A Learning Disability Assessment is recommended when a young person who appears bright and able to learn, at least in some areas, nonetheless struggles to learn and shows academic difficulties.
To meet the diagnosis for a Specific Learning Disability the young person must show some indication of average intellectual functioning levels on a psycho-educational or psychological assessment. A statistical formula, which integrates the young person's average to above average intellectual functioning levels, with the neuropsychological and academic deficits and/or weaknesses he shows, determines whether he is achieving at expected levels on tests of academic functioning, or whether he is showing symptoms of a learning disability
Learning Disabilities are associated with genetic and/or neurological factors that affect brain functioning, and can result in various weaknesses involving one or more of the neurocognitive processes associated with learning. These might include language difficulties, such as problems processing and comprehending language, or with verbal expression. Such children may also have been slow to acquire basic language skills.
Other learning disabled children may show nonverbal learning difficulties on the learning disability assessment. These might include visual processing or discrimination weaknesses, or problems with visual spatial organization, or visual-motor tasks. They may have difficulty processing information in a timely and efficient manner. Executive functions and problems with attention and focus may also be at issue. These neuropsychological processing concerns interfere with the acquisition of basic academic skills in reading, writing and/or math. They can also interfere with a range of executive functions, such as reasoning, problems solving, organization and planning. Attention. processing speed and memory problems may also be at issue.
Due to their neuropsychological processing weaknesses, these young people are likely to show, difficulty achieving to their potential academically. Their academic skill levels are likely to fall below the norm and below expected levels based on their average to above average intellectual functioning levels.
Dr. O'Connor offers Psychological Assessments and School Neuropsychological Evaluations to help explore the young person's learning problems and to determine whether he or she meets the criteria for a Specific Learning Disability. Young people who have been diagnosed with a Specific Learning Disability by a registered psychologist, or other qualified psychological professional, and identified as an Exceptional Student are entitled to an Individual Educational Plan (IEP). This plan will provide the young person with appropriate supports and accommodations to assist him or her with the school program.
Dr. O'Connor's Psychological Assessments and School Neuropsychological Evaluations explore the various domains that are necessary to help determine whether the young person meets the criteria for a Specific Learning Disability. This includes measures of cognitive functions to help determine the young person's levels of intellectual functioning. Testing is provided to determine the young person's levels of academic functioning across various measures of math, reading and written language. The goal is to determine what are the expected levels of academic functioning we would expect based on the young person's levels of intellectual functioning.
If there are inconsistencies, and higher levels of academic functioning are expected, Dr. O'Connor will explore the test results further. Her goal is to review the test results to help determine why the young person is showing below expected levels of academic functioning, based on his or her average to above average levels of intellectual functioning. Dr. O Connor will develop a hypothesis as to why this is occurring. She will then administer further neuropsychologlical processing measures to either confirm or disconfirm this hypothesis.
This information will be integrated into a full and comprehensive psychological report. This report which will include summaries of all test findings, including strengths and weaknesses, a diagnosis or diagnoses when appropriate, and interventions and recommendations to address any concerns that surfaced during the assessment or that were confirmed by it.