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$9 million grant awarded to UH to study, treat learning disabilities
Date:4/19/2012

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a five-year, $9 million grant to the University of Houston's Texas Center for Learning Disabilities to conduct research on the causes and treatment of learning disabilities in children and adolescents. UH is one of four universities nationally to receive funding from the NIH for a learning disability research center.

The substantial number of today's adolescents struggling with weak literacy skills presents an urgent national concern, yet little is known about reading disabilities beyond the early elementary grades. This award enables UH to address this critical gap in knowledge by funding the continuation of the multidisciplinary research center at the Texas Center for Learning Disabilities and four new research projects involving older elementary school-aged children in fourth and fifth grades with reading problems.

"The Texas Center for Learning Disabilities, headed by Jack Fletcher in the department of psychology, successfully competed for a renewal of funding following an initial five-year run that was extremely successful," said David Francis, a Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor and chair of the department of psychology and one of many collaborators on the project. "This new $9 million award will run over the next five years and highlights the significance of the work being directed at UH that is focused on understanding and treating learning disabilities."

Learning disabilities are disorders that affect the ability to understand or use spoken or written language, do mathematical calculations, coordinate movements or direct attention. Although learning disabilities occur in very young children, the disorders are usually not recognized until the child reaches school age and can be lifelong conditions. It is crucial to recognize and treat these challenges as soon as possible to ensure long-term success in the education of the child.

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Contact: Melissa Carroll
mcarroll@uh.edu
713-743-8153
University of Houston
Source:Eurekalert  

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