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MNEMONICS FOR FIVE ISSUES IN THE IDENTIFICATION OF LEARNING DISABILITIES TAKEN FROM THE THREE SYNOPTIC GOSPELS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT OF THE KING JAMES VERSION OF THE BIBLE FIRST BY KEITH STANOVICH AND LATER, IN IMITATION, BY JOHN WILLIS AND RON DUMONT

Keith Stanovich's Matthew Effects

Matthew 25:29 "For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath."

A student who gets off to a slow start in reading for any reason is likely to keep falling farther behind, rather than catching up, as other students continue get more reading done per unit of time and keep progressing. Stanovich, K. E. (1986). Matthew effects in reading: Some consequences of individual differences in the acquisition of literacy. Reading Research Quarterly, 21, 360-407.

The Luke Composite Effect

Luke 8:18 "Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have."

Total or composite scores will be more extreme (farther from the mean) than the average of the component scores (unless all of the component scores are perfectly correlated). [See, for example, McGrew, K. S. (1994). Clinical interpretation of the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Ability-Revised. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.]

The Mark Penalty

Mark 4:25 "For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath."

"In this situation, both measures 'ability' and 'achievement' are depressed by the same disorder. Therefore, the distinction between 'achievement and intellectual ability' is rendered meaningless by the contamination of both areas." (Willis, J. O. & Dumont, R. P. (1998). Guide to Identification of Learning Disabilities (1998 New York State Ed., p. 104). Acton, MA: Copley.

The Luke Jeopardy

Luke 19:26 "For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him."

Students who have one known disability are very likely to have additional disabilities. It is essential not to overlook other possible disabilities and weaknesses, nor to automatically attribute all problems to the initial diagnosis.

The Other Matthew Effect

Matthew 13:12 "For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath."

If a student has a major disability, any additional disabilities or weaknesses ("The Luke Jeopardy") are likely to have more severe effects on the student's functional abilities than they would in isolation.