Diagnosing Learning Disabilities: A Multi-Test Approach - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1481 Words
Date:  2023-02-07


Diagnosis of cognitive deficits and learning delays in schools requires a combination of several types of psychological tests owing to the varied nature of the disability in children. But for years, the tests have been conducted by use of intelligence and achievement tests. However, the IDEA requires that the diagnosis of such disabilities in children not to be carried out based on a single assessment test. Findings from the tests may reveal a range of issues affecting the child. This may be hearing problems, low vision, use of language, or even difficulties to focus. These findings help understand the obstacles standing between the child and academic performance. This paper presents proper assessment tests and semi-structured questions tailored toward the best outcome of a psychological test on any child with cognitive difficulties and learning delays.

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Intellectual Functioning Test

The intellectual functioning theory is based on the theoretical construct of measuring a person's intelligence quotient. Even though it does not give us the actual intelligence, it brings forth the cognitive strengths and weaknesses of an individual that are important components of intelligence. The most widely used type of IQ test is the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Fourth Edition. Children can be administered with an IQ test designed to suit their age and development, such as speech. Also referred to as the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Fourth Edition (WISC-IV). This test is divided into four scales used to arrive at a person's full-scale IQ. The subtests under the four scales provide valuable information about an individual's cognitive abilities. These supplemental subtests include verbal compression scale, working memory, perceptual reasoning scale, and process speed scale. This subtests clearly show that measuring or IQ is more than just answering basic questions or vocabulary. They require physical manipulation, tapping into different aspects of the human brain, and thought processes. Administering IQ tests to children should be done by a qualified psychologist who will provide the best suited WISC-IV for the child. Identifying a child's cognitive strengths and weaknesses will help find the appropriate intervention required, such as changing the way the child is educated.

Academic Achievement Test

Achievement tests are meant to evaluate a child's abilities in specific disciplines such as math, oral language, reading, or written language. Even though intelligence will play a role in this, it is not in any way measured by achievement tests. For instance, a very bright child with ADHD may end up performing poorly on IQ tests. As much as the achievement tests suffer from problems such as adherence to rules and standardized tests, they reflect the true capacities of the child with ADHD. As for such a child, a peculiar pattern will emerge similar to other children with ADHD. Tasks that require sustained effort and activity usually score high while those that require long-term concentration score low. (Mahwah, Erlbaum. Zuckerman, E. L., & Guyett, I. P. R. 1997). This helps to single out a problem arising from a lack of concentration versus lack of ability.

Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT) is a good academic achievement test developed by the same authors who designed the Wechsler IQ tests. The comparison between the two tests helps identify discrepancies between the IQ of a child and achievement. WIAT scores can be used to compare your child's current achievement to others on the same level. All tests are administered without time limit, thus allowing the child to demonstrate their actual skills and knowledge, not their speed.

Adaptive Functioning

Adaptive functioning tests are used to evaluate a child's social and emotional maturity relative to his peers. This diagnosis is crucial for those at the risk of behavioral impairments and communication delays. Adaptive behaviors involve the ability to adapt to the surrounding and meet the social or community expectation in functioning. For instance, infants of the same age are busy learning to talk, walk, and eat. While older children are being thought to cross the street or go to the shop.

Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale (VABS) is a test used to measure the level of social skills development from infancy to the age of 19. Questions are not directed to the child, but the caregivers and people close to the child. The test has four sections: daily living skills, socialization, communication, and motor skills. VABS are effective in assessing the self-sufficiency of a child.

Adaptive testing of a child's psychological behavior is measured on a wide spectrum, other methods that may not be scientific in nature includes; the child's capability to play with other kids, this is a consequence of the parent's rearing skills. The parent is required to equip the child with to cooperate with others and be eminently socially desirable as a playmate and also respect his or her elders. This calls for proper parenting skills so that the child does can play and does not get false smiles from elders. This can be measured by observing how the child cooperates with others and how mature people treat them.

Medical Tests

Medical tests will help to check on the general well-being of the kid's psychology in connection to his/her health. The tests to be run include psychiatry tests; this includes the diagnosis of psychological illness-related cases. (Wiley. Maruish, M. E. (Ed.). 2000). Particular infections have been identified to form a significant component of psychological difficulties. This includes ulcers, arthritis, and headaches. Particular scenarios like migraines in young people should be adequately tested to establish the real test and to isolate the case if not related to psychological problems. A child who is unable to walk by the age of years may point out that she/he may be suffering from a related psychological illness. A complete neuropsychological test is needed for children with such kinds of learning delays. Assessment of anxiety and frequent panic in a child may also be regarded as an indicator of a child's psychological problems. An efficient assessment test on the medical aspect should be able to point out comprehensive aspects of a child's health, behavior, and other observable and measurable medical components. This inline with ensuring that practical solutions are explored and applied.

Environmental and Legal Context

A child's behavior may also be a crucial factor to test while addressing psychological disorder issues. Cruel behavior may be a pointer of a child's cognitive psychology to be of problematic. Evaluation of insanity and competency of a child is the main concern in these areas.

Use of Traditional Assessment Tools

Use of multicultural evaluation is a necessary tool for the assessment of young people's psychology. Uses the System of Multicultural Pluralism Assessment (SOMPA) this is a methodology that puts into consideration of medical, social, and pluralistic components of a child's life. It tends to assume that the basic characteristics of children of a specific population type will be the same across. Therefore, the system is applied by studying the various most advent characteristics of children in that particular domain. By doing so, a set of variables is achieved and used as a basis for the assessment of other children who prove to have offsets from the common variables chosen.

General Personality Tests

This is measures that give an overview of the child's psychological behavior, instruments used under this category include Myer Briggs Type indicator. Sentence completion tests, and Johnson Taylor temperament analysis. These tests help in the assessment of the general cognitive psychology of a child. In this context, for example, a dictation test to evaluate a child's ability to complete sentences may be applied to check for a child's developments delays.

Computer-Assisted Tests

In this context use of computers have to be appreciated in that it has improved on the efficiency of tests, it has greatly reduced on biasness of the tests, and timely and objectivity of the tests are achieved. Blau, T. (1998). Data captured in computers can be interpreted in a variety of methods, that gives it an advantage and human interpreter and/or use of artificial intelligence aid for better assessment of the data. Further research is recommended in order to develop a better way of assessment of computer-aided tests; this would greatly improve the application of computer-aided tests. And it can be of great use in the future. Among the benefits, there are disadvantages of using computer-aided tests this includes; non-professional people using the systems to administer tests and giving wrong interpretations. With the evolving technology that should be addressed an assessment of children can be adequately done by use of computers. (Gary, 2003)


Gary, G.-m. (2003). Handbook of Psychological assessment. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Blau, T. (1998). The psychologist as an expert witness (2nd ed.). New York: Wiley.

Maruish, M. E. (Ed.). (2000). Handbook of psychological testing in primary care settings.

Mahwah, Erlbaum. Zuckerman, E. L., & Guyett, I. P. R. (1997). The paperwork office: The tools to make your small psychotherapy practice work ethically, legally, and profitably-forms, guidelines, and resources (2nd ed.). Pittsburgh, PA: Three Wishes Press.

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Diagnosing Learning Disabilities: A Multi-Test Approach - Essay Sample. (2023, Feb 07). Retrieved from https://midtermguru.com/essays/diagnosing-learning-disabilities-a-multi-test-approach-essay-sample

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