Gifted students with learning disabilities: implications and strategies for school counselors.
Subject: Student counselors (Beliefs, opinions and attitudes)
Learning disabilities (Psychological aspects)
Gifted children (Education)
Authors: McEachern, Adriana G.
Bornot, Javier
Pub Date: 10/01/2001
Publication: Name: Professional School Counseling Publisher: American School Counselor Association Audience: Academic; Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Family and marriage; Psychology and mental health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2001 American School Counselor Association ISSN: 1096-2409
Issue: Date: Oct, 2001 Source Volume: 5 Source Issue: 1
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 80306022
Full Text: In the past, many educators saw learning disabilities and giftedness as mutually exclusive, although today it is generally accepted that an individual can exhibit characteristics of both (Brody & Mills, 1997). However, students who are gifted and have learning disabilities still are often not identified and frequently are under served in school systems (Dix & Schafer, 1996; Hishinuma & Tadaki, 1996; Rosner & Seymour, 1983). For these reasons, such students have been referred to as being "invisible in many school settings" (Rosner & Seymour, 1983, p. 77). Appropriate identification of these students can be difficult for educators, because the learning disability often inhibits or masks the giftedness (Maker & Udall, 1985; Silverman, 1989). Conversely, the giftedness can also mask the learning disability, as many of these students, because they are gifted, are often able to compensate for the learning deficiencies imposed by the disability (Maker & Udall, 1985; Silverman, 1989).

Moreover, identifying gifted students with learning disabilities for placement in appropriate educational programs can be problematic because of the ambiguity of the definitions for giftedness and learning disabilities (Hannah & Shore, 1995). Educators currently attempting to identify those students must often rely on the separate definitions for giftedness and learning disability, but these definitions are almost always inadequate for accommodating students who exhibit the characteristics of both groups simultaneously" (Brody & Mills, 1997, p. 283). One definition that includes the characteristics of both exceptionalities is critically needed for appropriate diagnosis and placement (Brody & Mills, 1997).

Intelligence tests such as the Stanford-Binet and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) are often used to identify gifted individuals (Kirk, Gallagher, & Anastasiow, 2000). An intelligence quotient of 140 and above, first proposed by Terman in 1925, was the accepted definition for giftedness for many years (Milgram, 1991). However, the Marland (1972) definition, adopted by the U.S. Department of Education and most state education departments and school districts (Brody & Mills, 1997), recognized that giftedness included a broader conception of other abilities. The gifted and talented are those who demonstrate high achievement or potential in "general intellectual ability, specific academic aptitude, creative or productive thinking, leadership ability, visual and performing arts ... compared with others of their age, experience, or the environment" (Kirk et al., 2000, p. 118). Most recently, the U.S. Department of Education (1993) has acknowledged that these talents can be present in individuals who come from all cultural groups and economic conditions.

Students with learning disabilities can experience a variety of learning problems, most notably in the areas of language acquisition and usage (Kirk et al., 2000). Students exhibiting these cognitive-processing problems tend to achieve below their intellectual ability (Hannah & Shore, 1995). A learning disability has been defined as a discrepancy between a child's academic achievement and his or her capacity to learn (Brody & Mills, 1997; Marsh & Wolfe, 1999). A discrepancy greater than one standard deviation below the mean on an achievement test is typically indicative of a learning disability (Mendaglio, 1993). This discrepancy between achievement and intelligence is critical for the purpose of diagnosis (Brody & Mills, 1997). Prior to establishing a diagnosis, however, alternate reasons for low achievement should be examined and excluded (H. Rosenberg, personal communication, September 28, 1999).

For counseling purposes, researchers have contended that students with both these exceptionalities can be viewed as underachieving gifted students (Gallagher, 1997; Mendaglio, 1993; Silverman, 1989). These students appear to have significant intellectual potential yet academically are functioning at the average level or below (Gallagher, 1997). School counselors can assume important roles in helping these students succeed in the schools. This review provides a discussion of the following: (a) the issues associated with appropriate identification and educational placement of gifted students with learning disabilities; (b) the characteristics of these students; and (c) academic strategies and counseling interventions for working with this special group in the schools.

