By Dr. Irma Campos, Licensed Psychologist
We are committed to providing trusted learning disability testing in Tampa, Florida because we know the value in doing so. From 2017-2018, the number of individuals receiving services under the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) was 14% of total public school enrollment (National Center for Education Statistics, 2019). The IDEA serves individuals ages 3 to 21 in the United States who have been assessed as having a disability that affects academic performance. The following are classifications under the IDEA: Specific Learning Disability, Speech or Language Impairment, Other Health Impairment, Autism, Developmental Delay, Intellectual Disability, Emotional Disturbance, Multiple Disabilities, Hearing Impairment, and Orthopedic Impairment.
In 2017-2018, a greater proportion of students (34% of all students receiving special education services) received services under the Specific Learning Disability classification relative to other classifications. A Specific Learning Disability is a “disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations” (National Center for Education Statistics, 2019).
In order to receive services under IDEA for a Specific Learning Disability, Speech or Language Impairment, Autism, Developmental Delay, and Intellectual Disability, a psychoeducational evaluation or psychoeducational testing conducted by a licensed psychologist may be required and is highly recommended. Although psychoeducational testing can be performed within public school settings, resources are often limited within these settings. Therefore, there may be longer wait times for a psychoeducational evaluation in a public school setting relative to a psychologist’s private practice.
Psychologists in private practices adequately trained in conducting psychoeducational testing have the ability to select recommended assessments and sources of information that will facilitate identifying a student’s neuropsychological, cognitive, academic, and behavioral/emotional functioning relative to peers of their age. Specific Learning Disabilities impact individuals of diverse sociocultural backgrounds; however, students of underrepresented sociocultural backgrounds, such as racial/ethnic minority students, are more likely to be inaccurately diagnosed. Thus, seeking a psychologist also trained in diagnosing diverse individuals is imperative. The earlier a child or adolescent can be tested, the greater the chances of the student receiving the resources and accommodations they require to succeed.
In addition to identifying a diagnosis, psychoeducational evaluations (and more specifically learning disability testing) also identify an individual’s cognitive and academic strengths, emotional or behavioral strengths or challenges, specific needs to formulate Individualized Education Programs, specific needs that should be considered in formulating academic accommodations, and treatment recommendations for counseling or psychiatric care. In the process of psychoeducational testing, psychologists can also serve as a resource to parents seeking an Individualized Education Program. An Individual Education Program can have a significantly beneficial impact on a student’s short-term and long-term academic performance.
Interface Consulting and Psychological Services is dedicated to providing person-centered and research-based psychoeducational evaluations. Our doctoral training is informed both by psychological science and practice, and we strive to pursue continuing education in psychoeducational evaluations in order to implement best practices. We provide testing for children, teens, and adults, and we offer appointments within one week. Our reports delineating detailed results and recommendations are available within one week once testing is completed with the individual. We are happy to answer any questions via a complimentary phone consultation with the psychologist.
National Center for Education Statistics. 2019. Children and youth with disabilities. The Condition of Education. Retrieved from: https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_cgg.asp