Learning Disabilities

  • Professionals conducting assessment and rendering diagnoses of specific learning disabilities must be qualified. Students requesting academic adjustments on the basis of a specific learning disability must provide documentation from an evaluator who has undergone extensive training and has suitable experience in the assessment of learning problems in adults. Recommended practitioners include clinical, certified or educational psychologists, school psychologists, neuropsychologists, learning disabilities specialists and educational therapists. Students requesting adjustments on the basis of the disability must include, but is not limited to:
  • An interview, including a description of the present problem(s); any significant development, medical, psychological and employment histories; family history (including primary language of the home and student’s current level of English fluency); and where indicated a discussion of dual diagnosis.
  • A complete assessment of intellectual functional/aptitude as measured by
    • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III (WAIS-III)
    • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-R  (WAIS-R)
    • Woodcock-Johnson Psycho educational Battery-Revised, Tests of Cognitive Ability
    • Stanford-Benet Intelligence Scales (4th Edition)

Note: The Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test and the Olsson Intelligence Test-Revised are NOT comprehensive measures and therefore are unsuitable for our purposes.

  • A comprehensive academic achievement battery that measures current levels of functioning in reading (decoding and comprehension), mathematics and oral and written.
    • Woodcock-Johnson Psycho education Battery-Revised: Tests of Achievement
    • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT)
    • Stanford Test of Academic Skills (TASK)
    • Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults (SATA)
    • Nelson-Denny Reading Skills Test
    • Stanford Diagnostic Mathematics Test
    • Test of Written Language-3

Note: The Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT) is not a comprehensive measure of achievement and is, therefore, not suitable for our purposes.

  • An assessment of specific areas of information processing (e.g., short and long-term memory, sequential memory, sequential and simultaneous processing, auditory and visual perception/processing, processing speed executive functioning, motor ability) can be shown by using the following assessment tools.   Information from sub-tests on WAIS-III, the Woodcock-Johnson Psycho educational Battery-Revised: Test of Cognitive Ability or the Detroit Tests of Learning Aptitude-Adult (DELA-A), as well as other instruments relevant to the current learning problem may be used to address these areas.
  • A diagnosis of a specific learning disability, individual “learning styles,” “learning differences,” “academic problems,” and “test difficulty or anxiety,” in and of themselves, do NOT constitute a learning disability.  It is important for the evaluator to demonstrate that alternative explanations for academic problems as a result of poor education, poor motivation and/or study skills, emotional problems, attentional problems and cultural/language issues that may be interfering with learning but do not constitute a learning disability have been ruled out.
  • An indication of how patterns in the student’s cognitive ability, achievement and information processing reflect the presence of a learning disability.
  • An integrated summary which –
    • Indicates the substantial limitations to major life activities posed by the specified learning disability,
    • Describes present symptoms that meet the criteria for the diagnosis,
    • Describes the extent to which these limitations impact the academic context for which accommodations are being requested,
    • Suggests how the specific effects of the learning disability may be accommodated, and individuals conducting assessments and rendering diagnoses of learning disabilities must be qualified to do so.  Experience working with an adult population is essential.  Diagnostic reports must include the names, titles and license numbers of the evaluators, as well as the dates of testing.

For further information on Learning Disabilities you may check the following websites.

Types of Learning Disabilities
Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities
Learning Strategies Database
Learning Disabilities
Dyslexia and Learning Disabilities