Having outlined the antecedents of LD and what motivated its establishment, we now trace the emergence of LD as a category of special education.


Strauss and Werner

The collaboration of Alfred Strauss and Heinz Werner laid the cornerstone for the present LD field. Strauss, a psychiatrist, emigrated from Heidelberg, Germany to Barcelona, Spain in 1933, when Hitler came to power. In 1936, he accepted an appointment as research psychiatrist at the Wayne County Training School in Northfield, MI, just outside Detroit. At the same time, Werner, a psychology professor at the University of Hamburg, emigrated first to The Netherlands and then to the research department at the Wayne County Training School. Cruickshank and Hallahan (1973) provided a personal history of these two pioneers and showed how their research program was instrumental in the development of the LD concept.