Children Learning Disability Test - by Dr. Ronand Cantwell M.D.

SPECIFIC LEARNING DISABILITIES TEST 4 CHILDREN. 

A.K.A. THE CANTWELL SLD TEST FOR CHILDREN.

 

THE ONLY  DIAGNOSTIC TEST FOR SPECIFIC LEARNING DISABILITIES  IN CHILDREN.

 

RONALD J. CANTWELL MD, FAAP, FRCP (Ed), FRACP.

Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Child Development and Learning Disorders) University of Miami School of Medicine (Retired)

DEFIN ITION OF SPECIFIC LEARNING DISABILITY. (S.L.D.)

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION.

“SPECIFIC LEARNING DISABILITY IS A DISORDER  OF ONE OR MORE OF THE BASIC PSYCHOLOGICAL PROCESSES INVOLVED IN UNDERSTANDING OR IN USING LANGUAGE, SPOKEN OR WRITTEN THAT MAY MANIFEST ITSELF IN AN IMPERFECT ABILITY TO LISTEN, THINK, SPEAK, READ, WRITE, SPELL, OR DO  DO MATHEMATICAL CALCULATIONS.”

 

WHAT EXACTLY IS THE SPECIFIC LLEARNING DISABILITY (SLD) THAT IS IDENTIFIED IN THE  SLD TEST?

Individuals with S.L.D. frequently have more than one disability, so this disorder is often named Specific Learning Disabilities. This occurs with the neurological condition known as Minimal rain Dysfunction. S.L.D. can exist alone or in conjunction with another learning disorder known as Attention Deficit hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Students with S.L.D. learn differently and less eFFECTIVELY than other students This is because of several different factors such as difficulty maintaining attention, and their easy distractibility by sights and sounds. This is why they fall progressively behind the other students academically from their first day in school.  Students with S.L.D. should be identified as early as possible, which is before the end of first grade. This will reduce the severity of the academic achievement gap that has developed before this disability is identified.

Teachers have great difficulty identifying first-grade students with S.L.D. and also in deciding if a student’s academic progress is so inadequate that a complete psychological evaluation is indicated. There are also many other confusing factors. These include a student’s age, family socioeconomic status, parental intelligence, educational background, the primary language spoken in the home, and the amount of pre-school stimulation, etc. These S L.D. students learn differently and less efficiently than their peers. This is because they usually have difficulty with concentration and are more easily distracted than other students. In addition, they have a problem remembering what they have heard and often would like to ask the Teacher to repeat what she has just said, but they resist because of possible repercussions.  They also can have difficulty organizing and completing timed assignments. They are more easily distracted by sights or sounds. If these problems are severe, these students require a different kind of instruction (Special Education) where they can receive the additional instruction and attention that they need. If this is inadequate, increasing academic underachievement develops, and if identification does not occur before second or third grade, this associated academic delay can be challenging to overcome.

Early identification in first grade followed by appropriate special education is the most effective method to prevent many of the undesirable effects of S.D. These students usually require specific testing by the school psychologist to determine if the student meets Federal and State eligibility requirements. This is often a lengthy process and is not likely to be completed before the end of first grade.

Schools do not appear to have an easy way to determine which students with learning difficulties should receive a complete psychological evaluation. Because of this, there is a tendency to wait until the problem becomes more evident before such a referral is made. However, unfortunately, this lengthy process increases the academic deficit present at the time of identification. This may well be irreversible if identification does not occur before third grade.

Learning disabilities are a causative factor in 20% of students who drop out of high school or fail to graduate because of their continued lack of success in the classroom. The Cantwell  S.L.D. Test will not only identify the presence of a learning problem, but it will also determine if SLD. or Dyslexia is responsible for the student’s learning difficulties s. This Test was designed for the early identification of S.L.D. students before the end of first grade. This will reduce the academic gap that always exists by the time SLD. is identified.

It is essential to understand that a student who is below grade level in Reading the third grade is very unlikely to get back to grade-level spontaneously and is at high risk of dropping out of high school or being unable to graduate because of academic difficulties.

The S.L.D. Test will identify first-grade students, but it can also be effective up to the age of eight years.  Every S.L.D. Test-positive student requires a psychological evaluation to confirm S.L.D. and to determine if the student meets the Federal and State requirements to qualify for Special education.

 

REGISTER THE  6-8-YEAR-OLD STUDENT TO TAKE THE FREE SLD TEST AND TO BENEFIT FROM IT.

THE INCIDENCE OF SLD IN FIRST-GRADE STUDENTS.

