Assessing Strengths, Identifying Challenges & Needs, Supporting Success
Learning evaluations provide understanding and guidance to people of all ages—from those struggling with academic, behavioral, and communication challenges to gifted individuals and others curious about how their minds work. Through comprehensive and flexible testing that illuminates how each of us learns, and reports that detail each individual’s unique profile, our team of experts supports learners and families, empowering advocacy and fostering success.
What is a Learning Evaluation?
Conducted by experienced and insightful clinicians, evaluations explore how someone learns. They’re helpful for anyone with or without a learning disability. By shedding light on an individual’s strengths and difficulties, evaluations provide the data you need to advocate for yourself or your child. They’ll help you determine effective tutoring and instruction methods, treatment and therapy, need for special services or gifted programs, accommodations for the workplace or high-stakes testing, and more.
What is the Evaluation Process?
Our team will ask about you or your child, document all areas of concern and interest, explain our process, share cost ranges, and explain financial assistance options.
After your evaluator has all the preliminary information they need, they’ll meet with you online to review background info, answer questions, and clarify any areas of concern.
You’ll visit us at the Stern Center for your evaluation. Evaluations may last for a few hours or a few sessions, depending on many factors such as age, stamina, the referral questions, the type of evaluation, and need.
In six weeks, your comprehensive written report will provide test result data and recommendations for moving forward. We’ll meet with you to discuss the results and answer your questions.
What Learners Have to Say
Types of Evaluations
The scope of the evaluation is determined by the Stern Center’s Program Director based on a review of the referral concerns, background history, and additional materials. Evaluations may focus on a single issue or they may address a variety of concerns. In some cases, specialists from different disciplines work together as a team to fully understand an individual’s profile. For example, a clinical psychologist might partner with a speech and language pathologist to determine emotional difficulties, diagnose language differences, and identify a wide range of effective treatment options.
Academic evaluations document achievement in listening, speaking, reading, writing, and/or math. They provide information on student performance in school, whether students are gifted, typical, or in need of support. They also screen for weaknesses in underlying skills that affect academic achievement.
Children and adults on the autism spectrum often have unique abilities and challenges. Our testing for autism typically includes a comprehensive review of medical, family, and developmental history, caregiver reports of functioning across settings and the observation of social communicative behavior. Standardized assessments of intellectual functioning, social relatedness, adaptive behaviors, and speech-language functioning are also included. Attention, mood, or other aspects of mental health are examined as needed. Our assessments usually include standardized tests, such as the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Second Edition and Autism Diagnostic Interview.
Behavior Support Evaluation
Behavior support aims to identify underlying behavioral concerns that may impact a child’s school performance. These evaluations are individualized, and they may include observations, consultation with school personnel and parents, as well as testing. They do not involve diagnosis of underlying mental health concerns but instead offer recommendations for behavior support and suggestions related to monitoring and evaluating progress.
Psychoeducational evaluations assess student strengths and needs related to academic achievement, including cognitive abilities, language, reading, writing, and math, gifted assessments, as well as attention and executive function. They are essential for diagnosing differences in learning, documenting student achievement, planning an effective instructional program, and monitoring a student’s progress. Psychoeducational testing provides educational recommendations that are individualized, research-based, and effective. Often these evaluations include testing for ADHD, dyslexia, and/or dysgraphia.
For adults, comprehensive assessments can help them overcome learning difficulties on the job, in college, or in demanding careers. They can also prepare individuals for high-stakes graduate school exams through evaluations for LSAT or MCAT accommodations.
Most children and adults who have neuropsychological evaluations have had a change in academic or everyday functioning due to impacts on brain function from one or many factors (e.g., medical conditions such as brain injury, seizures/epilepsy, brain tumor, leukemia, chemotherapy/radiation, stroke, prematurity/low birth weight, genetic syndromes, developmental delays, or birth trauma). Neuropsychological evaluations provide a global assessment of brain function related to attention, memory, language, sensory/motor, executive functioning, behavioral, social, and thinking skills. Results help refine medical intervention and/or the robustness of behavioral, educational, and social programming. They also monitor and inform return-to-learn and return-to-play for athletes.
These evaluations assess mental health, emotional, and social functioning. The results help answer questions as to whether attention, self-esteem, anxiety and/or impulse control may be affecting learning or quality of life.
Social Cognition Evaluation
Through a combination of formal and informal measures, we can better understand an individual’s ability to interpret and use social pragmatic communication. We explore aspects of nonverbal language that support social communication (e.g., understanding/use of gesture, tone of voice, etc.), as well as higher-level language often used in social interactions (e.g., sarcasm, irony, figurative language). Additionally, we examine an individual’s perspective taking skills (theory of mind), and ability to ask and answer questions in a variety of different contexts. Social-pragmatic evaluations are helpful when family members or teachers are concerned about social interaction skills and relationship development.
Speech and Language Evaluation
Speech and language skills are the foundation for academic achievement and social interaction. These evaluations provide a comprehensive assessment of oral language skills. Evaluations focus on aspects of expressive and receptive language, as well as articulation, voice, and fluency.
Our Reach by the Numbers
Teachers Served This Year
When a teacher takes one of our courses, the positive impact ripples beyond one life, spreading through an entire classroom, school, and community.
Our Reach by the Numbers
Student Services Hours This Year
We offer one-on-one teaching that transforms lives, lifts up voices, and inspires learners to bring forth their unique gifts to a world that awaits them.
Our Reach by the Numbers
Schools Served This Year
We celebrate the dedication of our school partners and share their commitment to a brighter future for all learners.
Our Reach by the Numbers
States and Counting
We’re a national leader in language and literacy. Our impact currently extends across 38 states and several countries through the thousands of educators we reach and students we serve.
Meet Our Team
Frequently Asked Questions
Who will conduct an evaluation?
There are many different kinds of specialists who perform evaluations, including clinical psychologists, school psychologists, neuropsychologists, and speech-language pathologists. Someone who relates well to the client and can communicate effectively with others, including parents and teachers, is a must. After completing the evaluation, your report will integrate all of the findings so that diagnosis and recommendations are cohesive and coordinated.
How long does a learning evaluation take?
Evaluations vary from a few hours to a full day depending on the referral questions, the type of evaluation, and/or the stamina of the client. In some cases, we ask clients to return for additional test sessions. Some clients benefit from more breaks and shorter sessions. Your evaluator will discuss the specifics of your evaluation with you.
When should a learning evaluation be done?
Evaluations should be done at the first signs of significant challenge or struggle in school, work, or social settings. Often, evaluations are not performed until someone falls behind academically, professionally, or socially. Understanding how an individual learns is essential so parents and professionals can plan effective interventions, strengthen self-esteem, and promote success.
Why do we conduct learning evaluations?
We conduct learning evaluations to find out how a student learns in order to identify a learning profile, monitor progress, create individualized instruction plans, and determine whether special services are needed.
How long does an evaluation take?
When should an evaluation be done?
A Handbook for Parents
Our Director of Evaluations co-authored a book that demystifies the assessment process and makes it less intimidating.
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News and Resources
Keep learning and stay in the know with news and resources from our Stern Center experts.