Date of Paper

5-2013

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Richa Dhanju

Abstract

This study explored school social workers’ attitudes about the learning disability diagnostic models (severe achievement discrepancy model and response to intervention) which are currently used in schools. Specifically, it attempted to determine whether school social workers were satisfied with either of these models or if they preferred them to be replaced. The study revealed school social workers overwhelmingly use only the serve achievement discrepancy model to diagnose learning disabled children, even though an alternative model, response to intervention, has been available for use for 9 years. In addition, school social workers indicated that the models need to be replaced. Finally, most of the school social workers who responded to the study reported they had been required to deny services to a child whom they thought could benefit from them, but did not qualify under the current guidelines. While this study revealed some important findings about school social workers opinions on learning disability diagnosis models, it also revealed that there are still many questions to answer with regard to the identification of learning disabled children.

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