LD Testing for Adults

Many adults who have learning disabilities may need an updated psychological evaluation to document their learning disability for the purpose of accommodations on the job, in college, on exams such as the GED or professional licensing exams or to access adult services offered by OMRDD and VESID.  Many of these institutions require an evaluation that is less than 3-5 years old so oftentimes, evaluations performed in an elementary or secondary education setting are not sufficient. The cost of these evaluations can be quite high if not covered by private health insurance or Medicaid.  A neuropsychological evaluation is considered ideal because it is the thorough and provides recommendations for accommodations and necessary services.  Adult testing for learning disabilities should be performed by a licensed psychologist, ideally one with specific training on conducting learning disabilities testing.

The following suggested testing protocol was developed by LDA of Western New York.

Suggested Comprehensive Diagnostic Protocol

1. Clinical Interview

2. Aptitude (IQ) Testing

  • Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery – Revised: Tests of Cognitive Ability                                                                                                                         
  • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale – Revised (WAIS-R)
  • Kaufmann Adult Intelligence Test (KAIT)
  • Stanford- Binet Intelligence Scale: Fourth Edition
  • TONI – 3 (For non English Speaking Adults)

3. Achievement Testing

  • Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery – Revised: Tests of Achievement
  • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT)
  • Standford Test of Academic Skills (TASK)
  • Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults (SATA)
  • Specific achievement tests such as: Test of Written Language; Woodcock Reading Mastery; Stanford Diagnostic Mathematics Test                           

4.    Information Processing Assessment

  • Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery – Revised: Tests of Cognitive Ability
  • Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale – (WAIS-R) / Weschler Memory Scales – Revised (WMS-R)
  • Detroit Tests of Learning Aptitude – 3 or A (DTLA-3) (DTLA-A)
  • Bender Visual-Motor Gestalt Test
  • Beery & Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration (VMI)

5.   Adaptive Behavior Assessment

  • Adaptive Behavior Assessment System
  • Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales

6.    Summary, Conclusions, Recommendations

  • Summary - should include relevant educational, vocational, medical and family histories along with behavioral observations.
  • Conclusions - should include a clear statement of the diagnosis including any standardized scores.  It should also include a concise analysis of functional behaviors, and any substantial limitations in the following areas:  self-care, communication, functional academics, community use, self-direction independent living and work.
  • Recommendations - should include a list of potentially beneficial support services such as case management, counseling and/or self-advocacy training.  It should also include specific recommendations for both workplace and educational accommodations.

7.    Clinician’s name, title, phone number, address and date(s) of testing.


Some Things to Remember regarding LD Testing for Adults:

•    Must be administered by a qualified professional
•    Must be reflective of current levels of functioning
•    Must be clear and specific in identifying the learning disability
•    Must be comprised of tests that are statistically reliable, valid and standardized for use with adult populations
•    Must include the name and title of the evaluator as well as the date(s) of testing
•    Must include a comprehensive summary with specific conclusions and recommendations.