31 Dec 2015

American Samoa looks to get true SLD figures

2:35 pm on 31 December 2015

American Samoa is conducting research into to correct what it believes is an inflated number of special education students in public schools with special learning disability or SLD.

The Education Director, Vaitinasa Salu Hunkin-Finau says SLD is a disability identified in 82 percent of special education students in public schools.

The figure for the US is 42 percent.

Education officials say the high incidence in American Samoa could be due to a language proficiency issue, rather than an SLD diagnosis.

Vaitinasa says an educational psychologist and behaviour specialist are working together to address the issue.

She says eight schools will participate in the research and more than 400 students have been randomly selected to take a verbal learning test which will be conducted in Samoan.

Children at Te Kura Maori o Waatea.

American Samoa doubts learning disability figures Photo: SUPPLIED: Te Kura Maori o Waatea