Effects of individual diagnoisis and remediation in the treatment of children with learning disabilities



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The effects of individual diagnosis and remediation for the treatment of children with learning disabilities were examined for a sample of fifteen subjects (mean age - 94 months) and compared with fifteen subjects (mean age - 94 months) assigned to a no-treatment control group. Behavior ratings, psychometric test scores, and academic grades were obtained as pre- and post measures of functioning level. For the six-month period under consideration, the Experimental subjects made significant gains in twenty of the thirty-one psychometric variables studies. Control subjects made no significant gains in these areas. Experimental subjects demonstrated improvement on four measures of behavior. Control subjects demonstrated improvement on three of these four measures. Experimental subjects demonstrated significant improvement in Math grades. No significant changes were demonstrated for the control group. Results were interpreted to be a function of individualized and individual treatment administered by consistently well-qualified remediators. As a whole, subjects demonstrated initial deficits on measures of attention-concentration. This finding was true for both hyperactive and non-hyperactive subjects. Accordingly, training of 'selective attention' was proposed as the common denominator in the treatment process. This concept has been discussed theoretically by a number of investigators including Dykman (1971), Kinsbourne (1973), Douglas (1974), and Sheer (1977). Suggestions were made for more empirical investigation of selective attention via operant conditioning of high levels of cortical arousal necessary for learning. Specifically, biofeedback training of 40 Hz EEG was suggested. This narrow frequency band of the EEG reflects a stare of localized cortical excitability, or focused arousal, which is considered optimal for consolidation in short-term store.