Learning disabilities can prevent you from learning new information, or, more likely, slow the acquisition of that knowledge. They can make it difficult to process certain kinds of information, to communicate what you learned, or to remember information you acquired. People with a documented learning disability are entitled to accommodation under the Americans with Disability Act. While you may be able to narrow down the type of learning problems you have through using an online test, diagnosis and documentation of a learning disability requires comprehensive, formal testing by specialists.
Diagnosing Learning Disabilities
Informal online tests abound to determine learning styles and aptitudes, sometimes as a precursor to evaluating a learning disability, but the National Center for Learning Disabilities recommends a formal evaluation to diagnose any learning disorder. Parents can obtain such an evaluation for children at no cost under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Adults who suspect they have a learning disability may need to pay for initial evaluation themselves. The process involves some combination of interviewing, observation and test-taking administered by a licensed professional, who, depending on the outcome, provides the documentation of any learning disability found. Online tests, while interesting, will not substitute for this documentation of formal evaluation. You will need documentation to pursue treatment, if any, and to obtain accommodation in classes and standardized testing.
- Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology: Learning Disabilities
- LD Pride: Learning Styles, Take Your Test
- National Center for Learning Disabilities: 10 Things You Need to Know about LD Evaluation
- National Center for Learning Disabilities: Being Tested for LD in Adulthood
- Educational Testing Service: Disabilities and Health-Related Issues, Documenting a Learning Disability
Jennifer Spirko has been writing professionally for more than 20 years, starting at "The Knoxville Journal." She has written for "MetroPulse," "Maryville-Alcoa Daily Times" and "Some" monthly. She has taught writing at North Carolina State University and the University of Tennessee. Spirko holds a Master of Arts from the Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-on-Avon, England.