Issues in the early identification of specific learning disability

Bruce K. Shapiro, Frederick B. Palmer, Renee C. Wachtel, Arnold J. Capute

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


ABSTRACT. Currently the diagnosis of Specific Learning Disability (SLD) requires the demonstration of academic underachievement relative to cognitive potential. However, if the focus is shifted from academic underachievement to the detection of the deviant neurologic substrate, then the potential exists for diagnosing SLD prior to school. Circumstantial evidence from a variety of sources—studies of historical risk, the newborn examination, assessment of newborn behaviors, combination of newborn and subsequent examination, retrospective assessment of early development in SLD children, and aspects of infant development (motor or language) and SLD—suggests that the neurologic substrate for SLD can be identified in infancy. Early identification of SLD will permit early intervention when indicated, aid the assessment of therapeutic efficacy, and facilitate the evaluation of other interventions (e.g., neonatal care).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-20
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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