Course #1 Learning Disabilities


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A Neuropsychological Approach for Identifying and Remediating Specific Learning Disorders

by Steven G. Feifer, DEd, ABSNP, and Jack A. Naglieri, PhD, University of Virginia

About the Speakers

Feifer photoSteven G. Feifer, DEd, ABSNP is an internationally renowned speaker and author in the field of learning disabilities, and has authored six books on learning and emotional disorders in children. He has 19 years of experience as a school psychologist, and was voted the Maryland School Psychologist of the Year in 2008, and awarded the 2009 National School Psychologist of the Year.  He was also honored as the Distinguished Alumni Scholar by Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2011. Dr. Feifer is a diplomate in school neuropsychology, and currently works as a faculty instructor in the ABSNP school neuropsychology training.  He continues to evaluate children in private practice at the Monocacy Neurodevelopmental Center in Frederick, MD, and regularly consults with numerous school districts throughout the country. Dr. Feifer has authored two tests on diagnosing learning disabilities in children. Disclosure: Financial-Steven is in private practice and receives royalties from his publisher, PAR. Nonfinancial- There are no nonfinancial relationships to disclose.

Jack's photoJack A. Naglieri, PhD, is a Research Professor at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia and Senior Research Scientist at the Devereux Center for Resilient Children and Emeritus Professor of Psychology at George Mason University. Since the late 1970s, Dr. Naglieri has focused his efforts on theoretical and psychometric issues concerning intelligence, cognitive interventions, diagnosis of learning and emotional disorders, cognitive interventions, and theoretical and measurement issues pertaining to protective factors related to resilience. Dr. Naglieri is the author or co-author of more than 300 scholarly papers, books, and tests. He has authored and co-authored various books, including Helping Children Learn: Intervention Handouts for Use at School and Home.  Dr. Naglieri has also co-edited books such as Handbook of Assessment Psychology, Assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorders, Assessing Impairment: From Theory to Practice, Executive Function Handbook and A Practitioner’s Guide to Assessment of Intelligence and Achievement.  His scholarly research includes investigations related to topics such as intellectual disabilities, specific learning disabilities, giftedness, and Attention Deficit Disorder; psychometric studies of tests such as the Wechsler Scales of Intelligence, Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test, Cognitive Assessment System, and the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children; examination of race, gender, and ethnic differences in cognitive processing; fair assessment using nonverbal and cognitive processing tests; identification of gifted minorities, IDEA and identification of specific learning disabilities; and cognitively based academic interventions.  Disclosure: Financial- Dr. Naglieri is a research professor at the University of Virginia and a consultant at the Devereux Center for Resilient Children in Devon, PA.  He receives royalties from ProEd for his publications. Nonfinancial-There are no nonfinancial relationships to disclose.

Target Audience (who should attend): General Education Teachers, Principals/Administrators, Special Education Teachers, Resource Room Teachers, Title 1 Teachers, Reading Specialists, School Psychologists, Math Teachers & Coaches, Case Managers, Private Tutors, and Paraprofessionals

Target Age Range: Pre-K through 21 years

Course Description: The primary aim of this workshop will be to introduce a “third method” or processing strengths and weaknesses (PSW) model as a means for both identifying and remediating learning disabilities in children.   Often times, the identification of a learning disability using a PSW method becomes over-complicated by fuzzy statistical concepts, redundant testing, and assessment confusion as to which “processes” truly underscore the development of targeted academic skills.  This workshop will use neuroscience as a guide to greatly simplify the process, while also yielding more effective and targeted interventions for children of all ages with specific learning needs.  The discrepancy/consistency model will be introducedas the primary means to link neurocognitive processes with the academic needs of children in a reliable and consistent manner.  A major focus of the discussion will be to present the  PASS theory, as operationalized by the Cognitive Assessment System-2 (CAS-2), to define and measure basic psychological processes included in the definition of SLD.   The Feifer Assessment of Reading (FAR) and Feifer Assessment of Math (FAM) will be introduced to specify targeted academic processes that underscore the development of effective learning skills. Specific case studies will be shared with a particular emphasis on developing targeted interventions that best meet the needs of students who do not respond to standard protocol interventions.

What You Will Learn
Course Objectives- Participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the limitations of relying solely upon an IQ/Achievement discrepancy model, or a Response to Intervention (RtI) model, when evaluating children for learning disorders
  • Discuss the major psychological processes in the brain that comprise the PASS theory, and how to measure these constructs using the CAS-2
  • Adequately explain how to use the FAR as a method of diagnosing four subtypes of reading disabilities in children, and integrate this instrument with the PASS theory of cognitive processing
  • Adequately explain how to use the FAM as a method of diagnosing three subtypes of math  disabilities in children, and integrate this instrument with the PASS theory of cognitive processing
  • Adequately explain how to use the discrepancy-consistency model as an evidence-based means to both identify and remediate learning disorders in children
  • Demonstrate the effectiveness of the discrepancy-consistency model by allowing participants to work through actual cases in order to develop targeted remediation and intervention strategies for children with  learning disabilities


8:00-9:00                     Defining a Basic Psychological Process
9:00-10:00                   An Introduction to the PASS Theory of Cognitive Processing
10:00-10:15                 Break
10:15-11:00                 Pairing the CAS-2 with the FAR
11:00-12:00                Using the Discrepancy-Consistency Model to Identify SLD in Children
12:00-1:00                   Lunch
1:00-2:00                     The State of Mathematics:  An Introduction to the FAM
2:00-2:45                     Case Studies on Reading and Mathematics
2:45-3:00                     Break
3:00-4:00                     Developing Targeted Interventions Using the PASS Theory