Professional reviewing paperwork for studentEvaluation involves gathering information from a variety of sources about a child’s functioning and development in all areas. It is generally one of the first steps in determining if a child has a learning disability. This section will help answer the questions: What happens when school problems arise? What does an evaluation mean? What are the terms needed to understand an evaluation?

Adults with Learning Disabilities – An Overview

Learning disabilities (LD), sometimes referred to as “specific learning disorders,” are life-long, but adults who have LD can experience great success in all aspects of life when using their strengths together with the strategies, accommodations and technology that are most appropriate and effective for their individual needs. Read more…

High School Equivalency Exams

What are high school equivalency exams? High school equivalency exams are tests available for people age 16 and older who did not finish high school. Many people who did not finish high school have the same knowledge and skills as those who did graduate. Others can enroll in an adult education program to gain the knowledge and skills they need to pass a high school equivalency exam. By taking and passing one of these exams, adults can demonstrate they have acquired the same level of knowledge as someone who has completed high school. The person then earns a certificate that… Read More »

Screening Adults for Learning Disabilities

Download Screening Adults for Learning Disabilities What is learning disability (LD) screening? Screening is the first step in the process of gathering relevant information about an individual with a suspected learning disability. Screening does not determine whether or not the person has a learning disability. It may include observations, informal interviews, the use of a written tool, and/or a review of medical, school, or work histories. How is LD screening different from LD diagnosis? An LD diagnosis is a formal assessment that determines the actual presence of a learning disability. LD screening is an informal process that shows whether there… Read More »

SLD Evaluation: Linking Cognitive Assessment Data to Learning Strategies

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA)  2004,  and subsequent regulations published August 2006 have significantly changed the way students suspected of having specific learning disabilities (SLD) are identified and found eligible for special education. According to the 2006 IDEA regulations (§300.307) concerning SLD, each state must adopt criteria for determining whether a child has a specific learning disability as defined by §300.8 (c)(10) that: must not require the use of severe discrepancy between intellectual ability and achievement for determining whether a child has a specific learning disability as defined in §300.8 (c)(10); must permit the use of a… Read More »

Professionals Who Can Help

There are many trained professionals available to help individuals with learning disabilities. Researching what each specialist can do to improve the issues that you or your child may be dealing with is important. Choosing the right one that best fits the needs of the individual can save time and money. Also, know that you may not have to see every specialist at once.  Trying to work on one or two issues at a time depending on the severity of the issue can help prevent burnout and still help address each issue over time. Listed are a few of the professionals and… Read More »

What to Expect When Your Child Has a Learning Disability: Identification and Diagnosis

Often the child’s teacher will notice the first symptoms of a Specific Learning Disability. Parents may also notice symptoms that are different from those the teacher sees. That’s why it is so important for teachers and parents to share notes on the development of a child. These conversations may lead to an evaluation for a diagnosis of SLD and eligibility for special education services. Symptoms teachers might observe: trouble learning the connection between letters and sounds, confuses basic words like run, eat, want, makes consistent reading and spelling errors including letter reversals (b/d), inversions (m/w), transpositions (felt/left), and substitutions (house/home),… Read More »

First Steps for Parents When School Problems Are Observed

If a student is having unusual difficulty in school the parent should discuss the situation with the teacher and other school personnel. Most schools have a problem-solving team which works with families in reviewing and solving problems that affect school performance before beginning a formal process of referral for special education and related services as described in IDEA. Problem-solving activities or strategies used by the regular education teacher to address the child’s difficulty may consist of changes in the physical environment, changes in instructional approaches, short-term remedial activities, peer tutoring, or behavioral management plans. Learn more about who serves on… Read More »

Evaluating Children to Determine Eligibility for Special Education Services and Reevaluation Requirements

Evaluating children to determine eligibility for special education services is an issue with which many parents and educators struggle. There are many factors to consider during a comprehensive evaluation of a child for possible eligibility for special education services. It’s important that parent(s) know their rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), understand the process, and ensure their child receives the appropriate services. School districts need to provide parents their procedural safeguards (rights) guaranteed under IDEA before a full and individual initial evaluation takes place. When a child receives special education services for an extended period of time,… Read More »

Assessment of Readiness Skills During Early Childhood

Young children develop rapidly, frequently experiencing tremendous change and growth physically, cognitively, linguistically, and socially. Preschoolers, for example, seem to race from one milestone to the next. Nevertheless, the rate of growth and development among young children varies greatly. Indeed, as a result of this high variability during early childhood that can be seen in nearly any environment with preschoolers and kindergartners, many professionals balk at labeling children as learning disabled. Studies indicate that early intervention can make a significant difference in a child’s development and many other professionals want to respond promptly when they note developmental delays or see… Read More »

Early Identification of Speech-Language Delays and Disorders

“Why is speech-language treatment needed? My baby doesn’t talk yet.” “Everyone in our family was a late talker. My child will talk when the time is right.” “Why worry now? Speech and language services will be available when school starts.” “Treatment? Looks to us like they are just playing games.” You may have had similar thoughts or comments. Usually, there is concern about a child’s speech and language skills if there is no speech by the age of one year, if speech is not clear, or if speech or language is different from that of other children of the same… Read More »

Early Childhood Assessment-Birth to Three Years

It is important for parents and professionals to work closely together. When they become a team, everyone has a better understanding of how an infant, baby or child is responding to the world, how he or she learns, and what he or she can do. To begin this process parents need to observe their child carefully and record their observations so they can discuss their child’s development with the professionals who work with babies and young children and their families. This type of assessment is a developmental assessment. The following guidelines will assist parents of a child from birth to… Read More »

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.… Read More »

The Ins and Outs of Learning Disabilities

Learning disabilities (LD) is a broader term in the United States to describe various types of neurologically-based processing problems. These processing disorders can interfere with learning basic life functioning skills such as reading, writing, or mathematics. They can also interfere with higher level skills such as organization, time management and abstract reasoning. The types of LD are identified by the specific processing disorder and can be categorized within one or more of the following four areas. They might relate to getting information into the brain (Input), making sense of this information (Integration), storing and later retrieving this information (Memory), or… Read More »

Eligibility: Determining Whether a Child is Eligible for Special Education Services

When is a child’s eligibility for special education and related services determined? In most states the eligibility of a child for special education and related services is considered when a child has arrived at the Tier 3 level of RTI (Response to Intervention). When a child has been in Tier 2 for a pre-determined amount of time and an evaluation is given, then a meeting is called to determine eligibility for special education services. Who makes the decision about whether a child is eligible for special education and related services? The parent of the child and a team of qualified… Read More »