Learning Disabilities Assessments

Learning disabilities assessments are used to gain information on the scope and nature of a child’s cognitive difficulties which need to be better understood.

Learning disabilities assessments use tests, which include IQ tests to determine a child’s intellectual capability. Often, the tests require short spoken responses to complete specific tasks, while other tasks require pencil and paper work and sometimes the responses are computer generated or involves handling of objects.

Learning disabilities assessments are usually quite a conclusive process and a diagnosis of the particular cognitive difficulties is made. So a proper understanding of the recommendations and implications obtained from the data is arrived at.

Breakdown of learning disabilities assessments

Learning disabilities assessments involve verbal responses from the child, which indicate his strengths and weaknesses. This leads to the child being analyzed and a neuropsychological evaluation is conducted. This comprehensive evaluation assesses the child’s verbal comprehension skills, visual motor and visual spatial abilities, processing speed capability and working memory capacity.

These assessments include a Test of Education Achievement which focuses on academic achievement in areas like reading, pronouncing and decoding skills, spelling, reading comprehension, writing abilities, oral language capacities, arithmetic reasoning, and the speed of solving reading, writing and calculation problems.

Learning disabilities assessments and remediation

Learning disabilities assessments should also focus on students with reading and attention problems. Timely diagnosis is extremely beneficial and can help in diagnosing other disabilities like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder. Moreover, early assessment help in arriving at better treatment planning and teaching of children with learning disabilities.

Personality tests help in identifying and diagnosing behavioral or emotional disorders with symptoms which may be related to learning and attention difficulties.

Learning disabilities assessments- cause and effect

An understanding of the difficulties can begin only with a proper assessment. There must be an awareness at the start of all such assessments that learning difficulties show themselves in many different ways. For example, some children have difficulty with reading and sounding out the words. Other children can’t follow instructions in class or pay attention. Some make spelling errors all the time they are writing, while some children have to struggle to comprehend their reading material.

Therefore, learning disabilities assessments must identify the specific learning problems faced by your child and find the causes of learning difficulties.

Learning disabilities assessments - root causes

So what must learning disabilities assessments focus on and what are the basic causes of learning disorders that can be treated after being identified?

To arrive at the root cause of a child’s learning difficulties, the chief task is to assess the underlying cognitive skills of the child. For example, if the child suffers from poor attention and concentration skills, she/he can be distracted easily and so miss instructions.

If the child has difficulties with visual imaging, he is likely to have problems with math word problems and reading comprehension.

If the child is unable to blend or segment sounds, listening, spelling and reading will pose constant challenges.

After conducting proper learning disabilities assessments to identify a child’s weak cognitive skills, the child has to be trained to use specific strategies to strengthen and build those essential skills.

Types of Learning Disabilities