Identification and Educational Placement

Being able to identify gifted students with learning disabilities is of importance to school counselors for several reasons. First, these students need to be identified so they can be referred for psychological testing and diagnosis. Approximately 80%-85% of all referrals are made by regular classroom teachers, many of whom do not have the necessary training and time needed to distinguish these students from others in their classrooms (Hishinuma & Tadaki, 1996). Teachers are also less likely to refer students with learning disabilities for giftedness testing, as most teachers consider them ineligible for gifted placement (Minner, 1990). Counselors, familiar with the characteristics of these dual exceptionalities, can assist teachers in accurate identification of these students and development of effective classroom learning strategies for them. Second, the services provided by school counselors can help gifted students with learning disabilities cope with the interpersonal, emotional behavioral, and academic issues they face. Third, parents also have problems understanding their children's dual diagnoses and can benefit from consultation with school counselors on the unique qualities and educational needs of their children (Mendaglio, 1993). Finally, school counselors participating in child-study team meetings will be better prepared to understand the needs of these students and to recommend vital interventions (Van Tassel-Baska, 1990).

Gifted students with learning disabilities can be grouped into three categories: (a) identified gifted students with subtle learning disabilities; (b) unidentified students who struggle to maintain average achievement; and (c) identified students with learning disabilities who are later discovered to be gifted (Baum, 1990). Conservative estimates indicate that between 2% and 10% of all children enrolled in gifted programs have learning disabilities (Dix & Schafer, 1996). The students who maintain average achievement often go unnoticed and are the ones who discover later in life, usually in college, that they have learning disabilities (Baum, 1990). Approximately 41% of gifted students with learning disabilities are not diagnosed until college (Ferri, Gregg, & Heggoy, 1997).

Additionally, difficulties identifying gifted students with learning disabilities are compounded in the primary grades because students are often able to compensate for their disability (Norton, 1996). Elementary age students may demonstrate higher-order thinking skills and contribute to class discussions but fail to submit written assignments (Tallent-Runnels & Sigler, 1995). They may be performing at acceptable levels initially; however, they may begin to falter in the secondary grades as the task demands increase, and they are no longer able to compensate for their disability with their giftedness (Tallent-Runnels & Sigler, 1995).

The effects of misdiagnosis for these students can be quite severe. An unidentified or misdiagnosed student will not be able to benefit from much-needed special instruction. Furthermore, students who qualify for one program should not necessarily be excluded from the other (Brody & Mills, 1997). For example, a student could score a full scale IQ of 130 or higher on the WISC III, but have achievement test scores that differ by more than 1.5 standard deviations. This student may qualify for a gifted program but may also need special educational programming for the learning disability. Special instruction in both areas of giftedness and learning disability must be provided. Without appropriate diagnosis and placement, the discrepancy between achievement and intelligence may not be reduced and may result in low self-esteem, boredom, anxiety, disruptive behavior, and poor social acceptance for these students (Norton, 1996).

Even when properly identified and diagnosed, some state policies do not permit school districts to be reimbursed twice for one student, and many of these students fail to qualify for multiple services (Brody & Mills, 1997; Fox, Brody, & Tobin, 1983). Furthermore, few school districts have dedicated programs for this under-served population, and those that are successful provide intensive and consistent interventions over extended periods (Gallagher, 1997; Johnson, Karnes, & Carr, 1997). One effective, dedicated program is an adaptation of Renzulli's, "Enrichment Triad Model" (Baum, 1988). This program provided opportunities for students to learn new information and develop academic skills by participation in cooperative, small-group learning activities based on their interests and academic strengths. It required the use of a district resource room, a teacher, an intern, a university professor, a museum curator, several consultants, and a computer mentor. After studying seven students identified as gifted with learning disabilities who participated in this program, Baum (1988) concluded that the program was successful, with only one student failing to complete a project, and with most students, teachers, and parents reporting improved academic achievement in other areas. While it is clear that such integrated, holistic, and challenging programs are needed, the usefulness of these programs are often hindered by costs, which are likely to be prohibitive for nearly all school districts (Gallagher, 1997; Johnson et al., 1997).

Characteristics of Gifted Students With Learning Disabilities

Gifted students with learning disabilities may have extensive vocabularies, which are much more advanced than that of their peers (Deshler & Bulgren, 1997; Ferri et al., 1997). They tend to exhibit good listening comprehension and are able to express themselves well (Hishinuma & Tadaki, 1996). They can reason abstractly and solve problems; many demonstrate a sophisticated sense of humor (Rivera, Murdock, & Sexton, 1995). They often prefer creative activities and usually have keen interests or hobbies outside of the school setting (Baum, 1988).

