EAL logo Adult Learning Division CRA
Book Review: Autism Spectrum Disorders in the College
Editorial Board
About the Site
Contact Us

Chapter 2, “I just felt kinda invisible:” Accommodations for Learning Disabled Students in the Composition Classroom, by Katherine Wills (2011), uses an interview with one of her students with Asperger’s Syndrome as the basis for providing a list of “strategies for teaching writing to disabled students” (p.35). Similar to the conflation discussed above, throughout this chapter Wills erroneously equates ASD, specifically Asperger’s Syndrome, with learning disability. She opens the chapter with this misleading statement: “The number of learning disabilities such as Autism Spectrum Disorder…” (p.35). As explained above ASD is a developmental disorder. Learning disabilities is a broad term describing a wide variety of disorders, including disorders in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or using spoken or written language. The National Research Center on Learning Disabilities defines specific learning disabilities (SLD) in this way:
The central concept of SLD involves disorders of learning and cognition that are intrinsic to the individual. SLD are specific in the sense that these disorders each significantly affect a relatively narrow range of academic and performance outcomes. SLD may occur in combination with other disabling conditions, but they are not due primarily to other conditions, such as mental retardation, behavioral disturbance, lack of opportunities to learn, or primary sensory deficits. (National Research Center on Learning Disabilities, 2007, p. 2)


This site produced by OLRC Web Team copyright © 1999
New Issue Exploring Adult Literacy Archives ALD Newsletter About the Site Contact Us go to the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers go to Ohio Literacy Resource Center