Saint Paul Dyslexia and Learning Disorder Testing and Evaluations

Specific learning disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder (meaning a condition that impacts brain development and cognitive functioning) that impairs abilities in reading, math or writing.  Signs of a learning disorder may occur in early childhood, but the impact of a specific learning disorder is not fully evident until a child attends school. Between 5% and 15% of the population are estimated to have a specific learning disorder, with impairments in reading being the most common.

  • Dyslexia is a specific reading disorder that results in disfluent and inaccurate word reading, difficulty decoding words, and poor spelling ability. These reading difficulties arise due to neurological deficits that impact phonological awareness, or being able to hear the different sounds that make up a word.

  • Dyscalculia refers to a disorder that impacts math calculation and quantitative reasoning. Those with dyscalculia may have difficulty memorizing math facts, sequencing information, performing math computations, remembering math steps and operations, and understanding quantitative concepts.

  • Dysgraphia is an impairment in written language and being able to transfer thoughts to writing. Those with dysgraphia can have difficulty with spelling, punctuation and grammar. They may omit words, have difficulty knowing what to write, or have difficulty writing with an organized structure.              

Should I Consider Specific Learning Disorder Testing?

Undiagnosed specific learning disorders can have severe consequences that not only impact academic performance, but can also have a negative impact socially, behaviorally and on overall mental health. Those with undiagnosed specific learning disorders may be stigmatized  as lazy when it comes to their education, and without proper supports and accommodations, these students will likely struggle in many areas in school. The truth is most people with a specific learning disorder have exceptional strengths in areas such as creativity, thinking outside the box, and understanding complex concepts in high level interest areas. A dyslexia evaluation, or evaluations considering other specific learning disorders, can help identify key these strengths to build on, as well as areas of weakness to address. When given the proper interventions and accommodations students with a learning disorder often perform well academically and start to experience success in many areas of their life.

 

What Happens During Specific Learning Disorder Testing?

All evaluations considering specific learning disorders such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia vary and are tailored to each individual, but typically include standardized academic achievement testing, intellectual and cognitive ability testing, interviews, observations and a review of educational, medical and clinical records. Many factors other than a specific learning disorder also contribute to learning difficulties and poor academic performance. These may include environmental considerations, cognitive factors not related to a learning disorder, social, emotional, or behavioral concerns, or other psychological disorders. Venture Therapy evaluations will clarify the underlying causes for learning and academic difficulties, so the concerns can be appropriately addressed.      

 

What to Expect Following the Evaluation?

All of the results of the evaluation will be written into a comprehensive report that will include a summary of findings, any reported diagnoses and recommendations. We will carefully go through each page of the report with you, clearly explain key findings of strengths and weaknesses and discuss recommendations and referral ideas. We have extensive knowledge of school supports for students with learning disorders and will help you with next steps of getting the appropriate supports for your child at school.