Editorial: Is there a core deficit in specific learning disabilities?
Difficulties with learning mathematics and learning to read have for a long time been categorised into diagnostic categories like dyscalculia and dyslexia. This categorization has been based on ideas that some core deficits underlie and cause the difficulties. However, no clear and sufficient core deficit has been found for these difficulties and no qualitative differences has been identified distinguishing those assigned to the diagnoses from people not assigned to the diagnoses – thus, the diagnostic cut-offs are arbitrary. In addition, several of the factors associated with one disorder are also associated with other disorders. These issues favour a multi-factored view of the diagnoses that have implication for both clinical practice and research.
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Arne Lervåg is a professor in the Department of Education at the University of Oslo. His academic interests include: Development of Reading and Language Skills, Reading Comprehension, Word Decoding, and Latent Variable and Growth Modeling. He is an editor for JCPP.