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Questions to Ask Specialists Who Evaluate for Learning Disabilities or Dyslexia

July 14th, 2009

Whether your child is being evaluated for LD or dyslexia you need to know the type of questions to ask the specialists. I just read this article that was posted on LD Online. It gives a lot of great information and I thought you might be interested…

Written by: Great Schools Editorial Staff (2007)

Hiring a private specialist to conduct a psychoeducational evaluation of your child is a big commitment of time, effort, and money. To find someone competent, ask other parents or school staff for their recommendations. You’ll probably want to interview more than one specialist before choosing the person who will work with your child. If you get a recommendation from someone outside the school, make sure the private evaluator has the qualifications and/or credentials your state or district requires.

Before hiring a specialist to conduct psychoeducational testing, you will want to interview her about her professional qualifications, procedures, and fees. The responses will allow you to screen a prospective specialist to see whether you feel comfortable with her, and to discover any potential “mismatches” with your child’s needs. The conversation can also help you prepare your child for the evaluation process.

You’ll be better prepared to interview an evaluation specialist if you have some background information on evaluation for special education eligibility and/or learning disabilities.

In order to get the most benefit from your initial conversation with a psychoeducational evaluation specialist, you’ll want to have a good basic understanding about why and how evaluations for learning disabilities are conducted-and how to understand the results.  For the rest of the article, go to LD Online.


Get the parent friendly LD Dyslexia Screening Tool to help you identify your child’s learning problems.

Hope this is helpful.

Bonnie Terry, M. Ed., BCET

2 Responses to “Questions to Ask Specialists Who Evaluate for Learning Disabilities or Dyslexia”

  1. Glenda Blackman says:

    My son is 13 yrs. and is going into the 8th grade. His organizational skills are terrible. I have done all that I know to do as a mother and as an experienced teacher of almost 20 years. He has ADHD and CAPD. His grades are mediocre because he is unable to follow along successfully in a classroom well enough to take notes, listen, discern, prioritize, and organize himself for his next class in a timely manner. He usually thinks he will remember things later, but over and over again he doesn’t of course. He does have a 504 Plan in place but most teachers are reluctant to really help him. They seem to think he is not accepting his end of the responsibility. This may be true somewhat, but I think more than anything else, it is his way of covering up his “inadequateness”. (Most students at this age would rather be known by their peers as a “goofball” or a “toughguy” instead of as a “forgetful nerd”. Please help me help him.
    He has repeated the 7th grade once and just barely got through this time. He doesn’t have problems reading. Writing is difficult for him, and math is difficult for him. I have another teacher tutor him in Math while I help him with his writing.
    Any suggestions you offer will be greatly appreciated.

    • bonnieterry says:

      Hi Glenda,

      There are a few things I would do to help your son. First off, does he understand that he has poor organizational skills, ADHD, and CAPD and that he has a 504 Plan in place to help him? I presume he does.
      1. One of the first things I would do is to laminate a copy of his 504 for him and put it in his binder/backpack so he has it with him. Additionally, I would make a copy of it for each of his teachers.
      2. Then, I would go to the school a few days before school starts and meet his teachers – introduce yourself to them as well as introduce your son to them. Tell them how you are looking forward to your son having a great year in their class. Let them know about his 504 and what his needs are and hand them a copy of it. You might say something to the effect that you know they know that a 504 is a legal document and you just want to be sure they are aware that your son has a 504 in place.
      3. Often teachers aren’t aware of the 504 or at least what is in the specific 504, so your handing them their own copy with a statement about it being a legal document should make a difference. You might also let them know that your son also carries a copy of it in his backpack.
      4. At his age, he needs to learn how to advocate for himself. This meeting with you modeling what to say should help him learn how to do that. It will also let him know that you are on his side and your are not about to let him slide.
      5. The last thing I would suggest is using the Ten Minutes to Better Study Skills book to help him with writing as well as the Writer’s Easy Reference Guide. Both will make a huge difference. The Ten Minutes to Better Study Skills is full of specially designed graphic organizers that help with writing projects from paragraphs to essays to reports as well as planning projects. I did a writing webinar that you might be interested in where I addressed all of the issues that occur with writing problems as well as what you can do to help.

      Hope this is helpful.

      Bonnie Terry, M. Ed., BCET

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