Learning Disability

Psychological Testing For Learning Disability

Dr. Kovner has been testing children for Learning Disabilities for over 20 years. His recommendations for teaching and parenting have guided children, teachers and parents to design and use learning and educational experiences that are scientifically sound and researched-based in order to achieve the educational goals and social-emotional maturity needed for success as an adult. Many of Dr. Kovner’s student-clients have graduated from 2 year and 4 year colleges and have gone on to enjoy success in careers, marriage and personal development. Many have become happy and successful as they contribute and participate in society. To unlock that potential, I truly believe your child must start with a complete psychological evaluation. The benefits of psychological testing are enormous. You will have a thorough understanding of your children’s cognitive skills as they approach learning and problem-solving. By comparing their individual achievement test scores to their own ability and to other children at their age level, you will see how your child is performing on a “national” level, rather than relying on classroom test standings. Using your child’s strengths to guide the learning process and recognizing areas of cognitive processing that make learning unclear and difficult will guide the teaching process so that your child can approach learning progressively with hope and confidence that they can succeed. Children will have the benefit of knowing themselves, how they learn, what the pitfalls are, and what they can do to succeed.

Psychological testing is often difficult to obtain through the public school systems. The Response to Intervention is often too slow to meet the needs of the struggling learner. 

At the Kovner Center for Behavioral Health and Psychological Testing, psychological assessment for learning disabilities is usually a two day process for the student. Testing includes: intelligence testing to assess strengths and weaknesses in verbal language and visual-spacial, processing speed, memory, attention, organization, planning, sequential and simultaneous information processing, visual-motor development, level of educational achievement, and to rule out anxiety, depression and other emotional problems which can interfere with concentration and motivation. The tests take approximately 8 hours to administer, 3 hours to score and interpret and about 6 hours to write the report. Specific recommendations are added to the report to provide parents with relevant intervention methods at every level (environmental, medical, educational, behavioral and cognitive) in order to facilitate remediation. These recommendations are powerful tools that can be inserted into the student’s Individual Education Planning (IEP) in the classroom. Call Dr. Kovner today to set up an appointment for a Diagnostic Interview to get the assessment process started. (770) 729-0123

When a child is of average or above average in intelligence, is two or more years behind in reading, writing or arithmetic due to problems learning as opposed to a lack of motivation, emotional problems, sensory deprivation or environmental impoverishment, they are considered to be “Learning Disabled.” According to researchers, reading disability, also known as Dyslexia, does not have a specific etiology or cause.  There may be a genetic transmission of Dyslexia.  It may be associated with language deprivation. For example, the child who is not read to or linguistically stimulated early on in their lives may develop Dyslexia. Language deprivation during the first two years of life (the critical period for language development) can severely impact neurological development in the Broca (speech production) and Wernicke (the understanding of written and spoken language) areas of the brain causing Expressive/Receptive Language Disability and may also produce reading disability or underachievement in recognizing letters, word or letter sounds, spelling, delayed vocabulary and deficits in reading comprehension. Also, early hearing loss such as when a child develops chronic ear infections where their ear canals are blocked by fluids, can impact neurological development and may result in Dyslexia if not treated. Neurological damage due to illness, injury or genetic malformation can also result in developmental language delays as well as Dyslexia.

The same language deficits seen in Dyslexia and Expressive/Receptive Language Disorder may also result in a difficulties doing word problems, calculating, recognizing, naming, copying and writing numbers. Visual-spatial-perceptual deficits that may be caused by neurological injuries, illnesses or genetic malformations in the parietal lobe may interfere with arranging numbers in parietallobeorder, spacially in columns, perhaps in three dimensional space, or conceptualizing “place value” in decimals. They may make interpretation of mathematical symbols difficult. Difficulties in visual-spacial ability but intact verbal reasoning can be seen in Williams Syndrome where the individual has impairments in their ability to judge magnitude (how much) and number (how many) associated with decreased gray matter and hypoactivation in parietal areas.

Writing disability, known as Dysgraphia, may result from a combination of verbal and visual spatial deficits.  Difficulty processing the visual symbols of language (letters), as well as what the learner hears (spoken language) may often result in poor handwriting, difficulty learning to spell, being able to express one’s ideas on paper (composition), and organize letters and words on paper. This may begin with poor pencil grip, avoidance of drawing letters, difficulty with letter shapes, difficulty with spacing between letters, not grasping the concept of capitals, easy fatigue when writing. In school-age children we see illegible handwriting, printing words instead of writing cursive, over-focus on the act of writing with little comprehension of what they are writing, omitting words in sentences. In teenagers, teachers report they have difficulty organizing their thoughts on paper, become disorganized in their written thought processes to the extent that their written ideas do not represent their comprehension of their ideas.

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