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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Recommendations for parents who are suspecting Learning disability in there child What kind of evaluations works best which tests work better and etc.

Recommendations for parents who are suspecting Learning disability in there child What kind of evaluations works best which tests work better and etc.

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John S. Thomas's picture
John S. Thomas
First & Second Grade Teacher/Adjunct faculty Antioch University New England

Wow, this is a VERY difficult question. In my experience there is not one best evaluation. I think this process should be personalized as much as possible to the particular child's situation.

I believe there are four parts to an effective evaluation of a child for learning disabilities: 1.) The collection of evaluation tools (these are best decided upon by the team evaluating the child.) 2.) individual classroom observations 2.) Evaluator's observations 4.) Everyday classroom data points (both academic and behavior)

When all four pieces of information are put together it provides the widest angle view of a child's development and performance. If any of the pieces are left out then the child is being short changed and I believe the view of the child's development is lacking.

For example, when looking at one assessment the other day in a team meeting, the evaluator read it one way, but when considering the classroom observations by the teacher it changed how the evaluator viewed the results. I think remembering that evaluation tools are just one data point is important.

You can read more about tests and learning disabilities here: http://www.ncld.org/parents-child-disabilities/ld-testing/types-learning...

That links shows some of the more popular tests for particular learning difficulties but I would add that it is the evaluation professionals who know the tools the best and ideally can pick the one that fits the child's situation.

A quote from the above webpage reads: "The most important consideration when testing occurs is not to allow the tests to determine what is important, but rather to select tests that answer specific questions, explain the nature of a person's struggle, and provide insight into the types of instruction and supports that help define the nature of the LD and ways to overcome and circumvent frustration and failure."

I believe it is this insight noted in the above quote that is most useful for the teacher, parents and ultimately the student.

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