The impact of learning disabilities on adulthood: a review of the evidenced-based literature for research and practice in adult education.

Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Education, Department of Special Education and Disability Studies, Richmond, VA 23284-2020, USA.
Journal of learning disabilities (Impact Factor: 1.77). 11/2011; 45(1):31-46. DOI: 10.1177/0022219411426858
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT It is now well established that learning disabilities (LD) persist into the adult years, yet despite a developing literature base in this area, there is a paucity of evidence-based research to guide research and practice. Consistent with the demands of the adult stage of development, autonomy and self-determination are crucial to quality-of-life issues to adults in general, and specifically to adults with LD. There are many areas of functioning in which adults need to adapt successfully, such as employment, family, social and emotional, daily living routines, community, and recreation and leisure. In essence, there are a myriad of challenges and outcomes as adults navigate the trials and tribulations of LD as it manifests itself into adulthood. This review of the extant evidence-based literature seeks to discover relevant knowledge that can be shared with practitioners who serve adults with LD in a variety of professional and volunteer roles, particularly in adult education settings.

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    ABSTRACT: Following the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) concepts, this study examines body functions such as sensory modulation and sleep quality among adults with learning disabilities (LD). One hundred and ten participants, 55 adults with LD and 55 matched controls (mean age 30 years) filled in a socio-demographic questionnaire, the Adults/Adolescents Sensory Profile (AASP), and the Mini Sleep Questionnaire (MSQ). Chi-tests, Mann-Whitney tests, and Kolmogorov-Smirnov tests were conducted to examine group differences related to socio-demographic characteristics and body functions. Correlation and regression analyses were conducted to examine relationships between body functions. Significant differences were found between the groups in: (a) unique socio-demographic variables: high-schools attended, family status and number of children; (b) body functions: low registration and sensory sensitivity (p < .001), sensory avoiding (p = .002), sensory seeking (p = .021) and sleep quality (p < .001). Significant correlations were found between AASP subscale scores and the MSQ final score in each group. Regression analysis revealed that for the entire sample (N = 108), low registration accounted for 10.2% of the variance of sleep quality above group membership (p < .001), while in a separate examination of adults with LD (n = 53), low registration accounted for 19.9% of the variance of sleep quality (p < .001). Adults with LD need to be studied through a health-related perspective such as the ICF model to gain further understanding of their unique characteristics and daily needs. Sensory and sleep functions of adults with LD should be further studied in the context of health related quality of life.
    PLoS ONE 02/2015; 10(2):e0115518. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0115518 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: 'Learning disabilities' (LD) refer to a wide group of neurological disorders caused by deficits in the central nervous system which influence the individual's ability to maintain-, process or convey information to others in an efficient way. A worldwide discussion about the definitions of LD continues while a conceptual framework for studying the diverse life outcomes of adults with LD is still missing. Objective: The aim was to review the literature on the activity and participation of adults with LD based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) concepts. Methods: "PsychInfo'', "Eric'' and "PubMed'' were searched for relevant literature according to the guidelines of Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). After a three-stage process, 62 articles relevant for domains of activity and participation of adults with LD were included in the review. Results: Thirty-two articles focused on the domain of major life areas of education, work and employment and twelve articles focused on the domain of learning and applying knowledge. Limitations in activity and participation of the population with LD in these domains are recognized and discussed. Eighteen additional articles demonstrated that adults with LD confront difficulties in various life domains (e.g., communication, interpersonal interactions, mobility, and domestic life), however literature concerning these domains is scarce. Conclusions: The ICF can be useful for further exploration of activity and participation characteristics of adults with LD in various life domains. Such exploration is required in order to gain a wider perspective of their functional characteristics and daily needs.
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