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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 38-46

Construction of an Arabic computerized cognitive skill battery for the diagnosis of children with specific learning disabilities

1 Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt
2 Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt
3 Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt
4 Department of Phoniatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Adel T Mohammed
Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Assiut 71111
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2357-0121.199352

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Objective Most of the previously designed Arabic tests for the assessment of specific learning disabilities (SLDs) are noncomputerized and do not pay attention to many of the cognitive skills that are believed to have an important role in the early stages of literacy development and its relations with learning disabilities. Computer usage supports and enhances children's creativity, self-esteem, and cooperative learning. Therefore, we aimed to design an Arabic computerized cognitive skill battery for the detailed assessment of children with SLD, through the assessment of their auditory as well as visual processing skills, to identify their points of weakness that might contribute to their learning disability. Participants and methods This study was carried out in Assiut city, Egypt. All fourth grade students from six chosen public primary schools (n = 858 students) were interviewed except those who were absent during their school visits (n = 142 students), or those who did not complete the test battery (n = 56 students). The rest of the sample (660 students) completed the test battery. The study included four stages. The first stage included identification of students with SLD with previous standardized tests [the Arabic reading test, the writing test (it is the sum of the script part of visuomotor test, which was specifically designed for this study, plus spelling part of Arabic reading test), the Math test, and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised to assess their IQ level]. The second stage included battery construction by seven expert staff members (this took 1 year from 1 October 2012 to 30 September 2013). The third stage included application of the newly constructed battery in a pilot study to 10 normal students (9–10-year-old) to ascertain clarity of the tests of the battery. The fourth stage included test standardization. Results The reliability of the battery was proven using Cronbach's α correlation coefficient (α≥0.7), interitem correlations (all values are positive and highly significant), and corrected item-total correlation coefficient (all values >0.3). Validity was proven with judgment validity, construct validity (factorial analysis) (all loadings ≥0.5), contrasted group validity, and predictive validity (sensitivity and specificity). Conclusion The constructed battery was thus proven to be highly reliable and valid for the assessment of SLDs among Arabic reading children, and thus remediation programs can be directed properly and early.

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