Diagnosing Learning Disorders

First, we recommend that you visit our “Where Do I Begin?” page to give you a sense of the common process of getting your questions answered and your child assessed. Here are a few other suggestions/guidelines:

  • There is no single test that can identify a learning disorder. Typically, an evaluation will involve multiple tests, interviews with the parents and child, and questionnaires. Teachers and others who know the child may also provide input.
  • It is important to advocate that a thorough assessment be done. Not one that focuses just on what the child is having problems with (e.g., reading), but also includes general health and what the child can do well.
  • As detailed on the “Where Do I Begin” page, you have rights and access to affordable treatments through you child’s school, or an early intervention program in Merced County.
  • Children can be complicated and getting the best evaluation and treatments can be difficult: some children will not fit a nice diagnostic category; some will fit many different diagnoses; some will clearly have problems but will not qualify for services; some will have a learning disorder but also be intellectually gifted, etc.
  • These complications can be resolved with patience and by accessing the best evaluations and professionals you can. We therefore recommend that if you feel unsatisfied with any initial work-ups on your child, that you seek second opinions.
  • We also recommend complete neuropsychological-psychoeducational evaluations by trained experts for complicated cases or if the evaluations received in the schools seem insufficient.   For information on neuropsychological evaluations and what they have to offer; click here.
  • If you see something in your child’s learning performance, the sooner you get the right kind of help, the better your child will do later on.

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