Graduate project

Preliminary study of the relationship between mode of learning and sensory impairment

Classification of handicapped children by handicapping condition is virtually a given in all areas of special education. With federal directives to provide handicapped children with educational programs in the "Least Restrictive Environment" reevaluation of the basis upon which we categorize handicapped children is necessary. The purpose of this study was to compare the psycholinguistic profiles of children with sensory handicaps with those of children who have been certified as learning disabled. Two types of learning disabled children were used. Those with marked preference for auditory learning were compared with visually impaired children and those with marked preference for visual learning were compared with hearing impaired children. Subtest scores on the Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities were intercorrelated. Visual subtest scores were correlated. With Weschlers Intelligence Verbal and Performance Scales and Auditory Subtest scores were correlated with Weschler verbal and performance scales. The study concluded that visual learners did show some similarity to hearing impaired children and auditory learning showed some similarity to visually impaired children. The differences between the two types of learning disabled children and the sensory impaired were in the severity of the subtest deficits and strengths. The patterns of psycholinguistic functioning were similar, suggesting that learning disabled children showing marked auditory or visual preference might profit from instruction in children having sensory impairments.