Differential Ability Scales – Second Edition (neuro)psychological predictors of math performance for typical children and Children with Math Disabilities


  • Differential Ability Scales–Second Edition © standardization and clinical data used by permission of Harcourt Assessment, Inc. All rights reserved.


Concerns about the ability-achievement discrepancy method for specific learning disability (SLD) determination led to alternative research-based methods, such as failure to respond to intervention. Neither of these regulatory methods address the statutory SLD definition, which explicitly includes a deficit in basic psychological processes. Examining neuropsychological processing differences among typical children and children with math SLD, commonality analyses revealed that Differential Ability Scales – Second Edition (DAS-II) predictors accounted for more achievement variance in typical children (46% to 58%) than in children with math SLD (33% to 50%), with substantial loss of predictive validity when General Conceptual Ability was used instead of subcomponent scores. Results suggest that differences in typical predictor-outcome relationships may provide a foundation for developing specific cognitive and academic interventions for children with math SLD. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.