Learning Disorders

There are many factors that go into determining if a student has a specific learning disability.  The definition of what makes a learning disability has changed somewhat over the years, but the fundamental principle has remained the same; a student has a learning disability when they have above average ability but are struggling in one or more academic areas.

When we look at learning disabilities today, we start by determining how a student processes and learns.  We look at 7 major areas of processing which include:

Verbal Abilities
Reasoning Abilities
Long-Term Memory
Short-Term Memory
Auditory Processing
Visual Processing
Processing Speed

Each of these areas play a vital role in a student’s ability to learn, retain, and apply new information.  Once those 7 areas are fully assessed, we then determine where a student falls academically.  With that we assess these 7 areas:

Basic Reading Skills
Reading Comprehension
Math Calculations
Math Reasoning
Written Expression
Oral Expression
Listening Comprehension

For a student to exhibit a specific learning disability, one of two things must happen:

1) The student must exhibit an academic deficit that can be linked to a processing deficit in one of the areas assessed (i.e. low reading comprehension skills can be linked to weak verbal abilities).

2) The student must exhibit a significant discrepancy between their overall ability level and one or more academic areas.  This means that there is something (learning disability) that is keeping them from working to their potential in that particular area.

Diagnostic Learning Services offers specific evaluations to assess for learning disabilities. In addition, we will use the assessment information to makes relevant recommendations for both school and home. Call today for more information about how we assess and diagnose learning disabilities.


Diagnostic Learning Services has been assessing children and adults since 2004. We have locations in Plano, Fort Worth, Houston, The Woodlands, and Austin. Call today to see how we can help!

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