Original Research

Growing resilience capacity for learners presenting with specific learning disability in learners with special education needs schools

Daphney Mawila
African Journal of Disability | Vol 12 | a1045 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v12i0.1045 | © 2023 Daphney Mawila | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 March 2022 | Published: 18 April 2023

About the author(s)

Daphney Mawila, Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa


Background: Preventing adversity from accelerating among learners with specific learning disabilities (SLD) is imperative. Continuous adversities, such as social-emotional, psychological and academic difficulties, characterise learners with SLD. Prior studies have been conducted on learners with SLD developing a disorder because of the difficulties they face. However, very few studies offer evidence of how learners presenting with SLD cope despite their learning disability.

Objectives: The study sought to investigate what resilience resources are available among learners with SLD in learners with special education needs (LSEN) schools and to provide stakeholders with evidence of resilience enablers for learners with SLD.

Method: An exploratory quantitative research study was adopted, and 217 respondents with SLD were selected through purposive sampling in four LSEN schools. These learners completed the Child and Youth Resilience Measure (CYRM-28). Data were analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and the custom table was used as a statistical technique

Results: Even though the presence of SLD negatively affects an individual’s academic, psychological, social and emotional functioning, the results of this study show that individual qualities, relationships with caregivers and peers and contextual resources were resilience-enabling resources for learners with SLD.

Conclusion: The study’s results show that the combination of individual attributes, relational and environmental factors enables the resilience of learners with SLD. When given accessible and meaningful support, learners with SLD can develop resilience.

Contribution: The study contributes to the dearth of knowledge regarding the resilience of learners with SLD in LSEN schools.


individual factors; contextual factors; learners with special education needs; relationships; resilience; resources; risk; specific learning disability.


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Crossref Citations

1. The Role of Relationships in Resilience: Teachers Who Were At-Risk Youth Supporting At-Risk Students
Laura I. Sigad
Education Sciences  vol: 13  issue: 11  first page: 1118  year: 2023  
doi: 10.3390/educsci13111118