Divergent thinking and novel approaches to problem solving are often present (Ferri et al., 1997). These students may become bored and frustrated with grade-level reading or simple rote memorization in mathematics (Dix & Schafer, 1996). Hyperactivity, inattentiveness, or impulsivity may be evident (Dix & Schafer, 1996). They often have poor handwriting and spelling skills (Rivera et al., 1995). On the WISC-III, these students usually obtain higher scores on the block design, object assembly, picture arrangement, mazes, similarities, and comprehension subtests, but lower scores on the vocabulary, information, arithmetic, picture completion, coding, and digit span subtests (Dixon cited in Ferri et al., 1997). Typically, there will be more discrepancies and variability on the WISC-III subtests than that of a student who is only gifted or only has a learning disability (Ferri et al., 1997).

Gifted students with learning disabilities were found to have lower self-concepts than were gifted students (Van Tassel-Baska, 1991). They were also found to have lower opinions of their high school education and fewer out-of-class achievements (i.e., in leadership, athletics, arts) than their higher-achieving classmates (Gallagher, 1997). Moreover, in one study, teachers perceived them to be more asocial, less popular, quieter, and less accepted by others than were gifted students (Waldron, Saphire, & Rosenblum, 1987). This same study also supported Whitmore's (1980) contention that these students are at more risk of having lower self-concepts and of facing rejection by their peers than are gifted students.

For gifted students with learning disabilities, confusion about their mix of special abilities and sharp deficits can lead to feelings of frustration, unhappiness, and isolation (Baum & Owen, 1988; Norton, 1996; Silverman, 1989). These conflicted feelings may also result in anger and resentment toward others, which may affect relationships with peers and family members (Mendaglio, 1993). Erratic behavior in the form of aggression, withdrawal, and lack of impulse control may be manifested at home and in school (Van Tassel-Baska, 1991).

Guidance and Counseling Interventions

Gifted students with learning disabilities can benefit from guidance and counseling interventions provided by school counselors. Counselors can conduct individual and group counseling to help students improve classroom behavior, increase self-esteem, and develop positive interpersonal relationships (Gallagher, 1997; Myrick, 1997; Wittmer, 2000). Including these students in peer facilitation programs can encourage peer interaction and help to foster social acceptance and self-confidence (Myrick, 1997). In addition, counselors can promote awareness and an understanding of the unique needs of this population by advocating on their behalf to school and community representatives (Van Tassel-Baska, 1990). A multidimensional approach that includes students, teachers, parents, and other school professionals has been found to be most effective in counseling these students (Mendaglio, 1993; Van Tassel-Baska, 1990).

Consultation With Parents

Parents of gifted students with learning disabilities often present themselves to school counselors with concerns. The concerns may include, "Everyone says my child is bright, but she doesn't seem to be performing up to her level at school," or "My child is really smart, but the teachers do not seem to be able to challenge him. He is bored, lacks interest, and is not working up to his potential in the classroom." Parents of these children perceive discrepancies between their children's intellectual abilities and school performance, and seek answers to help their children learn. Professional school counselors can help by consulting with the parents to provide information on the diagnosis and to suggest strategies that help support the educational process of their children (Snyder & Offner, 1993). Counselors should work to reduce the tension that may exist between parents, teachers, and students, and to facilitate development of appropriate emotional responses (Mendaglio, 1993). Counselors can advise parents that it will be counterproductive to the results they seek to embarrass or belittle these children in front of their peers (Snyder, 2000). Instead, school counselors can gently encourage parents to speak to these students in private to discipline them and correct their behavior (Snyder, 2000).

It is important for parents to develop an accurate picture of the child's giftedness and learning disability (Whitmore, 1985). Therefore, they can benefit from special meetings planned for the purpose of providing opportunities to vent and discuss feelings of anger and frustration that often result from parenting these special children (Daniels, 1983). Support groups can be created so interested parents can meet on a regular basis outside the school setting. In these groups parents can (a) share similar concerns regarding the parent-child relationship (b) gain competence and confidence in parenting, and (c) discuss strategies for implementing change in the family system (Orton, 1996). Parents appreciate it when their opinions are valued; therefore, counselors need to invite them to participate in the planning process. When introducing the concept of forming a support group, it is important for counselors to emphasize to parents that the group will benefit their children as well as other parents (Orton, 1996).

