Learning Disability Testing
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While Lewis & Clark College does not provide diagnostic testing services, we wanted to provide the following information about such services to assist those with questions about it. Please don’t hesitate to contact our office if you have questions about diagnostic testing, or if you just want to talk through the process or your options.
Learning disability testing is conducted when a student has a question about how they learn, why certain tasks are harder than others, if they have a learning disability, how to maximize their learning strengths, and other academic-related learning questions. This type of testing may also be called “diagnostic testing,” “psychoeducational testing”, or “educational testing”. This type of testing is conducted by a licensed professional, usually a psychologist, and consists of several different tests that look at memory, processing, verbal/non-verbal abilities, writing, visual tasks, attention/focus, reading, and other skills needed for academic tasks. You will sit in a private room with the tester, who will guide you through a series of tasks, some of which are timed, some are written, some are oral, some are visual.
How long does it take?
Psychoeducational testing is generally conducted in two, three-hour sessions, or up to 6-8 hours. It’s intense! Sometimes the tester might ask you to come back for additional sessions if they would like to investigate something further. After the testing is complete, the tester compiles the results and related recommendations in a report. This can take a few weeks. Then you meet with the tester and Student Support Services staff to go over the results in a “feedback session”, and to decide on what the next steps might be.
How much does it cost?
This varies by the provider, and can also depend upon your health insurance. Some students may have health insurance that covers a portion of the cost. Testing can cost between $1500-$3500. Please see the listing below of a few resources we have found in the Portland area. You may also work with a licensed professional of your choice in your hometown or elsewhere. Please make an appointment to talk with Student Support Services staff if you have further questions about payment, cost, and/or insurance. If cost is a barrier for you in moving forward with testing, please come talk to us—we may have resources to assist you.
What will the report say?
The report will describe each test in detail, will include raw scores and percentiles, and will compare your results from each section. It will include a summary of findings and recommendations for what to do next. It may or may not include a diagnosis and/or recommendations for accommodations.
How are the results interpreted?
After you go through the feedback session with the tester, or if you have test results from another provider, you will talk with Student Support Services staff about the recommendations, what you feel are your strengths and weaknesses, and what, if any, accommodations would be appropriate. Student Support Services staff are able to help you interpret psychoeducational testing results from your report, and will collaborate with you to determine the next steps.
What happens after I get the test results?
You can meet with Student Support Services staff to discuss your report. You might create an “Accommodations Letter”, which will be sent to the professors of your choice each semester to give them a heads-up on your strengths and weaknesses, and any accommodations you are eligible for. You also might connect with Student Support Services and other resources on campus such as the Writing Center, the SQRC (Math), and SAAB tutors, so you can work on specific skills outlined in your testing that are difficult areas for you. You might take steps to learn more about your learning style, such as meeting with Student Support Services staff about tips and strategies for maximizing your learning strengths. You might choose to work with a counselor, therapist, or life coach, on- or off-campus. You may also share your results with your professors, so they can help provide tips on maximizing your learning strengths in their class. What happens with the information from the report is totally up to you, and we hold high standards of confidentiality with your information and do not share anything unless you have requested us to do so in writing.
When do I need to update my testing?
Depending upon a variety of individual factors, including when your testing was conducted, the thoroughness of the testing and/or report, and/or the nature of the data gathered from your last testing, Student Support Services may ask you for updated testing. This will help staff in making sure accommodations fit your current academic needs. It’s important to talk with Student Support Services if you have questions about getting updated testing. The law requires documentation to be “current”. If you want accommodations for standardized tests, such as the GRE, LSAT, or MCAT, their requirements are quite strict regarding what they will accept as testing documentation. We have links on our website that will take you to the requirements for many of the common standardized tests.
Testing resources in Portland
Pacific University Psychological Service Center
1411 SW Morrison St., Suite 310 | Portland, OR 97205