Adult Learning Disability Assessment Process

If you are an adult and suspect that you have a learning disability (LD) you may be at a loss about how to obtain testing and the assessment process. This article will explain what is a learning disability assessment for adults, why should someone be assessed, who can conduct an assessment, how much an assessment might cost and what are the questions to ask a qualified assessor. It is important to choose a qualified professional to conduct the assessment so that it can be done thoroughly and assure that you obtain the accommodations necessary in school and in the workplace.
Psychologist talking to patient

What is a learning disability assessment for adults?

An LD assessment is a gathering of relevant information about an individual’s areas of strengths and challenges to determine whether or not he or she may have a learning disability. The components of the assessment process may vary depending on which individual, clinic, or agency is conducting the assessment, but most assessments include the following:

  • Screening (informal interview, brief test, career interest inventories, and/or review of medical, school, or work histories)
  • Evaluation (formal testing for achievement, intelligence, and processing)
  • Diagnosis (a statement specifying the results of the assessment, including the type of LD identified)
  • Recommendations (for work, school, and/or daily living)

Why should someone be assessed?

Adults choose to undergo an LD assessment for a number of reasons, including:

  • Significant problems at work or school that prevent them from reaching their career and/or educational goals
  • Significant problems in daily life ( e.g., relationships, managing finances, decision-making)
  • A desire to know why they have always struggled to learn and remember information

The first step to overcoming challenges is to determine the cause of the challenges. By completing the LD assessment process, adults can obtain the information and documentation they need to formally request accommodations at work or in school, and to determine effective strategies for learning and living based on their areas of strengths.

Who can conduct an LD assessment?

Only qualified professionals can conduct LD assessments. Such professionals have been certified to select, administer, and interpret a variety of neurological, psychological, educational, and vocational assessment instruments. The professional chosen should:

  • Have experience assessing adults for LD
  • Have information about local and state services and resources
  • Be able to help adults use their assessment results to determine their legal rights and responsibilities, strategies, accommodations, and next steps to meet goals

To find a qualified professional in their area, adults should consider the following resources:

  • State and local LDA chapters
  • Community Mental Health Centers
  • Rehabilitation Services Agency (, click on “State Agencies/Contacts.”)
  • Local private psychologist or psychological clinic
  • Local college or university psychology department
  • University-affiliated hospitals and clinics

How much does an LD assessment cost?

The cost of an LD assessment varies depending on where it is conducted geographically, type of professional who administers the assessment, and the assessment’s  comprehensiveness. The cost of the assessments typically range between $500 – $2,500.

Some insurance policies will cover the cost of the assessment. Local mental health clinics and university psychology departments sometimes offer a sliding scale fee for the assessment. Vocational Rehabilitation agencies sometimes provide LD assessments at no cost as part of their intake process for agency applicants who are accepted as new clients.

Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) clients who have either a history of LD OR disclose to their case managers that they think they have LD have a right to an LD assessment as part of their TANF services.

Questions to ask the qualified assessor

  • Have you tested many adults with learning disabilities before?
  • How much will the assessment cost, and what does the cost cover?
    • Can insurance cover the costs?
    • Are there other funding sources?
    • Can you provide a payment plan?
  • How long will the assessment take?
  • What will be involved in the assessment?
  • Who will have access to the assessment results?
  • Will there be a written report of the assessment?
  • Will you explain the written report to me?
  • Will the assessment give me more information about why I am having trouble with my job, school, or daily life?
  • Will you give me ideas about accommodations for my disability?
  • Will you give me information about how to self-advocate for my disability at school or work?
  • Will the report make recommendations about where I can go for further help?

Print Handout:  Adult Learning Disability Assessment Process

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Feel free to leave a comment below regarding this article. If you have a specific question for LDA, please contact us directly.


  1. This is crazy, BUT I was reading that children under stress don’t learn. I have always wondered why I can’t learn, retain very little. It’s embarrassing! no sense of directions. I wanted all my life to be smart and confident. It would be relaxing to read a book, and comprehend what’s going on. I’m 66 years old and still looking for answers. I had a stressful childhood that carried over to adulthood. Multiple marriages, fail fail fail ! I need the cure, so I can settle down ,read a book & relax my day to day living. Let me tell you the stress has never stopped for me. That’s life !
    I have Fibromyalgia big time. After much deliberation, it was time to come clean, and admit to my heart those were not “spankings ” the list goes on. I suffered thru an attempted suicide.
    A few years ago. The physicians admitted me to mental health center. I have experience such pain from these conditions and more. I want to research for my own knowledge (and remember it). Understanding and comfort is the best medicine!!

  2. Willie Jean Bass says:

    Hello LDA of America, I am an adult who is in need of testing for learning disabilities. I have sought throughout the surrounding areas for a testing center. I am in need of assistance to continue my educational path. If your agency has the information that I need please assist me. My personal information is provided.

    Thank you,

  3. nicole hobbs says:

    LDA of America, there are no connections listed under my state of Colorado. Any chance there might be an update? I need to get tested and downloaded your pamphlet to make sure I ask the right questions, but I do not know where to start. Is there a facility that I can call that can help get me setup to test for a learning disability?

