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
"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
"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
"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
"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.