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Title: Applying a neuropsychological framework to the assessment of children with learning disability
Author: McLellan-Brown, E.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2001
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The current concept of learning disability is deemed unsatisfactory given the narrowness of the defining criteria (Chapman and Hesketh, 2000; Greenspan, 1999; Accardo and Capute, 1998). Standard definitions used by the World Health Organisation (1992), American Psychiatric Association (1994), and the American Association on Mental Health (1992), require the identification of only three core features of significantly below average IQ, concurrent social adaptive skill deficit, and childhood onset. However, these definitions ignore important individual factors such as aetiology, neuropsychological function, psychological and psychiatric morbidity. Historically, this lack of specificity has meant that people with different needs have been treated as one group, and has potentially led to the misinterpretation that learning disability is caused by a general intellectual impairment. Subsequently, individual impediments to learning or function may not be taken into account in service provision, and people with learning disability may not have their needs met. This thesis suggests that a comprehensive assessment of learning disability, that includes neuropsychological, mood and psychiatric assessment, is a necessary way of more accurately identifying the needs of people with learning disability, and that relying on measured IQ is neither valid not reliable. To this end, twenty three learning disabled children from the same Special School, aged between 7 and 13, were assessed using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (3rd ed.) (Wechsler, 1991); the NEPSY neuropsychology battery (Korkman, Kirk and Kemp, 1998) and the Developmental Behaviour Checklist (Einfield and Tongue 1989). Results are discussed with reference to previous research findings.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available