With the kind cooperation of the School’s Principal and staff, and with written parental permission, every first-grade student at one Miami elementary school had the Cantwell SDLD Test been authorized by the Miami-Dade County School Board to carry out this research project and to determine for the first documented incidence 0f SLD in their irst00rade students. This was carried out for each of the two school years. The Test positive students were then followed up in second grade to assess if the Test had correctly predicted their future learning difficulties. This is the first research-based incidence of S.L.D. in first-grade students confirmed by a psychologist. In addition, it was predicted that every student identified with SLD  would have significant learning difficulties in second grade. This Test was designed to be monitored by a high school graduate, who would be readily available to carry out the test and avoid any long time waiting for the psychologist.     selected P.T.A. (Parent-Teacher Association) volunteers were permitted to monitor the remaining students being tested. Each was given a brief written explanation of the Test and how it should be correctly monitored. To evaluate the reliability of those tested by P.T.A. volunteers, the author retested ten of these volunteer produced test results and found over 90% correlation. This is proof that a professional test administrator is not necessary to accurately administer or monitor the Cantwell SLD Test.

Of the 112 students who received the Cantwell S.L.D. Test, 23 students tested positive and were later confirmed as having S.L.D. following psychological evaluation. This is an incidence of 20.53% of first-grade students who have Specific Learning Disabilities.

Psychological evaluations were completed on each of the 23 test-positive students. The school Psychologist reported that each of these students displayed the psychological characteristics typically seen in students with S.L.D. This confirmed the presence of S.L.D. in each Test-positive student. Of the 112 students tested over a period of two years, 23 or 20.5% were identified with S.L.D. Thus, one in every five first-grade students had S.L.D.

The S.L.D. severity varied between students so that only 35% of these Test-positive students met the Federal or State special education criteria for learning disabilities. Thus the majority of S.L.D. students remained in a regular education classroom. Even with classroom modifications, it is challenging for these students to get the additional attention they require to learn at a rate similar to the other students. They continue o struggle academically and are likely to remain behind the other students academically. This is because they learn less efficiently than their peers, and it is only possible to catch up with them academically if they can be taught to learn more efficiently than their peers. This is extremely difficult.

REGISTER THE  6-8-YEAR-OLD STUDENT TO TAKE THE FREE SLD TEST AND TO BENEFIT FROM IT.

ARE YOU CONCERNED THAT YOUR FIRST, SECOND, OR THIRD-GRADE STUDENT IS NOT MAKING ADEQUATE PROGRESS IN SCHOOL?

IF SO, YOUR STUDENT SHOULD TAKE THE FREE FREE SLD TEST FOR CHILDREN. THIS WILL IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM AND TO FET HELP  WITH IT.

REGISTER THE  6-8-YEAR-OLD STUDENT TO TAKE THE EE SLD TEST AND TO BENEFIT FROM IT.

WHO IS PROFESSOR RONALD J. CANTWELL, MD?

Ronald J. Cantwell MD is Board certified in Developmental  Pediatrics, Learning, and Behavioral Pediatrics and has training in Child Neurology. He was employed by University-affiliated multidisciplinary teams at the J.F. Kennedy Institute for Child Development at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md. He also supervised the training of Pediatric Residents in Child Development at the University of Miami Child Development Center. Here, he worked with Professor Joseph R Grassi, Ph.D. Chief of Child Psychology, who developed the Reading Readiness Skills program known as SCOPTEC (Simulation of Cognition using Operant Techniques.) Later, Dr. Cantwell used his SCOPTEC experience to develop the corresponding medical model for children in the Specific Learning Disabilities Test at the University of Miami Center for Child Development. Dr. Cantwell worked in University faculty teams with Child Neurologists, Special Educators, speech and language professionals. This team evaluated and managed children with developmental and learning disorders. Later, he also founded the Miami Pediatric Achievement Center for the evaluation of Learning Disorders. He was elected President of the Florida Association for Children with Learning Disabilities and was its representative on the National Board of Directors of this Association. He founded Cantwell Academy, a clinical school for K-6 students with significant learning disorders. His research resulted in the successful use of the S.L.D. Test for 6-8-year-old students. He received awards for services to children from the Miami-Dade School Board and the Board of Public Instruction in Broward County, Florida. He was elected State President of the Florida Association of Children with Learning Disabilities. His research into the need for early identification resulted in the successful diagnostic of S.L.D. Test for 6-8-year-old students. S.L.D. is the most common form of learning disorder that occurs in one of every five students. Teachers and parents have great difficulty identifying these students who require special individualized testing.  Schools do not appear to have any simple test to identify first-grade students with SL.D or Dyslexia. This typically requires a referral for an evaluation by the school psychologist. This involves a complicated battery of tests that may not be completed before the third grade.  The Cantwell S.L.D. Test, however, can identify students with S.L.D. before the end of first grade. Psychological testing does not always identify students with milder forms of S.L.D. However, these are easily identified by the S.L.D. Test.

