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Should I Test My Child for Learning Disabilities?

Updated: Aug 12, 2022

You are questioning if your child has a learning disability and is not learning at the pace they should be. The answer is not to wait to test your child if your child is showing signs that something is not developmentally right. Certain steps should be taken to have your child tested for a learning disability. Research shows early intervention is key to helping your child achieve the milestones of development that are needed to succeed in school and life. Rand Research discusses the key benefits of early intervention which are:

  • Early intervention programs showed benefits for academic achievement, behavior, educational attainment and progression, delinquency, crime, and success in the job market.

  • Better trained staff and smaller staff-to-child ratios in early childhood programs have a more favorable outcome.

  • Better-designed early intervention childhood programs generate a better return to society for each dollar spent.


One of the first steps is to have your child evaluated. Through your state's early intervention program - IFSP (Individualized Family Service Plan). Kids from birth to age 3 can get services at home or through the community. If found eligible, the state works with the family to develop a plan which defines goals and services to help children and families.

Parents can have their children evaluated by a school psychologist to find out if they have learning disabilities. If they are not satisfied with their evaluation, they can always ask for (IEE) Individual Educational Evaluation. An outside psychologist conducts the evaluation not associated with the school district. Be aware of the district giving you a list of psychologists who conduct outside IEE'S, they may have a bias towards the school district.

Developmental pediatricians can also evaluate children with learning disabilities. These doctors specialize in developmental delays, autistic spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, attention /deficit hyperactivity disorders, and behavioral disorders. LD Online has a wealth of information for parents and educators about learning disabilities and ADHD.

It is important not to use the "wait to fail" approach which is common in most school districts. When children have fallen behind academically in school, it is much harder to remediate their reading, writing, and math skills. This can have an enormous impact on their self-esteem and make them feel frustrated and want to act out or not want to go to school.

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