Psychology (PSYC) 589

Learning Disabilities: Issues and Interventions (Revision 3)

PSYC 589 Course Cover

Delivery Mode: Grouped study  with eTextbook

Credits: 3

Precluded Course:PSYC 589 cannot be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for EDPY 389 or PSYC 389.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Program: Master of Arts Interdisciplinary Studies

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**Note: Students in Group Study courses are advised that this syllabus may vary in key details in each instance of the course. Always refer to the Moodle site for the most up-to-date details on texts, assignment structure, and grading.**


This three-credit graduate level course is designed to increase your awareness of learning disabilities from a number of viewpoints and theoretical perspectives. While the course emphasizes understanding the issues surrounding the field of learning disabilities, it also examines assessment and remediation of learning and behaviour problems. Topics range from legislation pertaining to learning disabilities to providing services to individuals with learning disabilities

Learning Outcomes

When you have completed Psychology/Educational Psychology 589: Learning Disabilities: Issues and Interventions, you will be able to:

  1. explain the definitions, themes, characteristics, contributing factors, and historical perspectives related to learning disabilities
  2. analyze the personal experiences of those working with individuals with learning disabilities based on current literature
  3. discuss the roles played by various medical and educational models
  4. clarify identification techniques, and describe the different assessment tools that are available
  5. analyze the contributions of theorists developing an understanding of learning disabilities
  6. discuss how an understanding of the issues and dilemmas of learning disabilities on young children, adolescents, and adults can inform one’s practice as an educator or caregiver
  7. explore issues related to learning disabilities, and analyze how the findings could be used by professionals working with individuals with learning disabilities
  8. integrate case material, and formulate treatment programs
  9. analyze evaluation techniques related to learning disabilities
  10. critically assess reading material related to learning disabilities
  11. integrate theory, research, and professional practice within the field of learning disabilities


  • Unit 1 Foundations of Learning Disabilities
  • Unit 2 Medical Perspective
  • Unit 3 ADHD
  • Unit 4 Assessment
  • Unit 5 Educational Settings and Services
  • Unit 6 Teaching Theories and Practices
  • Unit 7 Oral Communication
  • Unit 8 Reading
  • Unit 9 Written Communication
  • Unit 10 Mathematics
  • Unit 11 Social and Emotional Behaviour
  • Unit 12 The Family and Learning Disabilities
  • Unit 13 Early Identification and Intervention
  • Unit 14 Adolescents and Adults with Learning Disabilities
  • Unit 15 Technology and Learning Disabilities

Student Evaluation

To receive credit for Psychology 589: Learning Disabilities - Issues and Interventions, you must participate in weekly discussion forums, write a research paper, and complete a course project. All course assignments must be completed in order to receive credit for the course. You must achieve a grade of at least 60% on the course project, and an overall course grade of at least 60%. The following table summarizes the evaluation activities and the credit weight associated with each activity.

Evaluation Activity Credit Weight
Discussion Forum Participation 30% of final grade
Research Paper 35% of final grade
Course Project 35% of final grade
Total 100%

Course Materials


Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to our eText Initiative site.

Mercer, C., & Pullen, P. (2009). Students with Learning Disabilities (7th Edition). Don Mills, ON: Pearson

A print version of the eText may be available for purchase from the publisher through a direct-to-student link provided on the course website; you can also acquire the textbook on your own if you wish.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 3, October 17, 2016.