Sharing Academic Strategies With Teachers

Despite economic constraints that preclude the development of specialized programs for gifted students with learning disabilities in every school, a challenging curriculum can be designed to stimulate their interests (Baum, 1988). This curriculum should focus on discovery; investigative and exploratory learning, and should have provisions for students' individual learning styles (Young & McIntyre, 1992). The use of photography, drama, art, and other unconventional and progressive learning methods should be encouraged (Baum, 1988). Rote memorization and drill activities should be kept to a minimum (Whitmore, 1985). The use of educational games in language and math enhances learning without frustration, boredom, or complaints. Students should participate in self-directed activities of special interest to them, and they should be allowed and encouraged to be creative (Silverman, 1989; Silverman, 1993; Whitmore, 1985).

The use of computers for word processing can improve language and writing skills (Baum, 1990; Waldron, 1991). Individualized instruction via computers allows students to make mistakes without fear of ridicule (Waldron, 1991). Also, these students will benefit from the visual nature of the computer that entertains as well as challenges their superior intellect (Waldron, 1991). Calculators and tape recorders can also be used as teaching aides (Maker & Udall, 1985). Written material can be taped for students by parents, teachers' aides, volunteers, or other students.

The curriculum should assist in the development of these students' talents, as well as remedy those areas in which they are deficient (Silverman, 1989). Educational activities and assignments that focus on students' strengths and interests and highlight abstract thinking and creative outcomes help develop their giftedness (Baum, 1988; Silverman, 1989). Overemphasis on students' deficiencies will often lead to low self-confidence; consequently, reinforcing positive academic behavior and achievement is highly recommended (Baum, 1988).

Students with these dual exceptionalities rely on alternative ways of learning (i.e., visually, orally, and kinesthetically); therefore, it is important for them to be seated where they can clearly see and hear the teacher (Maker & Udall, 1985). Teachers should try to make eye contact before giving instructions, and to limit the number of directions presented at one time (Silverman, 1989). It may be helpful to also write the directions on the board or on a piece of paper for the student. Realistic deadlines for completing assignments should be given (Maker & Udall, 1985). These students may need additional time to complete assignments. For students who experience difficulty in completing tasks, counselors can help teachers develop behavioral contracts with specific outcomes, timelines, and reinforcers (Thompson & Rudolph, 1996).

In addition, counselors should advise teachers that it is very important to provide emotional encouragement and assurance that conveys to these students they can be successful. Exposing them to role models of successful gifted individuals with learning disabilities through films, videos, books, guest speakers, and class discussions will help them realize that others have been able to overcome their deficiencies by focusing on their strengths rather than their weaknesses (Silverman, 1989).

School counselors can develop collaborative relationships with the gifted teacher facilitator, or coordinator who usually spends more time with such students (Van Tassel-Baska & Baska, 1993). These teachers, because of their specialized training, can provide support to counselors in meeting the social and psychological needs of gifted students with learning disabilities. They are also able to conduct small-group counseling and behavior-modification interventions right in the classroom, reducing the need to take students out for these activities.

Finally, regular classroom teachers need to know how to identify gifted students with learning disabilities so they can be referred for psycho-educational testing and placement. This population has its own set of defining characteristics, many of which parallel those exhibited by students with learning disabilities and attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorders. Teachers should be able to distinguish differences between these types of students (Dix & Shafer, 1996). It is critical that they view gifted students with learning disabilities as gifted (Whitmore, 1985). School counselors can help increase teachers' understanding and knowledge by facilitating and coordinating workshops that include guest speakers who can provide expert information and resources (Snyder, 2000). Counselors can prepare informational materials for teachers that focus on the special needs of these students and on learning strategies that have proven helpful. Opportunities for dialogue and discussion of teaching strategies should be a major consideration during development of educational seminars for teachers.

