There are laws that govern the classification of a child as having a learning disability or not having a disability. The classification impacts on what types government services he is eligible to receive. As a result, the assessment of learning disabilities has turned into a huge mess. All kinds of crazy things are happening, including the following: sometimes teachers make referrals to get kids out of their classrooms when they simply don’t like them; some teachers refer kids that have emotional or behavioral problems, not learning problems; school psychologists are so backed up with testing that they can’t provide any other services; parents try to have their kids classified as learning disabled in order to get government money; kids that could benefit from special services don’t get access because systems are too clogged up with kids that are mis-classified. Of course, that’s not happening everywhere. Some systems are very good.
At Down To Earth, we know that if you take any person off the street and give them enough psychological tests, you will come up with results that could go either way, classify or not classify. So, our attitude is to look at the pros and cons of having any kid labeled as learning disabled before we even consider any testing. There is often quite a bit that can be done before any testing is done that might clear up whatever the problem might be, even if it is an honest-to-goodness learning disability.