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Word Problems, Language & Comorbid Learning Disabilities

OVERVIEW SUMMARY/ABSTRACT Despite important advances in the treatment of learning disabilities (LDs), the dominant approach to intervention—direct skills instruction—fails to meet the needs of 25-40% of students with learning disabilities (LDs). Research is therefore required on innovative approaches that target the specific needs of subgroups of LD students (LD subtypes) to expand the framework for LD intervention. This LD Innovative Hub addresses an LD subtype that spans math problem solving (MPS) & reading comprehension (RC). This subset of the LD population (a) has been understudied, (b) experiences disproportionately poor response to intervention, and (c) has a distinctive set of needs. This Hub brings together a transdisciplinary team of researchers, spanning learning sciences, second language learning, LDs, and developmental psychology, to investigate a high-risk innovative approach to LD intervention tailored for this understudied and vulnerable population. The Hub’s approach involves embedding language comprehension instruction in direct skills intervention, with instructional scaffolding to explicitly connect MPS, RC, & language comprehension demands. The goal is to improve both outcomes with a unified approach to intervention. This scientific focus represents a unifying theme across the Hub’s Core and Project to achieve 4 aims: (1) advancing scientific understanding of LDs on a high-impact but understudied public health topic to identify directions that provide the field with novel solutions for improving outcomes; (2) relying on a transdisciplinary approach to build the intellectual infrastructure & a body of compelling, mature research findings to permit the transition of this Hub to an LD Research Center and other NIH program or funding opportunities; (3) cultivating a new generation of LD researchers; and (4) ensuring the relevance of this Hub’s scientific contributions and the future contributions of this Hub’s new generation of LD researchers for underrepresented groups. Project

Grantor: NIH

Expected completion date: 11/30/2020

Project or Grant: Grant
Date Span: December 01, 2016 to November 30, 2020
Principal Investigators: Lynn Fuchs
Academic Department: Special Education



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