Learning Disability & Educational Assessment
Dr. Knopes provides comprehensive, psycho-educational assessments to assist with the diagnosis of learning disability, academic giftedness, and to help with educational planning (IEP's, 504 Plans, etc.). Evaluations assess the presence and extent of ADHD, learning disabilities, talented and gifted (TAG) eligibility, communication disorders, behavior disorders and other childhood syndromes that affect children’s ability to learn. Evaluations can determine the nature of the child's learning difficulties and will produce a written report and treatment plan. The treatment plan will suggest best practices when working to meet the child’s individual learning needs at both home and at school.
Types of Learning Disabilities:
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin, not the result of low intellectual ability or sensory impairment. It is characterized by difficulties in single word decoding, usually reflecting insufficient phonological processing abilities. Inaccurate and/or slow word recognition and poor spelling are typical. These difficulties with the phonological components of language are often unexpected in relation to other, often average or better, cognitive abilities (e.g., gross dexterity, social skills, visual problem solving, etc.). Long-term consequences of this neurological disorder can include diminished reading experience that stunts vocabulary growth, knowledge and skill development.
Reading Comprehension Disorders
Comprehension is the ultimate goal of reading. Reading comprehension disorders involve an underlying problem in the structural or functional connection between language and thinking. Those students with right-hemispheric or non-verbal learning disorders are typically proficient decoders or "word callers" who have little to no difficulty with the phonological demands of reading. These students typically do well with the reading tasks of the early grades. However, they struggle academically in the higher grades when the demands for comprehension and abstraction increase. Such students often begin to experience difficulty with test taking and lecture learning due to underlying deficits in complex comprehension of novel material and inferential thinking. Students who start out strong but begin to experience learning difficulty in the higher grades should be evaluated for underlying deficits in comprehension.
Mathematics disorder is a condition characterized by mathematical ability substantially below expectation for a child's age, general intelligence, and education. Children who have a mathematics disorder may have had developmental delays performing simple mathematical equations, such as counting and adding. Mathematical disorder may appear in combination with reading disorder, developmental coordination disorder, and/or mixed receptive-expressive language disorder. The best treatment is remedial education, often including computer-based remediation and skill development programs.
Disorders of Written Expression
Written language is one the most complex methods of human expression. It involves multiple, complex and synchronized brain mechanisms. With this complexity comes the possibility for multiple sources disruption of function. A combination of accurate diagnosis, remediation using direct instruction techniques, and the use of bypass strategies and assistive technology can be useful in supporting the needs of learners with written language deficits.
Assessment for Talented and Gifted Programs (TAG) & Students
Typically the word "gifted" is used to refer to children who function cognitively at the very top of the intelligence continuum. Many people assume that highly intelligent children fare well in school. But far too frequently, this is not the case. Some gifted children, who are bored and frustrated in school, are at risk for emotional difficulties, develop behavior problems, and drop out of school at much higher rates than their peers. Therefore, the early evaluation and identification of children who are suspected of being gifted is essential in order to provide enrichment and accelerated opportunities, improving their relationship with school and contributing to their healthy long-term development.