Assessing Strengths, Identifying Needs, and 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, at any age—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 the best tutoring and instruction methods, treatment and therapy, eligibility for special services or gifted programs, accommodations for the workplace or high-stakes testing, and more.
What Are the Benefits of a Psychoeducational Evaluation?
Learning evaluations are essential in diagnosing differences in academic, cognitive, and social-emotional abilities. They provide a full profile of an individual’s strengths and needs and help people access the tools and strategies necessary to move forward in school, work, and life. Too often, evaluations are not performed until someone falls behind at school or on the job. By figuring out how you or your child learns, you’ll better understand the solutions you need.
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 can last a few hours to a couple of days, depending on the referral questions, the type of evaluation, and your needs.
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
An evaluation may be comprehensive or focused on a single issue. The type of evaluation is determined by the Stern Center’s Program Director based on a review of background history and additional materials.
Comprehensive 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.
These evaluations are for learners with complex learning profiles who would benefit from an evaluation that addresses concerns in multiple domains. In this type of evaluation, 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 learning differences, and identify a wide range of effective treatment options.
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.
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.
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.
Speech and Language Evaluation
Language skills are the foundation for academic achievement and social interaction. This series of evaluations provides a comprehensive assessment of communication skills. Evaluations focus on aspects of expressive and receptive language, as well as articulation, voice, and fluency. They may also cover issues related to social communication, such as understanding nonverbal cues from others.
Social Cognition Evaluation
This series of evaluations examines abilities in social cognition and language functioning, including language-based critical-thinking skills in conjunction with reasoning within contexts, social awareness, social communication, social motivation, theory of mind, joint attention, and perspective-taking skills. Social cognition evaluations are helpful when family members or teachers are concerned about social interaction skills and relationship development.
Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessment
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
A behavior support evaluation aims to identify underlying behavioral concerns that may impact a child’s school performance. These school-based evaluations typically include a functional behavioral assessment (FBA) designed to examine why undesirable or inappropriate behaviors occur. These evaluations are individualized; they may include multiple observations, consultation with school personnel and parents, and possibly testing. They do not involve diagnosis of underlying mental health concerns but instead offer a detailed behavior intervention plan and suggestions related to monitoring and evaluating progress.
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?
We offer expert instruction and intervention in reading, writing, math, and more in one-to-one sessions tailored to a learner’s needs.
We teach strategies for communicating effectively, building social relationships,
and understanding thoughts
Reading Readiness Check-Up
For parents curious about their child’s early reading skills, we offer a helpful check-up and expert advice for raising strong readers.
A Handbook for Parents
Our Director of Evaluations co-authored a book that demystifies the assessment process and makes it less intimidating.
Supercharge your child’s learning this summer. Get expert help with reading, writing, math, and more.
News and Resources
Keep learning and stay in the know with news and resources from our Stern Center experts.