Individual and Group Counseling With Students

The paradox for gifted students with learning disabilities is that they must accept their intelligence while recognizing they may be less capable in certain academic areas than are their less intelligent peers (Daniels, 1983). Adults often tell these gifted students that the students are bright, but lazy, and are not living up to their potential (Daniels, 1983). These students face multiple expectations and pressure to excel, which they may feel inadequate to fulfill (Kaplan & Geoffroy, 1993; Whitmore & Maker, 1985). These paradoxical feelings can place these students at more risk of stress, burnout, self-blame, and suicide than their peers are (Delisle, 1986; Hayes & Sloat, 1989; Kaplan & Geoffroy, 1993). Since they grow up dealing with adjustment issues, gifted students with learning disabilities often are not aware that they can behave and think in different ways. Cognitive-behavioral interventions are designed to help them change their thinking, feelings, and behaviors (Vernon, 1990). While there seems to be no specific research on the use of cognitive-behavioral interventions with gifted students, this approach has been successful in reducing anxiety and in increasing leadership, initiative, and internal locus of control in adolescents with learning disabilities (Omizo, Lo, & Williams, 1986).

When applying a cognitive-behavioral approach, counselors can begin the counseling process with a discussion about the concept of having a learning disability while also being bright. Students need to understand and accept that both can exist simultaneously, and that inadequacy in one area or skill (e.g., spelling, organization) does not mean inadequacy in all areas. Negative self-talk must be discouraged, and counselors can teach these students to rephrase negative thinking and self-talk into positive verbalizations. Counselors can use and teach students Ellis' (1995) A, B, C, D, and E approach to dispute negative thinking. A, B, C describe how the problem develops and D, and E are the steps that will be taken to correct it (Thompson & Rudolph, 1996). It is important for counselors to reinforce rational, positive verbal expressions, belief systems, and behaviors as they are exhibited. Other cognitive-behavioral strategies such as stress-reduction techniques (e.g., relaxation training, imagery) can be included in individual counseling (Kaplan & Geoffroy, 1993).

Art therapy is another technique that can be incorporated in both individual and group counseling with this population. Art will appeal to many of these students' creative nature and can provide an outlet for self-expression, especially for those children who are withdrawn and feel isolated from their peers (Orton, 1996). Art therapy is goal oriented, and symbolism is used to release painful feelings that may have been passively withstood by the student for years (Kellogg & Volker, 1993). The artwork provides a medium by which to discuss problems and begin to set goals. While appealing to all grade groups, art can also be used to assess student needs, solicit diagnostic information, and to build the counseling relationship (Orton, 1996). Art techniques are ideally conducted in a room with a sink (for clean-up), plenty of art materials and supplies, easels, and other mediums of artistic expression (i.e., clay; play dough, finger paints). However, counselors who are on a budget and have limited office space need only to have construction paper, crayons, markers, and clay available for students to use in art interventions.

Counselors can allow students to draw freely with limited structure, or they can ask them to draw specific objects, things, or events. For example, students can be asked to draw themselves, their families, homes, schools, and special events in their lives. It is important to listen and observe students carefully as they draw. Counselors will be able to gauge students' progress by observing the hostility and anger demonstrated while drawing or pounding on clay, or by the intensity and change in the colors of the paintings (Orton, 1996). The role of the counselor is to accept students' artwork and to encourage expression of feelings, problems, and conflicts based on the drawings. As the student tells the counselor what has been drawn, the counselor begins to draw out feelings, thoughts, and values by using a facilitative, person-centered approach such as that used in nondirective play therapy (Ryan & Wilson, 2000).

A problem-solving approach can be another effective technique to use in individual counseling. In this intervention, attention should be given to helping the student identify personal and academic strengths and weaknesses. Counselors can present weaknesses or areas for improvement as conquerable challenges that can be mastered (Silverman, 1989; Whitmore & Maker, 1985). In counseling, students can generate strategies and solutions to alleviate weaknesses. It is also for school counselors to help students focus on their strengths, talents, and gifts and ways to further develop them (Silverman, 1989). Therefore, counselors should seek out information regarding students' hobbies, interests, and extracurricular activities (e.g., sports, music, art) and should inquire about the relative progress made in these activities. Students who are not engaged in these activities should be encouraged to do so and should be provided with information on how they can participate. Gifted students with learning disabilities need to know that participation in sports and hobbies has been found to improve the abilities and academic performance of students with similar difficulties (Whitmore & Maker, 1985). If agreeable to the student, the counselor can, at some point during the counseling process, facilitate a conference between the child and his or her parent(s) to provide opportunities for sharing and discussing the options and solutions generated in individual ounseling.