REGISTER THE  6-8-YEAR-OLD STUDENT TO TAKE THE FREE SLD TEST AND TO BENEFIT FROM IT.

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF EARLY IDENTIFICATION OF SLD 

Teachers all agree that the early identification of students with learning disorders is essential for the best long-term educational results. However, this has been very difficult for schools to achieve.  Students with SLD.  are frequently not identified before third grade, and less severely affected S.L.D. Students are often not recognized because their problem is not apparent enough to suggest the need for an evaluation. These students would also benefit from classroom modifications, but they do not have this opportunity. Schools have been unable to find a satisfactory solution to this problem.

This is proven because the national high school dropout rate of 20 % has not significantly changed n recent years. The author decided to help schools with this problem. He has permitted schools to administer the now free  Cantwell S.L.D. test to identify high risk for S.L.D. students in first and second grades who deserve to be evaluated by the school psychologist for identification and receive appropriate assistance that they require.

This new approach will also overcome a major problem for teachers, This is how to easily identify those students who require prompt evaluation for their academic difficulties. At the same time, this will reduce the academic gap that always exists whenever S.L.D. is identified.

The SLD. Test can be effectively administered without delay by any suitable high school graduate. This allows any Test-positive student to be thoroughly evaluated by the school psychologist with a minimal achievement gap before the end of first grade.  The Psychologist will then confirm the presence of S.L.D. and will determine if the student meets the Federal criteria for Special Education as an S.L.D. student.

This decision was taken to avoid the often long wait for a psychological evaluation to be completed. This would reduce the pre-identification academic deficits that existed at the time S.L.D. is identified. S.L.D., a screening test, has been proven to be effective when it is administered by a college-educated adult in place of the Psychologist. This will identify the presence of S.L.D., and it will avoid the sometimes lengthy time it often takes waiting to be tested by the Psychologist. Test positive students would now be thoroughly evaluated by the school psychologist to confirm the presence of the S.L.D.

 

REGISTER THE  6-8-YEAR-OLD STUDENT TO TAKE THE FREE SLD TEST AND TO BENEFIT FROM IT.

WHY THE SLD TEST WAS DEVELOPED?

Schools do not have e a simple, accurate Test to identify students with Learning Disorders like S.L.D. or Dyslexia. Students suspected of having these conditions are evaluated b the school’s  Child Study Team. This involves simple testing, and classroom modifications,  followed by periods of observation to assess the potential benefits. This may take several months to complete.  Although these teams are extremely helpful, there are several associated difficulties. Some students will not respond positively to these efforts and will require a full evaluation by the school psychologist. Meanwhile, their achievement gap continues to increase until the identification of the cause of the problem occurs.

Cantwell online SLDTest was developed to reduce the academic achievement gap that always results from the delayed identification of students with learning disorders. The developer of the Test wanted schools to benefit from this successful research-based S.L.D. early identification Test for first-grade students that he had developed.  This would not only solve one of the school’s ongoing S.L.D. identification problems but it would also allow special education to make an early start to reduce the 6-9 months achievement gap that is always present when S.L.D. is first identified.

REGISTER THE  6-8-YEAR-OLD STUDENT TO TAKE THE FREE SLD TEST AND TO BENEFIT FROM IT.

HOW THE CANTWELL SLD TEST WAS CREATED? 

This test was designed to evaluate students with learning problems whose primary language at home is  English. If it is another language, it will be very difficult to interpret the Test results correctly A student with a learning disorder exhibits developmental delays in one or more aspects of their educational skills that are normally achieved before the end of first grade.  Therefore, a series oF Test questions were developed concerning the major educational milestones that occur before the end of first grade. These include:-

Visual identification Irentidisation of numbers and upper case letters,  orientation on of numbers and letters, relationships between letters and their sounds when in spoken words, visual and auditory attention span for numbers and letters, visual and auditory sequential memory for numbers and letters, visual identification of age-appropriate vwords, and vocabulary.

These achievement skills are often referred to as the Reading Readiness Skills.

The ‘SLD. Test also has several questions to determine if the student meets the Department of Education’s definition of Specific Learning Disability (or Dyslexia).  If The answers to all of these questions are correctly answered in the affirmative, t then the student has S.L.D. or Dyslexia present.  Every S.L.D. test positive students must now be evaluated by the school psychologist to confirm the Test result and to have a full psychological evaluation. to determine if all Federal and State disability requirements are been met.

