Learning Difficulties Assessment

If your child isn’t achieving their full potential

If you’re concerned about your output at work

If you want a learning difficulties assessment

Why might someone need a learning difficulties assessment?

We WANT kids to be sufficiently challenged – but some have it tough already.

Is your child facing academic concerns? If so, a learning difficulties assessment could be just what they need. Most children, at some point in their schooling, will meet challenges in their education, which – in fact – is really the way we want it to be! We WANT kids to be sufficiently challenged; otherwise we’re setting the bar too low for their development. However, there is also a subset of children who really struggle throughout their education at a different level than their peers. These children put in effort and might have good educational support at home; but struggle to master concepts and learn new things. Such children might posses a learning disability or a learning disorder.


These are children who are perfectly suited for a learning difficulties assessment.

Parents are sometimes dismayed when their children have learning problems. They often relate academic achievement to potential career opportunities and life success. Therefore, it can be troubling to see your child struggling. Fortunately, there is plenty that we can do to help, and we now live in a day and age where there is lots of good treatment available. If we can get these children identified early and provide the help they need, this can often help avoid years of struggle in school. Especially as they move through school towards graduation and beyond.


Parents will often ask . . . “What are the early signs of a learning ability?” and “How will I know that my child will go on to struggle to learn?”

These signs can be difficult to spot. Having just one or two of them is probably not meaningful, or it can be a sign of a condition other than a learning disability. As such, it’s crucial you take a measured and cautious approach to your child’s developmental progression. Things associated with learning disabilities are things like delayed speech and language development. Some kids will talk later on in life to their peers. Even after developing language, your child’s sentence structure and utterances might be shorter. They might also have difficulty with their fine and gross motor skills development. Sometimes, children will have trouble following directions or understanding basic learning concepts. Vocabulary, which they may have heard many times, just might not seem to stick – and it tends to be with those a little bit older. These children might have difficulty remembering the names of letters and numbers. They might also express difficulty with early literacy skills like rhyming. These are just some of the things that we see. Again, however, it really could be a combination that would signal the possible presence of a learning disability.


For this reason, a learning difficulty assessment carries a lot of weight for diagnoses.

Here’s some often overlooked dyslexic traits in the workplace

Terrible at remembering names but can remember a face?

Terrible at remembering names but can remember a face?

Terrible at remembering names but can remember a face?

Terrible at remembering names but can remember a face?

Terrible at remembering names but can remember a face?

How can a learning difficulties assessment help your child?

A learning disability is assessed by working with our educational psychologist.


Our team will help you understand why your child might be struggling at school. The assessment typically involves meeting with that psychologist to discuss the child’s history. You know, a thorough developmental history. We always joke that it’s kind of like a history test for the parent to tell us everything from when the child is born until now. Often, that’s maybe six to seven years of age. The other part of the assessment is testing to see where that child is compared to other children.


A one2one learning difficulties assessment of where they are at for:

? | Their reading, writing and maths skills
? | How automatically can they name their letters
? | How automatically can they list their numbers
? | How they’re doing with their general learning
? | How they’re doing with their memory skills


We provide more of a comprehensive learning difficulties assessment. It’s often assessed over a day or two and can be quite fun for the child! More importantly for the parent, it helps answer questions about their child’s learning profile. It’s worth emphasising to parents that other types of screening assessments can be done in the school and can be asked of the school. Teachers’ resources monitor students’ academic skills and where they stand relative to their peers. So, if you see early signs of struggles in reading or maths, it’s vital your child is seen.


Regardless of whether they’ve had a full assessment, we recommend getting your child into an early intervention program in their early years.

Sound Familiar?

Every learning disability is different. Having a diagnosis can be really important and helpful. But some individuals may feel that they needn’t get a diagnosis.

We think otherwise. Being diagnosed with a learning disability is more than just helpful. It can help you to get the necessary support you need and open new doors.

However, you may not have a learning disability but a learning difficulty – a specific cognitive difficulty – that can be identified via a learning difficulties assessment.

What are the stages taken BEFORE a learning difficulties assessment?

There are three areas that constitute a diagnosis of a learning disability.

The first area is that the individual would have a significant cognitive impairment. So what that means is a global cognitive impairment across lots of different ranges of cognition of thinking. This could include visual-spatial abilities, nonverbal reasoning, verbal comprehension and more.


An average IQ of less than 70 would constitute a learning disability diagnosis.

The second area that constitutes a diagnosis for a learning disability is what we call an impairment in adaptive functioning. That’s really a fancy way of talking about somebody’s social functioning and ability to navigate aspects of daily life. So, examples like that might include difficulties in relation to personal care or in relation to certain aspects of behaviour.

