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Assessment for Learning Disabilities in Children

What is an assessment for learning disabilities in children?

An assessment for learning disabilities in children is a comprehensive evaluation that can help identify strengths and weaknesses in areas such as language, memory, attention, processing speed, visual perception, motor skills, executive function, social-emotional development, and self-regulation.

Why getting a diagnosis is important

Most children with learning difficulties are capable and smart but have significant challenges with reading, writing, or mathematics.

As a result, their academic performance falls well below the standard for students of their age, grade, and intellectual ability.

A diagnosis gives parents, teachers, (and children!) information about what may be causing the child’s difficulties. It helps to explain why certain behaviours or problems occur.

A diagnosis also provides a framework for planning treatment and services and for a child to receive targeted support and accommodation in the school environment.

At Blake Psychology, our learning disability assessment services for children with a licensed psychologist consist of:

1. Clinical interview

  • To determine the child’s strengths and struggles, as well as their learning style
  • To gather information on how the child is doing in day-to-day life situations such as school and at home
  • To learn about family history of similar conditions and genetic predispositions
  • To obtain a developmental history regarding delayed speech and motoric milestones
  • To learn about personal history for relevant events such as head injuries or emotional stressors like changes in the family structure

2. Evaluation

The formal assessment is made up of several standardized tests that evaluate different aspects of your child’s cognitive functioning.

Please note that it is up to the psychologist to decide which tests should be administered based on the suspected area(s) of difficulty.

The evaluation can include:

Cognitive testing

Cognitive testing measures a person’s ability to think, reason, remember, organize, plan, solve problems, communicate, and work independently.

Academic achievement testing

Academic achievement testing measures a student’s knowledge and understanding of concepts related to reading, math, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, and other academic subjects.

Adaptive behavior testing

Adaptive behavior testing assesses a child’s ability to cope with everyday demands in the classroom, at home, and in the community. This includes assessing the child’s communication abilities, social interactions, coping strategies, problem-solving, and decision-making.

Psycho-social testing

Psycho-social testing looks at a child’s personality traits, interests, and behaviour patterns. The test results provide information about the child’s strengths and weaknesses in these areas.

3. Diagnosis

After all the data has been collected, a final diagnosis is made by a licensed psychologist based on the evaluation results.

4. Feedback Session

Once testing, scoring, and report writing are complete, you will receive a report synthesizing all of the information from the interview, questionnaires, and school documentation.

The diagnostic assessment will contain the psychologist’s impressions and opinions on your child’s strengths, as well as your child’s areas of difficulty, to help plan appropriate intervention.

At the follow-up appointment, the psychologist will go through the report with you to help you understand it and answer any questions that you might have.

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