  4. Hello all!
    I can relate to most if not all of everyone’s posts wanting more help and more resources for adults with LD. I am extremely disappointed and just appalled at the lack of real help adults get when they have LD. With all of the advances in technology etc. I am in disbelief that now days they still don’t have colleges/universities in each state that any student with some form of LD can go to! We are just kindof forgotten about on society, swept under the rug. Even though we can learn and have probably more drive than most people who don’t have LD. Plenty of genius, famous people had LD. I just dont think our society really cares. I have gotten so angry with failing at society standards of life and not being able to keep up with the pace in college. I want to be successful and do something with my life meaningful and go to college but the fast pace is almost impossible and the professors teach just one way. I have severe depression, anxiety, panic attacks etc from trying and trying and not getting anywhere. Why the hell don’t they have universities/colleges that are for people with LD!!!!!???? And how can we take a stand to get this changed!

  5. Fred Thomas says:

    The link, “State and local LDA chapters”, goes to a page not found, error 404. Would you fix that, please? Finding someone who does LD assessments in my area for adults has proven difficult. They only want to work with children so, having that list of chapters may be helpful to me. Thanks.

    • LDA of America says:

      Hello and thank you for bringing the broken link to our attention. It has been fixed to head to our new state affiliate page.

  6. Trey Gorday says:

    Hi my name is Trey I have been Learning disabled since 2 nd grade I’m currently in college and I am struggling with math I need to be tested so the college will get the documentation they need so they can find something that will help me reach my goal of attaining an A.S. degree which is only 5 classes away. I live in fairhope Alabama where can I go to get tested?

  7. Lisa L Clifford says:

    How do you expect people to come up with 500$ – 2500$ for the assessments, I’m 45 yrs old and struggling in college, 3 children, and my husband is the one who brings in the money, I never had a real job or a job to be proud of. I understand there might be a lot of tests but really, most people even ones that don’t have a learning disability and have good paying job don’t have that kind of money to spend. Thanks for letting me vent.

  8. Hi my name is Justin I’m 33 single father of 2 special needs children. I was classified at having learning disability when I was in my 2nd yr of 1 St grade. I had remained in special education until I graduate high school. I never went to collage. Parents told me it was for normal kids. Oh I’m 1 of 11 kids. 3rd yougest. Started working full time at the age of 12. Farm help. At age 12 until now I was given a Nick name (Chunk) most don’t even know my real name. IV only been to the doctor 2 or 3 times since the age of 12. Never medicated. During my adult life IV have worked various jobs for a few yrs at a time or months do to personal issue been fired few times but also quit some jobs cause I thought I was being harassed. Never collected unemployment due to not able to fill out paperwork correctly. I got married when I was 27. I married a women that was disabled we had a daughter together. She ran off 5 months after the child birth to be with someone else with our child i didn’t understand my rights as a parent. Up till both parents pasted IV only lived out side of home for 2yrs now it’s been 8 months since I lost my mother. My wife now has had 3 kids out of Wed lock. So 4 kids in marriage 1 mine during those yrs she was gone she would call every week and harassed me for every dollar I have and of course I would she kept telling me I’d never see my daughter again. But when she did let me see her it was 2-3 yrs apart when I was giving her 300-500 a week on top of child support payments. I had beloved my life wasn’t worth living if my daughter was homeless. Witch I found out she was many times and her mother used all the money for meth coke and weed. The child support did get shut off when she tricked me making me think I was moving home to a house that I paid the rent for 4 months in advance I told the court house we living together and showed them my married certificate. They said wait your stime married? Child suppott can’t be determined till after divorce. Wife got mad about me tell the truth had me beat up by her boy friend that I meat shortly after and had a shot gun pointed at me at the home I just paid for just a few days prior. Any ways now I’m to the point I got noticed that 2 months ago I got told my wife lost all the kids to dcfs I have my daughter now and one of her brothers witch I don’t know who his father is. Wife still calls and harassed me tell me I’m supposed to pay her way so she can get her kids back. I only make 130 a week cause I work at one of the few jobs i m good at I don’t get cash assistance just link and state medical. I’m in financial ruin and have 2 kids I don’t know were to turn for help. I have no life savings extremely bad credit due to helping out wife with payday loans in past. Before my mom past I spent 18 months caring for her and had no job cause she needed me. During all this time I’ve live with social anxiety depression and the occasional sucidal thoughts. And now im to the point of panic trying to figure out how too rasie 2 special needs children on my own single father’s don’t get much help and I’ve realized very few relatives even care about my situation or willing to help. In 2009 my wife set me up with people I didn’t know ended up in jail looking a 4 class 2 feloneys I told the truth but didn’t mention it was all my wife’s idea. Court looked at my school records and the prosscuter said I was legally incompatant and I was not allowed to speak in the court room cause my tesmony was useless. I’m tired of being used by those persons who I thought where speacail to me in life. I need help.

  9. Colin Brietzke says:

    A great thing is to right guide disability’s person.WE can understand them by giving well treatment and those person should be remain in the surroundings of nature.

  10. Maritza Zaragoza says:

    Hi, I have just been diagnosed with dyscalculia (math learning disorder) at the age of 34. My college refuses to accept my diagnosis because The person that diagnose me is out of the state I live in. Is it truly not valid because of that? I did all the testing from a qualified person.

    • ALBERTO says:


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