assessment is made up of two types of testing: psychological
assessment and educational assessment. Psychological testing, in general,
measures potential not what has been learned. It clarifies the nature
of the processing deficit. Educational assessment measures what has
been learned in math, reading, spelling and other academic areas.
Educational tests document
how the disability significantly, negatively impacts an individual.
When documenting LD and/or ADHD psychological testing measures a person's relative cognitive strengths and weaknesses. Most often this is measured with a test such as the WAIS-III which provides a measure of overall potential. This is defined as an intelligence quotient or IQ.
Originally a person's current mental age (or how well they did on a test that had test items written for different age ability levels) was divided by a person's current chronological age. A person with a high mental age and low chronological age would have a higher intelligence quotient, or IQ, because that person can do things above current age expectations.
In addition to the overall IQ, intelligence tests also provide measures of different types of cognitive ability; for example, how well you can remember facts in long-term memory or how well you can organize a visual field; for example, how well you can visualize a completed puzzle.
Psychological testing may also include specific tests of information processing such as the Bender Gestalt Test of Visual Motor Integration. Such testing provides more information to support test results from tests such as the WAIS-III by clarifying certain aspects of a person's cognitive ability.
Educational tests, such as the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement-Revised (WJ-R), measure what has been learned in school or from daily life. Unlike tests of overall potential or aptitude, educational testing does not ask "whether" you have the ability to do math. Educational testing asks "Did you learn math in school?" A person could have very low educational achievement but that does not mean the person cannot learn the school work. A person who leaves school early may score low on tests of educational achievement because she has not experienced the materials that are taught in school. Low achievement alone, then, cannot document LD and/or ADHD.
When the psychological and educational testing are included in an overall assessment of a person it is called a psycho/educational assessment. Psycho/educational assessments help document the information processing dysfunctions found with LD and ADHD that significantly negatively impact on academic achievement.
What is an information processing
in from the outside world by one of the senses, such as the eyes, it must
be processed by the brain. Some information about how the brain works is
provided by Dr.
Chulder,of the University of Washington.
In the brain the new incomimg information must be stored with related information and stored correctly such that it can be recalled for future use. The information must also be organized for output, or the behavioral response, that says "I saw the stop sign now I will step on the brake." The picture of the brain below, taken from Dr. Chulder's page, illustrates this process.
Information in the brain is transmitted electrically and chemically. There are many relay stations where errors in summation or transmission of information might occur. Those with LD and ADHD are believed to have dysfunctions in either the electrical or chemical processing of information.
We all have had the experience of talking to someone on the phone when we hear static or voices that do no belong to our conversation. Somehow the messages got "mixed up". This may be what it feels like to have a learning disability. Have you ever watched a movie where the sound is not coordinated with the speaker's mouth movements? Information from the visual system does not match auditory input. It can be frustrating. Again, this is similar to the type of frustration a person with LD and/or ADHD may experience when trying to make sense of the surrounding world.
The "static" or "interference" that occurs can happen in many ways. The brain is a vast unexplored universe that we are only beginning to understand. There are many ideas, or theories, then, about how precisely learning disabilities happen. It could be with the synthesis and organization at a relay station as the information goes to the brain. It could be a confusion as information is stored. It could be difficulty in getting the correct information out for retrieval. It could be due to an improper migration of brain cells during fetal development to the place where they are supposed to function. We know, for example, that alcohol consumed by a mother during the first trimester of her pregnancy seems to alter the path the developing neurons take in the brain.
Dr. Chudler's page provides a comparison of Einstein's brain processing. Albert Einstein's brain This discussion helps clarify how the brain of a person with LD or ADHD may be different.
Or how does language work? &npsp;The discussions provided give a sense of how brain processing may be different and how this processing could explain learning disabilities and/or ADHD. Each of these discussions provide examples of brain processing. The specifics of brain processing in LD and ADHD are not clearly understood at this time.
|Intelligence Testing||WAIS-R or III||Kaufman Adult Intelligence Test|
|Stanford Binet-IV(SBIV)||Other intellectual measures|
|Educational Testing||Woodcock Johnson Tests of Achievement(WJ-R)||Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT3)|
|Wechsler Individual Achievement Tests (WIAT)||Other achievement measures|
|Testing of Information Processing||Bender Gestalt||TOWL|
|Wepman Test of Auditory Discrimination||Other measures of information processing|