The third criterion to receive a diagnosis of a learning disability is that the previous two areas occur before the age of 18. So what that usually means for people is a lot of the clients we support have genetic conditions. So examples of that might be things like Down syndrome, or Turner syndrome, or Williams syndrome. However, there are many genetic conditions that may cause a learning disability – or also may not.


The other areas would be difficulties during pregnancy or during childbirth. For example, oxygen deprivation might cause a brain injury or an impairment to the brain during early childhood.


If these difficulties become apparent after the age of 18, they aren’t best explained by the diagnosis of a learning disability. That isn’t to say what the client is experiencing is any lesser, in any way, shape or form. Yet, it instead might be better explained by other diagnoses or formulations or understandings. For example, this could be somebody receiving a brain injury, a neurodevelopmental condition, or a form of dementia. Mental health might impact cognition, and so too might substance misuse. Things like trauma, social adversity and poverty might also impact their cognition.


We support many clients through our service who have diagnoses of autism spectrum conditions.


However, that doesn’t mean that all people with autism spectrum conditions have a learning disability and vice versa. That does mean that they may have some specific sensory and support needs concerning these conditions. However, that should be seen as something separate but related. It might be worth clarifying the difference between a learning difficulty and a learning disability. A learning disability is what we described, whereas a learning difficulty is a specific cognitive difficulty. This may be really significant and impact someone but isn’t global like a learning disability. An example of something like that might be dyslexia, dyspraxia or dyscalculia.


If somebody meets the criteria and has a learning disability – the learning difficulties assessment it’s more a tool of curiosity. It’s there to help you support anyone who thinks, “Could this person’s needs be understood as a learning disability? Do they need any further assessment, or do they need specific adaptions in relation to the support we’re providing for them?”

If somebody had a GCSE and an A-level or a degree, it would be unlikely that they would meet the criteria of having a diagnosis of a learning disability. How did the client navigate their way through the education system? For example, did they attend a mainstream school with a statement for educational needs, or did they not attend a mainstream school? Is this person able to read or write? Can this person tell the time, or would this person be able to read something like a bus timetable?


Other indicators might include the person having a driving license. That would be unlikely for someone with a learning disability; due to the cognitive demands of driving a car.


It’s vital we think about somebody’s living situation. Do they live independently, or do they live with support? Do they require a level of care at home? Somebody’s employment history could be useful in understanding whether they may have a diagnosis.

Educational Reports

This defines your child’s performance compared to children of a similar age tested internationally.


Assessments challenge your child in varying ways, and each report provides comparative data. On the completion of the service, you will receive an educational report. This will assist professionals interested in supporting the student with their educational opportunities.


The report will feature:


? | A summary of educational, medical and developmental history
? | An outline of the tests administered to the child or young adult
? | Results of these tests in regards to the child or young adult
? | Outline specific strategies to enhance their learning ability


Career & Work Reports

Discover whether you’ve got the right skill sets to achieve your career goals.


Entering the workplace, reconsidering your career or facing uncertainty about your career options? The data allows you to identify your strengths and weaknesses to develop the core skills needed to succeed. We also provide services to private individuals and organisations.


Employers that use standardised recruitment profile tests:


? | Fire Services
? | Medical Professions
? | Military
? | Private Industries


Court Reports

Admissible to the court, reports include extensive data to validate or discredit a legal argument.


Working within an ethical framework, we provide services to legal establishments. These include solicitors, barristers, child safety services, legal advocacy teams and private individuals. The assessments used depend upon the purpose of the case and the legal argument at hand.


Court reports can be used to validate the following and more:


? | Family Law
? | Driving Competency
? | Mental & Psychological Wellbeing
? | General Intelligence & Ability


Looking for an ADHD assessment? Get in contact!

We test children, adolescents, adults, and we can test YOU . . .


At Educational Assessments, our psychologists carry out full cognitive assessments. These provide essential learning and performance data to bolster support for individuals. If you believe that you or a loved one is struggling, get in touch. We have extensive coverage in Australia.


Our team of expert consultants conduct home visits to assess you or your child and evaluate the patient’s learning needs to succeed. We evaluate an extensive range of learning, social and emotional issues. The knowledge gleaned from our assessments and subsequent report permit you to make informed choices. So, if you want to find the best way forwards that’s suited to you or your child’s learning needs, then this is the answer.


We offer clear, jargon-free advice, consistent personal support and offer valuable expertise. So, if you need an ADHD assessment, don’t delay. Simply get in touch today.

We can test if you or your child has:




Learning Disorders

Emotional and Behavioural Disorders

And more