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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


School Psychology

First Advisor

Stephen Trotter

First Committee Member

Linda Webster

Second Committee Member

Dennis Brennan

Third Committee Member

Clint Lukeroth

Fourth Committee Member

Mari Irvin


The purpose of this research study was to explore what part the identification of processing disorders has in determining eligibility for services within the category of specific learning disabilities. The main objectives were to identify: how school psychologists view their roles in identifying processing disorders, who is involved in the decision making process used when identifying processing disorders, what criteria and assessment tools are being used in determining processing disorders, and what is the frequency with which a variety of processing disorders are being identified today. The data used in this study were collected in two steps. The first step involved identifying which of the continental United States have identification criteria for specific learning disabilities that contain processing phrases. For those 19 states included in this group, a review of how processing disorders are covered in eligibility criteria for a specific learning disability was conducted. The second step of the data collection involved sending out a survey, which addressed the main objectives of the study, to 1056 school psychologists within the 19 states. Of the 1056 surveys sent out, 316 or 32% were returned with usable data. For each of the survey questions, the frequencies of responses were reported and conclusions were drawn. Results of further data analysis suggested the following: School psychologists' views of their roles in identifying processing disorders did not differ by years of experience as school psychologists. There was not an association between school psychologists' views of their roles in identifying processing disorders and their education in school psychology. School psychologists who believed that a certain criteria would be justification for identifying a processing disorder did not differ in years of experience from those who believed that the criteria would not be justification. This study should be viewed as just the first step towards investigating what part the identification of processing disorders has in determining the existence of specific learning disabilities. Because assessing and identifying processing disorders can have a great impact on whether or not a student qualifies for special education services, more information needs to become available on this topic.




9780599258327 , 0599258322

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