aspects of LDs. They are addressing questions concerning: (a) early identification and intervention; (b) processing problems that are becoming more and more central to definitions of learning disabilities; (c) motivational problems that both result from and contribute to learning problems; and (d) problems associated with transitioning from adolescence to adulthood. In addition to examining different aspects of LDs and how they are made manifest across the life span, these articles showcase diverse methodologies for studying LDs and sample individuals with LDs from regions across Canada.

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