Social cognition and verbal learning disabilities

L. J. Lewandowski, J. R. Barlow

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Considerable research suggests that the greatest proportion of learning disabilities involve reading and writing. In a majority of these cases, investigators have documented the presence of underlying weaknesses in various verbal/linguistic processes. Professionals have invested heavily in the treatment of academic outcomes associated with verbal learning disabilities. However, less emphasis has been given to the way in which these verbal deficiencies impact an individual's ability to process language information in order to understand, interpret and manage social communication or mentally construct an understanding of the world. Evidence suggests that many students with learning disability (LD) also have difficulties in areas of psychosocial functioning. A "social cognition" perspective is offered so as to view verbal learning disabilities not only as an academic skill deficit, but rather as a developmental compromise in the verbal/language systems that may impact cognitive, academic, and social functioning. Research to support this perspective is addressed and implications for treatment are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-47
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Psychotherapy in Independent Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000


  • Learning disabilities
  • Psychosocial functioning
  • Social cognition
  • Social competence
  • Social skills
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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