Children Learning Disability Test - by Dr. Ronand Cantwell M.D.
  1. Although a psycho-educational evaluation is not necessary for the Diagnosis of Specific Learning Disabilities, such an evaluation is important once the diagnosis is made and if the student is functioning below grade level. (check this out with the child’s teacher) This determines the student’s intellectual potential and the severity of the underlying cognitive deficits. The academic achievement levels also are tested to determine if they meets the eligibility requirements for Exceptional Student Education (ESE), or if any classroom accommodations are necessary for student to remain in a regular classroom (Mainstreaming).
  2. If your SLD child is involved in an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP), it is most important that you become involved and supervise the effectiveness of the plan. Your child is counting on you as their advocate. You know your child better than anyone and you should attend and provide useful positive information at the IEP meetings.
  3. Tutoring by a teacher certified to teach students with learning disabilities is highly desirable whenever the student’s academic achievement test results are below grade level, and especially if there are reading and spelling difficulties. Tutoring by a regular classroom teacher is unlikely to be very effective as a different form of instruction is often necessary.
  4. Every child with a moderate or severe form of ADHD or SLD ideally should be evaluated by a developmental pediatrician who has a specialized interest in learning difficulties, or by a child neurologist. Provide a copy of this report, and ask if the child’s school difficulties are likely to benefit from the specific medication that helps students with moderate or severe ADHD.
  5. Several safe, reliable, inexpensive and effective medications have been used fort over the past sixty years to provide considerable assistance to students with ADHD (especially those with coexisting SLD) as they struggle to keep up academically with their peers in the classroom.
    These remarkable benefits include an increase in attention span (critical for learning), a reduction in distractability and impulsivity, as well as an increase in short-term memory. Other beneficial effects include an improvement in eye-hand small muscle coordination, which improves writing legibility, and increases the efficiency and speed of written work. This increases completion rate in timed written timed tests, and better grades will follow.
    Considering all of these beneficial effects that help to normalize brain function, it is no surprise that these non habit-forming medications improve the ADHD/SLD student’s rate of learning. Occasional symptoms such as mild drowsiness or reduction in appetite may be noticed when the dosage is higher than necessary for the child’ weight. These effects will disappear with time, or by a reduction in the medication dosage. With regular monitoring by the pediatrician, no significant long-term effects result.
  6. Research shows that of students identified with ADHD 68% have co-existing SLD, so this possibility must be considered.
  7. Review again all the pages of children’slearningdisabilitiestest.com. They contain a vast amount of useful information for the parent of a child with learning difficulties.

Also, the website of the National Association for Learning Disabilities contains a considerable amount of free information for the parents of a child with SLD or ADHD. Be sure to check this out, especially the section on Dyslexia.