PREVALENCE about LD in written expression, researchers 8% and


“real” prevalence of LD is subject to much dispute because of the lack off an
agreed-upon definition of LD and objective diagnostic criteria. Some have
argued that the currently recognized 5% prevalence rate is excessive and is
based on vague definitions, leading to inaccurate identification Lyon, 1996.
On the other hand, research efforts to identify objective early indicators of
LD in basic reading skills have concluded that virtually all children scoring
below the 25th percentile on standardized reading test can meet the criteria
for having a reading disorder. While less is known about LD in written
expression, researchers 8% and 15% of the school population. Research also
indicates that approximately 6% of the school population has difficulties in
mathematics which cannot be attributed to low intelligence, sensory deficits or
economic deprivation (Reid Lyon.G. Learning Disabilities, Jr. The Future of
children, Special Education for Students with Disabilities Vol.6.No.1 – Spring
1996 p.p.57).

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have been a number of estimates of prevalence of LD in the world. Emerson,
Hatton, Felce and Murphy (2001) suggested that prevalent mild learning
disability is between 2.5 percent and 3 percent. The World Health Organization
(1985) also put the figure of mild LD for children in industrialized countries
at 2 percent – 3 percent. Smith, et al, (2001) reports that in 1995-1996 school
year, 51.2 percent of school going children were learning disabled in United
States which implied that there were more students with LD than any other
disability. It has generally been approximated that 4 boys are identified to
every girl (4:1), meaning that there are more boys with LD than girls. In
Netherlands, approximately 57,700 of them have a severe handicap (Ministry of
Economic Affairs 2000). Owing to lack of accurate data, prevalence of LD in
Canada, United Kingdom (UK), China, Japan, India, Australia, South Africa,
Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda has been extrapolated to be 1.69% of the total
population of respective countries. The statistics used for the prevalence of
LD are typically based on US, UK, Canadian or Australian statistics.

estimates cannot be accepted uncritically. However, Lyon suggests that it
should be made clear that difficulties in the identification of children with
learning disabilities do not make the disabilities any less “real” to the
student who cannot learn to read, write, or understand mathematics despite good
intelligence, an adequate opportunity to learn, and ostensibly good teaching.
The question remains, however, of how to go about increasing the ability to
identify individuals with LD accurately. Valid prevalence estimates depend upon
a set of criteria for identification that are clear, observable, measurable,
and agreed upon.



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