Learning Center Policy on Psychological Evaluation for Program Qualification
To be referenced by the Psychological Evaluator
Each Learning Center is monitored from a centralized, corporate clinical office located in Lexington, Massachusetts. Policies and procedures for our accredited clinical program are developed through the corporate clinical office. All Centers and Center Directors are required to follow the policies and procedures of the corporation. Our child application process requires a comprehensive psycho-educational evaluation, for reasons explained below.
Our clinical procedures are independent of public school procedures. We serve children from many different educational backgrounds—some children are from public schools, some have Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), some have 504 Plans, and some are within the general school population with no special accommodations or services. We also serve children from parochial and private schools, and homeschooled children.
We take pride in the fact that our clinical model incorporates the latest scientific research in the field of reading and spelling education, and dyslexia and dyslexia remediation. We are structured and funded to serve a specific population: children with dyslexia. While we do not require a dyslexia diagnosis, the psychoeducational assessment requirement helps us to target children who meet the diagnostic profile of dyslexia. The admission application, parent interview, and the psychological evaluation help us get to know the child and whether or not our reasoning-based approach would be appropriate for him or her. We appreciate receiving any information which helps us to make informed decisions regarding the placement of children in our program. However, other measures can only supplement the information found in the child’s comprehensive psychoeducational assessments.
When a child applies to the Learning Center program, it is our policy to inform the parents of the required assessments for admission to our program. We tell parents that the assessment of cognitive abilities is required to be less than 3 years old, and the assessment of achievement is required to be less than 2 years old. This is in the child’s best interest and provides us with the best diagnostic profile for the child. Many of the children who apply for admission to our Centers have these assessments done as part of their educational programs in their schools. In this case, a copy of the results of the evaluation can be sent to the Learning Center along with the application. If a comprehensive psychoeducational assessment has not been done, the parents/guardians can request that their child’s school convene a team meeting and determine whether conducting a formal evaluation is appropriate, based on a review of the child’s educational performance, or the parents/guardians can hire an independent evaluator to conduct the assessment.
Assessment Test Requirements
All applicants for admission to a Center must be assessed to establish that they have dyslexia. Licensed professionals must administer the required assessments and the results are documented and submitted to the Center. The Center does not provide this assessment.
Documentation of testing administered by licensed professionals of no more than two years prior to the current date may be reviewed by designated clinicians. These clinicians may appeal to the Director of Clinical Affairs for admission of a child in the case of a child whose qualifications for acceptance differ from those cited below.
Specific measures should be selected from the following lists with the final choice determined by the specific characteristics and needs of the child as well as the constraints of the testing session. The expectation is that evaluators are using the most current version of the tests listed below.
The following three assessments areas are required for admission to a Center:
1. Cognitive Ability
One of more of the following composite scores may be used in order of preference:
- Wechsler Intelligence Scales): Verbal, Verbal comprehension, Performance, Perceptual Reasoning and/or Full Scale.
- Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale: Verbal, Verbal Comprehension, Verbal Reasoning, Nonverbal Abstract and Visual Reasoning and/or Full Scale or Composite Score.
- Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Ability: Verbal Ability, Thinking Ability and/or General Intellectual Ability.
- Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children: Knowledge, Planning, Sequential, Fluid/Crystallized Index, and/or Composite.
- Comprehensive Test of Nonverbal Intelligence: Nonverbal Intelligence Quotient.
2. Reading Achievement
Reading assessment must include single oral reading of real words and reading comprehension (either oral or silent). Preferably, single oral reading of nonsense words, oral paragraph reading and fluency will also be included. Suggested reading measures include one or more of the following:
- Woodcock-Johnson Test of Achievement: Letter Word Identification, Word Attack, Passage Comprehension and Reading Fluency.
- Wechsler Individual Achievement Test: Word Reading, Reading Comprehension and Pseudo word Decoding.
- Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests
- Wide Range Achievement Test: Reading.
- Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement: Reading Decoding and Reading Comprehension.
- Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities: Sight Decoding and Sound Decoding.
- Gray Oral Reading Tests
Spelling assessment must include a single word dictated spelling task. Preferably dictated spelling of non-words will also be included. Suggested spelling measures include one or more of the following:
- Woodcock-Johnson Test of Achievement: Spelling and Spelling of Sounds.
- Wechsler Individual Achievement Test: Spelling.
- Wide Range Achievement Test: Spelling.
- Test of Written Spelling
- Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement: Spelling.
- Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities: Sight Spelling and Sound Spelling.
Testing from the following areas is recommended but not required.
1. Written Expression
Preferably some written expression areas will be included at the sentence and discourse level. Suggested written expression measures include one or more of the following.
- Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement: Writing Samples and Writing Fluency.
- Wechsler Individual Achievement Test: Written Expression.
- Test of Written Language.
2. Oral Language
Oral language assessment could include both listening and speaking vocabulary plus oral language comprehension and expression including word retrieval. Suggested measures would include one or more of the following:
- Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement
- Clinical Evaluation of language Fundamentals
- Comprehensive Assessment of Spoken Language
- Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test
- Test of Word Finding
3. Phonological Processing
Measures of phonological processing including rapid automatic naming could include one or more of the following:
- Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing
- Woodcock-Johnson: Auditory Processing Cluster.
- Lindamood Auditor Conceptualization Test
- Test of Phonological Awareness
- Test of Awareness of Language Segments.
The following assessment areas are optional.
1. Mathematics Achievement
Assessment should include both computation and application. Suggested measure could include one or more of the following:
- Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement
- Wide Range Achievement Test
- Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement
- Key Math Diagnostic Arithmetic Test
Assessment of memory could include short-term auditory memory, long-term, visual and working memory. Suggested measures could include one or more of the following:
- Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning
- Woodcock-Johnson: Short-term Memory, Long-term Retrieval and/or Working Memory clusters.
3. Visual-Spatial Processing
Visual-spatial processing assessment could include both motor and non-motor tasks. Suggested measure could include one or more of the following:
- Woodcock-Johnson: Visual-Spatial Thinking Cluster
- Motor-Free Visual Perception Test
- Beery Test of Visual-Motor Integration.