Learning Disabilities Center Grant

A Florida State University Center

Predicting and Preventing the Development of Learning Disabilities

The broad research goals of the FSU Learning Disabilities Research Center are to improve how learning disabilities are defined and classified, early identification, and effective remediation of learning disabilities. There are five major projects designed specifically to address these goals.

The Projects

Project 1 addresses alternative approaches to classification and prevention that include new measures of emergent literacy and response to instruction in a large-scale study of 1,500 preschool-age children.

Project 2 addresses alternative approaches to classification, the role of effective instruction in preventing or minimizing the expression of learning disabilities, and a fundamental assumption of response to instruction models in two large-scale studies of elementary school-age children.

Project 3 addresses etiology, identification, and classification of individuals with dyslexia in a state-wide sample of over 100,000 children in Reading First schools, and in a large-scale, twin-based quantitative genetic study of 9,000 pairs of twins.

Project 4 addresses the molecular genetics and behavioral characteristics of profound reading impairment in a family genetics study. This project will also establish a national registry of families with one or more members who are profoundly-impaired readers. Families in the registry will be contacted to be given an opportunity to participate in studies.

Project 5 addresses underlying dimensions of performance in vocabulary and fluency, and tests alternative models of the development of reading and writing in a four-year longitudinal study of 300 children from first through fourth grade.