Testing For Learning Disabilities

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Testing for learning disabilities will be among the first things a child’s school will conduct to find out about the child’s learning problems and their severity. Testing for learning disabilities plays an important part in finding out if a child has a learning disability. They will also help in determining if a child is eligible for a special education program.


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The testing process is considered when a child experiences difficulties with academics in school and there is a lack of progress, and a disability is suspected. Usually, the parents notice the early signs and get in touch with the school for help.

A formal request for testing is made by the parents and teachers of the child. Before the student is evaluated, the school arranges a referral meeting in which the child’s performance and history are discussed by professionals and educators. Parents play an important role in this team. This team determines whether testing for learning disabilities is required.

Before testing for learning disabilities is conducted, the school studies the child’s learning difficulties and if there are other concerns affecting his learning such as physical problems like vision or hearing difficulty, poor attendance, frequent shifts to different schools and insufficient learning experience.

Who conducts the tests?

The testing for learning disabilities is usually conducted by school personnel, and the team may include teachers, school psychologists, educational diagnosticians or physical, occupational or speech therapists or anyone else needed.

Type of assessments used in the tests

Different types of procedures and assessments are used in testing for learning disabilities.

# Social and developmental history: is completed by the child’s parents or guardians. These questionnaires provide the necessary information about the child’s development.

# Intelligence tests: are also known as IQ tests and these measure the child’s aptitude, and they include activities that provide a total idea of how the student learns. They include visual reasoning and language based tests.

# Records review: The student’s background is researched to help the examiners identify if there are any other factors contributing to the child’s learning difficulties.

# Behavioral observations: There may be aspects in the classroom which affect the child’s learning and these can be identified through behavioral observations.

# Adaptive behavior: The student’s ability to carry out tasks for self care, socially appropriate interactions and to work safely in school and at home are assessed.

# Achievement testing: assesses the child’s present academic skill levels.

Test results

The evaluators put together written reports of their findings, and these are shared by the entire team. In some school districts, testing results are provided in an integrated report and not as each practitioner’s individual report.

Using the test results for taking educational decisions

A review of the information from the testing for learning disabilities is done by the team members and the findings are used to.

- establish if the test results of the child meet the state’s eligibility criteria for a learning disability

- if the child meets the criteria, determine the diagnosis

- determine the specially designed instructions that are needed

- in case the child does not quality, determine other interventions or program supports that are available to help the child.

Types of Learning Disabilities