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A learning assessment is essentially a cognitive assessment and academic assessment administered together. 


What is a learning assessment

How can it help

Common reasons for referral:

  • Determining whether a child is performing to potential academically based on their cognitive ability 

  • Evaluating whether a child has a specific learning disorder in reading (e.g. dyslexia) and therefore appropriate supports 

  • Determining whether a child has a specific learning disorder in mathematics and therefore appropriate supports

  • Identifying whether a child has a specific learning disorder in written expression and therefore appropriate supports 

  • Identifying whether a child presents with intellectual giftedness and therefore appropriate considerations

  • Evaluating a child's cognitive abilities and academic skills to assist with transition to high school

The process

A learning assessment typically involves four stages: ​​

Learning Assessment

What is dyslexia 


Initial Assessment

The first step involves meeting with a clinician to discuss the reason for referral and what you would like to get out of testing. Your clinician will also gather a comprehensive history. The initial assessment is imperative in ensuring that the appropriate tests are administered, the findings are interpreted appropriately, and the recommendations are individually-tailored.

Duration: 1 - 1.5 hours


Cognitive Assessment

Your child is then administered either the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence – Fourth Edition (WPPSI-IV) (for children aged 2 years and 6 months to 7 years and 7 months) OR the Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children – Fifth Edition (WISC-V) (for children aged 6 to 16 years).


Duration: 1 - 1.5 hours


Academic Assessment

Your child is then administered the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test – Second Edition (WIAT-III), which is appropriate for children aged 4 to 19 years and 11 months.

Duration: 1.5 - 2 hours


FEEDback Session

Once testing is complete, it typically takes 3 weeks for your clinician to score and prepare your report. Your clinician will then meet with you to discuss the results and recommendations. Your report will contain a detailed overview of the results and individually-tailored recommendations. 


Duration: 1 hour

What is Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a specific type of learning disorder characterised by difficulty with reading. Reading is a complex process that requires our brains to connect letters to sounds and put those sounds in the correct order. Individuals with Dyslexia have difficulty matching the letters they see on the page with the sounds those letters and combinations of letters make. 


Problems with Dyslexia are not due to poor cognitive skills or low intelligence. In fact, individuals with Dyslexia have "unexpected" difficulty with reading in that their reading skills are significantly poorer than expected given their intellectual ability.


Common features include:

Preschool Years

  • Difficulty learning nursery rhymes 

  • Trouble learning/remembering letters of the alphabet 

  • Unable to recognise letters in own name

  • Mispronounces familiar words

  • Trouble recognising rhyming words


School Years

  • Trouble sounding out simple words like "hat" and "mat"

  • Mixes up visually similar words e.g. reads "block" as "black"

  • Changes the sequence of letters in words e.g. "was" and "saw"

  • Makes wild guesses when reading unfamiliar words

  • Reads aloud in a slow, choppy manner

  • Complains reading is hard

  • Avoids or dislikes reading 

  • Poor speller

What is dyscalculia

Dyscalculia is a specific type of learning difficulty characterised by difficulty with mathematics. Individuals with Dyscalculia typically have difficulty with number sense, memorisation of arithmetic facts, accurate and fluent calculation and accurate maths reasoning.

Common features include:

Preschool Years

  • Difficulty learning to count

  • Trouble associating specific numbers with numbers of items

  • Difficulty sorting things by category e.g. shape, size and colour


School Years​

  • Trouble recalling basic maths facts

  • Slow to perform basic calculations

  • Weak mental arithmetic skills

  • Uses fingers to solve basic maths problems

  • Poor sense of numbers and estimation

  • Trouble telling the time on an analogue clock

  • Difficulty understanding place value

  • Trouble recognising number patterns

  • Highly anxious when completing tasks involving maths

What is Dyscalculia
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