Date of Award

6-1982

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Psychology

Major Professor

Joel F. Lubar

Abstract

This study involved thirteen learning disabled (LD) and ten normal Caucasian male children between the ages of nine and twelve. All children were evaluated pre and post with the WISC-R, WRAT, Bender Gestalt, Spache Diagnostic Reading Scale, Halstead-Reitan Neuropsychological Battery, and the spectral analysis EEG. Electrophysiological recordings of the EEG were recorded via eight bipolar pairs of electrodes placed at International 10-20 System positions, F3-F7, F4-F8, C3-T3, C4T4, 0 1P3, 02, P4, T5-F7, and T6-F8. Eight of the learning disabled children received instruction based on an individualized remediation technique utilizing the deficits of the neuropsychological testing. The intervention consisted of 32 sessions. If a neuropsychological remediation procedure would have positive results one would expect to observe changes in the neuropsychological, psychoeducational, and EEG data whereby the Treatment group would diverge from the measurements of the LD Control group and converge toward those of the Normal Control group.

Neuropsychological posttesting indicated that the scores for the treated LD group showed a general trend of improvement greater than for the two control groups but the differences were not statistically significant. The overall Selz and Reitan score (a general measure of neuropsychological functioning} was found to be significantly different for the treated LD group and the Normal Controls but not for the treated LD versus LD Controls.

The psychoeducational testing (WRAT, Spache, Bender) suggested that the remediation technique had the effect of increasing the academic performance of the Treatment group. The Treatment group showed significant gains in reading, spelling, arithmetic, and copying geometric designs in comparison to the LD and Normal Controls. This effect would be considered independent from maturation and would suggest that intervention of this type would be beneficial to the LD population.

Previous research has noted increased slow wave activity, increased beta, and alpha blocking during a task for LD children in general. Although in this study some of these were found in some locations, it appears that the small subject pool, the wide variation in subjects, and the presence of excessive EMG prevented the spectral EEG from yielding a clear diagnostic technique for rapidly screening LD students.

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