Realistic portrayal of learning disabilities in selected children's books

Date
2003-01-01
Authors
Muturia, Faith
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Education
Abstract

"Children need to see people with disabilities accurately reflected in books so they do not develop stereotypes or misconceptions about disabilities. Furthermore, while some disabilities are evident, a learning disability is a 'hidden' disability that children may not see or understand. Books may be the only way some children come to learn about this disability; therefore, they need to have accurate information. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether children's books pass on accurate and realistic information about learning disabilities to children who read the books. This study identifies and recommends books that are more suitable for children to read to learn about learning disabilities. In this research study, a small sample of children's books were selected, reviewed, and analyzed for the use of a label and the presence of characteristics of learning disabilities using a checklist as a standard comparison. They were also analyzed for their use of the label ""learning disabilities"". Findings of the study reveal that most of the authors used the term learning disabilities or dyslexia in describing characters. In most of the books, at least one academic characteristic was identified. Academic characteristics were represented more than social and behavioral characteristics."

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