Kindergarten Predictors of Math Learning Disability.

TitleKindergarten Predictors of Math Learning Disability.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsMazzocco MMM, Thompson RE
JournalLearning disabilities research & practice : a publication of the Division for Learning Disabilities, Council for Exceptional Children
Volume20
Issue3
Pagination142-155
Date Published2005 Aug 1
Abstract

The aim of the present study was to address how to effectively predict mathematics learning disability (MLD). Specifically, we addressed whether cognitive data obtained during kindergarten can effectively predict which children will have MLD in third grade, whether an abbreviated test battery could be as effective as a standard psychoeducational assessment at predicting MLD, and whether the abbreviated battery corresponded to the literature on MLD characteristics. Participants were 226 children who enrolled in a 4-year prospective longitudinal study during kindergarten. We administered measures of mathematics achievement, formal and informal mathematics ability, visual-spatial reasoning, and rapid automatized naming and examined which test scores and test items from kindergarten best predicted MLD at grades 2 and 3. Statistical models using standardized scores from the entire test battery correctly classified ~80-83 percent of the participants as having, or not having, MLD. Regression models using scores from only individual test items were less predictive than models containing the standard scores, except for models using a specific subset of test items that dealt with reading numerals, number constancy, magnitude judgments of one-digit numbers, or mental addition of one-digit numbers. These models were as accurate in predicting MLD as was the model including the entire set of standard scores from the battery of tests examined. Our findings indicate that it is possible to effectively predict which kindergartners are at risk for MLD, and thus the findings have implications for early screening of MLD.

Alternate JournalLearn Disabil Res Pract