The College Admissions scandal rocked the world of disability testing, with the work product from learning disability evaluators essential to the scam. In this newsletter I offer my reflections on the assessment process and why evaluators must maintain the integrity of the process. I will address several key points: Are parents seeking to game the system? Is slow test-taking always due to a learning disability? Can students expect high test scores if they have high grades? What does it mean
Test accommodations have been provided for students with obvious physical handicaps for decades, but only in recent years has the granting of accommodations for ‘invisible’ conditions become commonplace. The term ‘invisible’ is used to describe those conditions which are felt and defined in the DSM-5, and not outwardly apparent to the naked eye. These include dyslexia (Reading Disorder), Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), depression, anxiety, and non-verbal learning disorder, these being the most common. Testing with standardized psychological tests detects these conditions
IQ stands for Intelligence Quotient, a term which describes the score obtained from several standardized tests designed to assess human intelligence, based upon large statistical studies. In fact, the most common IQ test, the Wechsler scale, bases Full Scale IQ on four statistically derived factors: Verbal Comprehension, Perceptual-Reasoning, Working Memory, and Processing Speed. While the identification of IQ is controversial in our politically-correct society, knowing a student’s IQ is essential in understanding the cognitive profile and functioning of a student.
Dyslexia is a fundamental deficit in the ability to read efficiently. I cannot emphasize the word efficiently enough, because some people think that dyslexia means a student basically cannot read. I have evaluated over 500 people with dyslexia and of those only one was essentially not able to read (even though he had a very high IQ). First, let’s clarify our terms: dyslexia is the term used in the educational therapy domain to signify a reading deficit. Concurrently, psychologists use
The number of young people dealing with anxiety is on the rise. Ask any Director of Student Disability Services and you will hear that there has been an exponential increase in students requesting test accommodations because of anxiety or ‘test anxiety.’ Test anxiety is not a recognized condition in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual -5th Edition (DSM-5), this being the text which governs the categories for mental health conditions. In the community of educational therapists, test anxiety is a recognized
According to the DSM-5 just 2% of students have a Math Disorder, otherwise known as dyscalculia (dys -Latin for, and caulcula ———). We hear so many students claim, “I’m not good at math!” perhaps even a majority of students in high school and college. Thus, it is incumbent upon learning specialists and evaluators to discern the difference between students who: have foundational gaps in their math knowledge and are weaker in math than language arts, from those who have measured