Conducting a learning disabilities assessment isn’t like diagnosing a broken bone. While both events require tests, the broken bone tests provide a film to see an actual fracture. With a learning disability, there’s no film and no fracture. In fact, there’s nothing really wrong at all.
What you’re really trying to accomplish in diagnosing a learning disability is determining what conditions the brain favors for learning. People with learning disabilities can function as normal as anyone else. The question isn’t “what’s wrong?” The questions is “which avenue does the brain prefer in processing information”?
Who conducts the learning disabilities assessment? That’s one of our specialties, but in many cases your school will do the evaluation. Evaluation teams at schools typically involve psychologists, school counselors, educational diagnosticians, speech therapists and often others.
These assessments will often involve a variety of tests, interviews, behavioral observations and analysis. Language based and visual reasoning intelligence tests give the team an idea of how the student learns. Parents will also be asked to fill out surveys about the student’s history and development (which is often the most important part). Achievement testing, records review and educator led exercises are also part of the assessment.
The difficult part of diagnosing a learning disability is separating the symptoms from the issues. Many of the symptoms overlap between one type of learning disability and another. A good diagnostician will ignore what’s not working and determine what works.
When you can figure out which method of teaching works with the brain, you’ll not only have a foundation for determining the learning disability name – but also a formula for success.
If you’re wondering whether your child has a learning disability or a behavior problem or a discipline problem or just isn’t motivated to learn – call us and we’ll help you sort out the details.
To find out more about Learning Disabilities Assessments, continue to see some of our archives using the links below and right.