 

REGISTER THE  6-8-YEAR-OLD STUDENT TO TAKE T

WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF EARLY IDENTIFICATION OF SLD AND DYSLEXIA.

Teachers all agree that the early identification of students with learning disorders is essential for the best long-term educational results. However, this has been very difficult for schools to achieve.  Students with SLD.  are frequently not identified before third grade, and the less severely affected are often not recognized because their problem is not apparent enough to suggest the need for an evaluation. These students would also benefit from classroom modifications, but they do not have this opportunity. Schools have been unable to find a satisfactory solution to this problem.

This is proven because the national high school dropout rate of 20 % has not significantly changed n recent years. The author decided to help schools with this problem. He has permitted schools to administer the now free  Cantwell Test to identify high-risk students for  SLD.  in first and second grades who deserve to be evaluated by the school psychologist for identification and receive appropriate assistance that they require.

This new approach will also overcome a major problem for teachers. tIt is how to easily identify those students who require prompt evaluation for their academic difficulties. At the same time, this will reduce the academic graduate. This allows any Test-positive student to be thoroughly evaluated by the school psychologist with a minimal achievement gap before the end of first grade.  The Psychologist will then confirm the presence of S.L.D. and will determine if the student meets the Federal criteria for Special Education as an S.L.D. student.

ic gap that always exists whenever S.L.D. is identified.

The SLD. Test can be effectively administered without delay by a high school graduate. This decision was taken to avoid the often long wait for a psychological evaluation to be completed. This would reduce the pre-identification academic deficits that existed at the time S.L.D. is identified. S.L.D., a screening test, has been proven to be effective when it is administered by a college-educated adult in place of the Psychologist. This will identify the presence of S.L.D. and it will avoid the sometimes lengthy time it often takes waiting to be tested by the Psychologist. Test positive students would now be thoroughly evaluated by the school psychologist to confirm the presence of the S.L.D.

REGISTER THE  6-8-YEAR-OLD STUDENT TO TAKE THE FREE SLD TEST AND TO BENEFIT FROM IT.

 

 

REGISTER THE  6-8-YEAR-OLD STUDENT TO TAKE THE FREE SLD TEST AND TO BENEFIT FROM IT.

 

 ADMINISTRATION OF THE SLD TEST TO 6-8 EAR OLD STUDENTS.

The SLD. Test is taken on any internet-connected desktop computer. The Test is simple and easy to administer.  It requires monitoring of the student by any agreeable high school graduate. Previously the full evaluation was carried out by the Psychologist. This can still be done, but it is unnecessary because this will be carried out later on in any student who is S.L.D. Test-positive. Thus, Students with a negative SLD  Test do not require a full psychological evaluation unless there are factors that suggest otherwise.

The Monitor sits beside the student at the computer and simply reads each test question in turn to the student, and then listens carefully for the answer. If the answer is correct, the supervisor checks the blue circle into the computer. If the answer is not correct, the red circle is checked. If there is no response to a question,  the question can be repeated, but it must follow the exact wording of the original question. The Test takes about 30 minutes for all the questions to be answered.  A report with the Test results and parental management suggestions is e-mailed to the parent.

REGISTER THE  6-8YEAR-OLD STUDENT TO TAKE THE  FREE SLD TEST AND TO BENEFIT FROM IT.

 

WHAT IS THE LEARNING QUOTIENT?  (L.Q.)?

The S.L.D. The test has ten different groups of questions with five questions in each group. Each correct answer scores two points, and two points are deducted for each incorrect answer. The maximum total score is 100%. The typical student has an L.Q. of 78-100%. The lower the L.Q., the score is below, 78%,  the more severe are the learning difficulties.

The S.L.D. Test in constant use can be expected to reduce National illiteracy rates. It also can be expected to reduce the 20 %  average high school dropout rate and increase the average National High School graduation rate of 80%. The Cantwell S.L.D. Test meets the projected requirements of simplicity, accuracy, consistency, and ease of administration. It does not require the routine services of the Psychologist for identification purposes, but any S.L.D. Test positive student needs a full psychological evaluation for confirmation purposes.

confirmation by the Psychologist, who will also exclude any additional issues and will assess if the student meets the criteria for Special Education.

 

REGISTER THE  6-8-YEAR-OLD STUDENT TO TAKE THE FREE SLD TEST AND TO BENEFIT FROM IT.

 

 

WHAT ARE THE EDUCATIONAL MILESTONES IN THE ISLD TEST?

