NJALC Spring 2015 Conference – 4/24/15
Identification of Specific Learning Disabilities Using the Pattern of Strengths and Weaknesses (PSW) Approach – Dawn P. Flanagan, Ph.D.
The purpose of this presentation is to teach participants how to interpret data from cognitive and achievement tests to determine if
results demonstrate a pattern of strengths and weaknesses (PSW) that is consistent with a specific learning disability (SLD). The content
of this presentation will include a summary of the most prevalent alternative research-based approaches to SLD identification and the manner in which PSW is defined within these approaches (including those discussed in the manuals of newer batteries, such as the WISC-V and KTEA-3). More specifically, each method for evaluating the presence of a PSW will be presented and the benefits and limitations
of each method for use in SLD identification will be discussed. Participants will learn how to use a new and readily accessible software program to analyze data from cognitive and achievement tests to determine whether a PSW consistent with SLD is present in any given set of scores. It is expected that participants will learn the skills and knowledge necessary to make informed decisions regarding selecting a method for evaluating the presence of a PSW and interpreting the results of the PSW analysis. It is also expected that participants will gain an appreciation of the context within which the results of any PSW analysis ought to be interpreted.