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Strengths-Based Assessment Differences Across Students With LD And EBD

Robert Reid, Michael H. Epstein, Dena A. Pastor, Gail R. Ryser

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Current assessment techniques for children with learning disabilities (LD) and emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) are typically focused on identifying deficits. In this study we investigated the use of an alternative strength-based perspective, using the Behavioral and Emotional Rating Scale (BERS). Results showed that the BERS discriminated among students with LD and EBD and those who were nondisabled. The use of the BERS improved significantly over chance in classifying students with EBD and nondisabled students, but not in classifying students with LD. This suggests that the BERS may be useful in the EBD assessment process. Implications for future research are discussed.