•      Visual identification of numbers

•       visual identification of upper case letters

Visual orientation of numbers and letters

The visual attention span for numbers and letter

  • Visual memory for numbers and letters
  • Visual word recognition
  • Auditory discrimination of similar-sounding words
  • Auditory sequential memory for numbers and letters
  • Auditory short-term memory and attention span for sentences.
  • Meaning of the spoken word (vocabulary)
  • REGISTER A 6-8-YEAR-OLD STUDENT NOW TO BENEFIT FROM THE FREE  SLD TEST.

ACCURACY OF THE SLD TEST, AND ITS  PREDICTED  ACADEMIC PREDICTIONS.

 

The names of the first-grade students who tested positive for  SLD. were recorded for follow-up and assessment of their progress in the second grade. This allowed an evaluation of the negative academic effect of the S.L.D. on their future scholastic achievements.

At the start of second grade, it was noted that the student with the lowest S.L.D. score in first grade had been retained in first grade because of inadequate scholastic progress. The remaining test-positive students were receiving some form of special education assistance.

To answer the question of academic progress,  at mid-year, the teachers of these second-grade students were asked to provide the academic achievement levels of each S.L.D. Test positive student for my research, and she kindly agreed. For an above grade level achievement in Reading, Spelling, or Math, each student received a score of one point.  If the achievement level was at grade level, the score was two points. If the student was below grade level, the score was three points.

None of the Test-positive students received scores of 1  or 2. All of these students had scores of 3 in Reading and Spelling, 30% received scores of 3 in Math. 30% were receiving some form of Special Education, and at least two of these students were receiving Methylphenidate (Ritalin), a not uncommonly prescribed medication to improve attention, focus, coordination, memory and to improve writing skills in students with SLD. and ADHD.

REGISTER THE  6-8-YEAR-OLD STUDENT TO TAKE THE FREE SLD TEST AND TO BENEFIT FROM IT.

 

WHO BENEFITS MOST FROM THE SLD TEST?

A  first, second, or third-grade student with any of the following characteristics will benefit from taking the S.L.D. Test.

Is very active, restless, rarely still.

  • Difficulty paying attention, and easily distracted except with electronic devices.
  • Confusion in recognizing certain letters.
  • Difficulty  identifying the sounds of  letters in spoken words
  • Struggles with reading, writing, spelling, or math
  • Reading is slow, with frequent pauses.
  • Has difficulty understanding instructions.
  • Difficulty remembering instructions.
  • Difficulty communicating when speaking.
  • The teacher has requested a parent-teacher conference.
  • Difficulty maintaining attention, except for the T.V. or a battery-powered device.
  • Has difficulty completing tasks on time.
  • Is frequently frustrated with trivialities.
  • Appears to be capable of doing better in school.
  • Instructions frequently need to be repeated.
  • The teacher says “He could do better if he tried a little harder.”
  • Parents think the student is not working at full capacity in school.
  • A close relative had school learning problems and doesńt enjoy reading.

REGISTER THE  6-8-YEAR-OLD STUDENT TO TAKE THE FREE SLD TEST AND TO BENEFIT FROM IT.

HOW TO KNOW IF A 6-8-YEAR-OLD HAS SLD.

 

 The student should take the S.L.D. Test. The Test questions are all correctly answered by the average first-grade student without any learning problems, so if this student correctly answers every test question, it would not be possible for this student to meet the D.O.E.’s definition of S.L.D., and this student has no evidence of S.L.D. or any other learning disorder. However, if the student cannot correctly answer every Test question, then that student will meet the criteria for Specific Learning Disabilities, as defined by the Department of Education.

 

REGISTER THE  6-8-YEAR-OLD STUDENT TO TAKE THE FREE SLD TEST AND TO BENEFIT FROM IT.

 WAT MAKES THE SLD TEST SO UNIQUE?

This test is taken by any 6-8-year-old student without the diagnostic input of a Psychologist. However, the Psychologist is still necessary to evaluate each test-positive student to ensure that at least average intelligence is present, and to determine if the student meets Federal criteria as an S.L.D. student. The Test not only detects major learning disorders such as Specific Learning Disabilities or Dyslexia but unlike any other test it does this as early as first grade. In addition, unlike any other Test, it measures the severity of the student’s learning problem and documents the student’s own visual or auditory learning style. It will also detect the student’s learning strengths and weaknesses that are useful when developing an individualized remedial educational plan.

 

REGISTER THE  6-8-YEAR-OLD STUDENT TO TAKE THE FREE SLD TEST AND TO BENEFIT FROM IT.