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Sir.—The article by Adams et al, which appeared in the November 1974 issue of the Journal (128:614, 1974), compares the frequency of certain "soft" neurological signs in normal, borderline, and learning-disabled children. Their findings suggest that the presence of soft neurological signs is of little diagnostic usefulness in the examination of learning-disabled children. However, their selection of patients and, more specifically, their definitional criteria for learning-disabled children open to question the validity of the conclusion reached by the study.
In defining the learning-disabled group of children, the authors utilized the lowest of three scores (reading, spelling, or arithmetic) on the Metropolitan Achievement Test after computing Myklebust Learning Quotients for the subjects. Their definition yielded a sample of learning-disabled children that was greater than the number of normal children. Should one assume that the incidence of learning disabilities is 38% in the Dallas and Irving Independent school districts? A number
LERER RJ, LERER PB. Soft Neurological Signs in Learning-Disabled Children and Controls. Am J Dis Child. 1975;129(6):748. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1975.02120430080026