Learning outcomes of the course unit
1. Knowledge and understanding. Students will need to achieve a good understanding of the theoretical and methodological basis for the assessment and rehabilitation and educational intervention in learning disabilities
2. Applying knowledge and understanding. Students should be able to use the knowledge acquired to explain typical development (academic difficulties) and pathological (specific learning disabilities) referring to school age and the entire life cycle.
3. Making judgments. Students will develop critical thinking and reflection on methodological issues and the relationship between the specific theoretical positions and the recent empirical results.
4. Communication skills. Students should acquire the ability to critically discuss the concepts of normality and pathology related to learning and identify the boundaries between educational intervention and rehabilitation treatment.
5. Learning skills. Students should be able to learn the most recent theoretical approaches and key assessment tools and intervention in the field of learning disabilities.
Course contents summary
The course aims at making students a clear and comprehensive knowledge of the different models of interpretation as well as the most current methods of intervention in the field of learning disabilities. Students will be able to discriminate the generic learning difficulties in reading, writing or calculating, from specific learning disabilities, based on a number of objective criteria outlined in the international classification systems (ICD-10, DSM-IV and V) and shared by the scientific community. In addition, the student will be able to master reasoned assessment instruments and intervention available today in Italy and resulting from the most recent scientific research.
Definition, criteria and classifications. Neuropsychology of learning disorders. Dyslexia and understanding disorders. Disorders of writing. Disorders of calculation and problem solving. Non-verbal learning disorders. Emotional-motivational aspects in learning difficulties. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. General methodology of educational and rehabilitation. The treatment of the various specific learning disabilities. Evaluation of the effectiveness of treatment and measurement of clinical change. Legislative aspects.
Cornoldi, C. (Ed. ) (2007). Difficoltà e disturbi dell’apprendimento. Roma-Bari: Laterza. (pp.288)
Tressoldi, P.E., Vio, C. (2012). Il trattamento dei disturbi specifici dell’apprendimento scolastico. Trento: Erickson. (pp.116).
At lesson topics are treated in their general aspects and in an order that does not necessarily reflect that of the chapters of the books. Classroom space also will be given to: a) investigation and clarification at the request of students, b) screening and discussion of audiovisual c) reading and critical commentary articles, d) simulation of assessment tests.
Assessment methods and criteria
In addition to in-course tests, the examination includes:
• a written test with 5 open-ended questions in the textbooks (the final vote / 30 is the sum of the marks obtained in the individual questions);
• an oral test to be accessed after passing the written test.
The oral test is obligatory for those who take to writing a score from 18 to 22, optional for those who take from 23 up. For attending (it is those who perform at least 2/3 of-course tests) the oral is always optional.