Counselors can teach study skills individually or in groups to promote self-discipline and positive study habits. Information on effective methods for note taking, summarizing reading content, memorizing, and reviewing and studying for examinations should be provided (Van Tassel-Baska & Baska, 1993; Walker, 1982). Students with learning disabilities experience problems with organization, especially organizing for learning activities (de Bettencourt, 1987). Essential to the counseling intervention is a discussion of strategies to help students organize and later be able to retrieve information (Whitmore & Maker, 1985). Counselors should encourage the use of compensation strategies such as writing down all class assignments in a specific notebook that is color-coordinated by class, using worksheets and study guides, and checking for spelling errors before turning in assignments, (Baum, 1990; Skinner & Schenck, 1992).

Group counseling with this population should include a focus on self-esteem building, positive peer interactions, and identity formation (Mendaglio, 1993). Groups focused on stress reduction and healthy coping behaviors are also recommended (Kaplan & Geoffroy, 1993). Small groups can be formed with both gifted students and gifted students with learning disabilities so that both groups can share similar experiences and develop new friendships (Mendaglio, 1993; Whitmore, 1985). Similarly, groups with a focus on social skills development should include students who demonstrate these skills and behaviors appropriately, as they can act as role models for others (Mendaglio, 1993). Many gifted students with disabilities will be relieved to know that, similar to many students with special needs, they may need assistance adapting to their new learning environments (Snyder & Offner, 1993).

Groups that emphasize teaching goal-setting and problem-solving skills will also be of benefit to gifted students with learning disabilities. However, goals must be kept specific and short-range so that the students can recognize immediate achievement and success (Daniels, 1983). College and career guidance information should be made available, especially at the high school level, although career exploration and guidance activities should really begin as early as elementary school (Van Tassel-Baska, 1990). College-bound students need instruction on the purposes and uses of the Scholastic Assessment Test-I (SAT-I) and the ACT assessment (Van Tassel-Baska, 1990). They also will need information on the best time to sit for these exams and on how to access information about test items and practice tests they can complete. Students need to know that if documentation of a learning disability is provided to the testing service, special testing accommodations (e.g., more time, computer testing) may be allowed (Skinner & Schenck, 1992). They also need assurance that once in college they can be successful. Consequently; counselors advising college-bound gifted students with learning disabilities should inform them of the varied types of college programs available to assist them (Skinner & Schenck, 1992).

Advocacy

Advocacy for gifted students with learning disabilities can consist of several types of activities. One significant way counselors can advocate for these students is to communicate with other school personnel on problems and general issues regarding the needs of this population (Van Tassel-Baska, 1990). Counselors can also assist students by monitoring their progress through appropriate and successful school experiences (Parke, 1990). This oversight can involve ensuring that academic classes are consistent with students' career goals and encouraging students' participation in extracurricular school activities that enhance academic learning and development of social skills. Counselors can also set up tutorials in academic subjects for which students need assistance. Peer facilitators can act as tutors and buddies to these students (Myrick, 1997).

School counselors can inform parents about the process of evaluation and educational placement and encourage them to be active participants in the process. Through their team participation in child study teams, counselors can help influence others to ensure that gifted students with learning disabilities receive appropriate services (Van Tassel-Baska, 1990). Referrals to outside agencies or school specialists may be necessary; therefore, counselors should have a list and network of resources available to share as needed (Lombana, 1992).

Conclusions

Gifted students with learning disabilities are misdiagnosed, under served, and invisible in our schools. These students have special needs that require appropriate educational programs and curricula. They must be identified early and placed in specialized programs to enhance their giftedness, while remedying or compensating for their learning deficiencies. School counselors can be facilitators and collaborators to ensure that these students then have positive, successful academic, personal, and social experiences. Counselors are advocates and mediators among students, parents, teachers, and other school professionals. A multidimensional guidance and counseling approach that focuses on the strengths and interests of gifted students with learning disabilities is recommended to serve this special population.

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Adriana G. McEachern, Ph.D., is an associate professor with Florida International University, University Park, Miami. E-mail: mceacher@ fiu.edu. Javier Bornot is a school counselor with Corporate Ace Academy North, Miami, FL.
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