Tag Archive for 'History'

DLD symposium

Although I discarded most of my old paper materials in the last millennium, I still find files and folders every now and again. Recently I found a three-page document with the schedule for a symposium sponsored by the Division for Learning Disabilities in 1988. Bernice Wong and Tom Scruggs invited a group of people to assemble at Perdue University and discuss intervention research in Learning Disabilities. I was flattered to be among them.

In conference-like fashion, each researcher presented (three times) a paper on the research she or he had been conducting. Outside of the conference presentations, we all gathered at other times to discuss research methods and similar topics. Later, most folks who contributed to the symposium rewrote her or his presentation as a chapter for a book that Tom and Bernice edited.

Scruggs, T. E., & Wong, B. Y. L. (Eds.). (1990). Intervention research in learning disabilities. New York: Springer-Verlag.

Anyway, if anyone’s interested, here’s a link to download a PDF of the symposium schedule.

Eligibility survey of US states

Project Forum, a group that works to inform policy makers and administrators about special education issues, has announced the release of a document about US states’ policies on eligibility for special education of students with Learning Disabilities. The Project Forum paper, which was prepared by Eileen M. Ahearn of Project Forum under a Federal Cooperative Agreement, documents status and change in how states determine eligibility.
Continue reading ‘Eligibility survey of US states’

Helmer Myklebust

Helmer R. Myklebust, one of the pioneering figures in Learning Disabilities, died 26 February 2008. Predicated on his work on differentiating among speech disorders, Professor Myklebust emphasized the language-based aspects of Learning Disabilities. He theorized that there were different types of Learning Disabilities and that these types required different treatments. Throughout his career, Professor Myklebust promoted empirical study of language disorders and Learning Disabilities.

Professor Myklebust came to the study of Learning Disabilities after extensive work in hearing and speech disorders. In the 1940s he studied deafness and in the 1950s he focused on aphasia. In 1967, with his collaborator Doris Johnson, Professor Myklebust published one of the first books focused on Learning Disabilities: Learning Disabilities: Educational Principles and Remedial Approaches and later he edited a series of volumes presenting research and theory about Learning Disabilities under the title Progress in Learning Disabilities.

Professor Myklebust sought to differentiate among different variants of Learning Disabilities. He thought that Learning Disabilities could be separated into disorders of auditory language (generalized auditory disorders, auditory receptive disorders, and auditory expressive disorders), disorders of written language (auditory dyslexia, visual dyslexia, and written expression), disorders of arithmetic, and disorders of a non-verbal type. Professor Myklebust proposed that the problems children experienced were a consequence of difficulties in “interneurosensory learning.”

Professor Myklebust, who was born 2 august 1910 in Lester (IA, US), was among a small group of educators and psychologists who generally credited with founding the study of Learning Disabilities. Along with Samuel Kirk, William Cruickshank, Marianne Frostig, Newell Kephart, and perhaps a few others, Myklebust pursued the recognition of the difficulties experienced by these children and their families.

He received a bachelors degree from Augustana College, a masters degrees from Gallaudet College and Temple University, and a doctoral degree from Rutgers University. He taught and conducted research at several institutions, including Northern Illinois University; Northwestern University, where he spent most of his career and where he founded the Children’s Hearing and Aphasia Clinic; University of Illinois, Chicago. Memorial services were held 8 March.

Johnson, D. J., & Myklebust, H. (1967). Learning disabilities: Educational principles and remedial approaches. NY: Grune & Stratton.

Myklebust, H. (1954). Auditory disorders in children: A manual for differential diagnosis. NY: Grune & Stratton.

Myklebust, H. (Ed.). (1968-1975). Progress in learning disabilities (vols. 1-5). NY: Grune & Stratton.

I am late in publishing this note; thanks to Hal McGrady for alerting me to the death of this giant figure in the history or LD.