Difference Not Deficit: Reconceptualizing Mathematical Learning Disabilities

Katherine E. Lewis University of Washington, Seattle

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Mathematical learning disability (MLD) research often conflates low achievement with disabilities and focuses exclusively on deficits of students with MLDs. In this study, the author adopts an alternative approach using a response-to-intervention MLD classification model to identify the resources students draw on rather than the skills they lack. Detailed diagnostic analyses of the sessions revealed that the students understood mathematical representations in atypical ways and that this directly contributed to the persistent difficulties they experienced. Implications for screening and remediation approaches are discussed.

Contributor Notes

Katherine E. Lewis, University of Washington, College of Education, Box 353600, Seattle, WA 98195; kelewis2@uw.edu

(Corresponding author is Lewis kelewis2@uw.edu)
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Journal for Research in Mathematics Education
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