Learning Difficulty Assessment
For difficulties with reading (dyslexia), written expression (dysgraphia), maths (dyscalculia), memory or attention (AD/HD)
Here are a few common signs of children experiencing learning difficulties:
- Mixing up or reversing letters or jumbling sentences
- Difficulties with numbers, symbols or maths problems
- Struggling to clearly express ideas in writing
- Difficulty remembering key concepts and facts
- Difficulty focusing on work or paying attention in class
If any of these sound familiar, it’s essential to find out what is happening with a child’s learning skills as early as possible.
Why is early action so important?
The evidence is clear:
The earlier learning difficulties are identified and an effective intervention program is started, the better the chance of improving long term outcomes.
In fact, research shows that when the right learning strategies and support are put in place early enough, positive results can be quickly achieved and maintained over the long term.
As well as helping school performance, early action also reduces emotional problems associated with failure, such as anxiety and depression.
And intervention during primary school also helps prevent the development of further learning difficulties, such as written expression problems, in later years.
But it is essential that each intervention program is tailored to each child’s specific strengths and weaknesses (their “learning profile”).
That’s why most education experts recommend a full learning assessment as the first step.
How can a learning assessment help?
A comprehensive learning assessment will reveal the answers to these four key questions:
- What are the specific problems with their underlying learning and processing skills?
- What level are they are currently achieving at with their academic skills? (Compared with what is expected for their age and year level.)
- What might they be potentially capable of achieving?
- Which learning strategies and interventions are likely to be most helpful at school and at home?
You see, it’s NOT about “labelling” children with a disorder…
Instead, this information enables parents to make more informed decisions about their child’s education…
So they can make the required changes as EARLY as possible…
Ensure the right learning strategies are put in place at school and at home…
Empower their child with greater insight into how they learn…
And ultimately help them to reach their full learning potential.
But without this information?
Parents and teachers are basically “flying blind”…
What does a full learning assessment involve?
The specific tests will vary based on the issues and age of the child, however we recommend the following process:
- An initial review of the child’s learning history (for parents only)
- Standardised cognitive testing (thinking and reasoning ability)
- Standardised achievement testing (academic skills)
- Other relevant tests, if appropriate (for example, to assess working memory issues or attention/focus)
- Detailed assessment report with a clear summary and diagnostic opinion
- Specific learning recommendations for school and home
- Comprehensive parent feedback session to answer all your questions
The psychologist will also offer an optional follow-up phone call with the school to make sure the teacher understands the outcomes and recommendations.
Cognitive testing identifies any underlying issues with key skills such as:
- Processing speed
- Auditory processing
- Verbal learning issues
- Non-verbal learning issues
Achievement testing measures abilities in key academic areas such as:
- Oral language
Note: We use the latest versions of all the main assessment tools.
How many appointments are required?
Depending on the specific tests required, there are normally four sessions:
- Initial parent consultation (30-50 mins)
- Assessment session #1 (90-120 mins)
- Assessment session #2 (90-120 mins)
- Feedback session for parents (50 mins)
What are the fees?
The total ranges from approx. $2,000 to $2,400 (less any private health fund rebates), depending on the length of the testing appointments.
This includes the initial consultation, two assessment appointments, a comprehensive psychological report, a feedback consultation, detailed recommendations for home and school, an action plan and liaison with school or health professionals where appropriate.
This represents around 12-14 hours of professional time provided by a fully registered psychologist with postgraduate training and extensive experience in learning assessment and intervention.
The fees are normally broken up across the appointments over several weeks and you can instantly claim private health rebates* at each session via HICAPS.
(*Rebates vary depending on the health fund and level of cover but can be up to several hundred dollars in total.)
What is the next step?
If you think a learning assessment and a targeted intervention program might be helpful for your son or daughter the first step is to book an initial parent consultation.
This is a parent-only consultation at our office in Port Melbourne. (We can also provide this consultation via phone for clients who are not local.)
At this consultation the psychologist will review your child’s learning history and give you appropriate advice for their specific needs.
If a full learning assessment is appropriate they will explain the process and give you the option of booking the service.
Simply click the button below to get started: