Improving the Self-Esteem and Social Skills of Students with Learning Disabilities

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Learning disabilities (LD) are the most common disability in public schools. Since 1975, students with learning disabilities have been eligible for a free appropriate public education, including special services such as school social work. Students with LD may be diagnosed via standardized achievement measures and clinical assessment. Despite 40 years of progress, the evidence suggests that students with LD still feel stigmatized and finish college and enter the workplace at a rate much lower than their nondisabled peers. School social workers can assist students with learning disabilities by assessing their selfesteem and social skills and then providing appropriate intervention. Self-esteem interventions should target students with LD, their parents, and their peers in the least restrictive environment. Social skills interventions may target students with LD as a separate group or provide those skills as part of universal inclusive education aimed at all children in the classroom. 
Original languageAmerican English
JournalEncyclopedia of Social Work
StatePublished - Jun 2016


  • free appropriate public education
  • inclusive education
  • learning disabilities
  • least restrictive environment
  • school social work
  • self-esteem
  • social skills


  • Psychology
  • Curriculum and Instruction

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