A Sample Testing Report

Learning Diasbilities Diagnosis, Treatment & FAQs NYC

This section of the website describes what a quality report should look like.

There are a number of sections of a comprehensive report based on testing, such as an introductory session, clinical observations section, test interpretation, and conclusion and recommendations.

Whether you are interested in having Dr. Meiland provide an evaluation to you or a family member, or whether you simply want an idea of how a test report “reads”, feel free to peruse each of the following four sections, each with it’s own tab.

Learning Disability Quality Report FAQs

Introductory Section

First, in an introductory section, the psychologist should clearly introduce the client, and state the reasons for a testing at this time.  Added to that, a history of any previous evaluations, and a brief developmental history are usually found:

Rachel Kendall (a fictional patient) is a 15 year old girl entering 10th grader at Urban Prep Academy in Manhattan.  She has been a slow reader historically, and has had difficulty in particular subjects that are sensitive to reading difficulties, such as Social Studies.  While she likes to read, her mother pointed out that Rachel has always been a slow reader, and doing homework seems to take “a lot longer than usual”.  Her teachers have pointed out that when she reads aloud, she seems to stumble over words and grammar, in a manner inconsistent with her general strength as a student…..

Rachel mother reported that her daughter has been given extra time on tests at Urban Prep during 9th grade, but needs a re-evaluation in order to continue with the accommodations she receives.  She is faced with taking college entrance tests (likely the P.S.A.T. and S.A.T.) in the next several years.   Rachel’s history reveals ……

Rachel’s early developmental history is essentially unremarkable.  Her mother’s pregnancy was characterized by premature labor, but Rachel was a full-term baby delivered without complications and in good health.  Her mother notes normal attainment of language and motor milestones, and Rachel is in good health with no history of chronic illness and is not currently taking medications…..The purpose of the present evaluation is to assess Ms.X’s present strengths and weaknesses, to gain a better understanding of her learning disability, and to seek recommendations for accommodations and other assistance that may benefit her at this time.

Clinical Observations

Secondly, a report should contain specific observations of how the client solves problems, responds to anxiety and evaluation pressure, and some observations about work style, or how carefully and mindfully a child seems to approach problems.

Jacob is a stocky, handsome boy who was brought to the testing sessions by his mother and father.  He was cheerful when greeted in the waiting room, and was observed engaging in positively-charged interactions with both parents, who are both very articulate and perceptive in describing their son’s learning issues and academic struggles.  Jacob had a good understanding of why he was being evaluated, and listened attentively to different types of communications by this examiner….

…..He was interested in the nature of tasks presented, and took real accomplishment from tasks where he did well.  He seems to have an intuitive understanding of the types of tasks that are easier and more difficult for him.  For example, he would express frustration when he was struggling to find words to complete a spoken idea.  When he said something that was not clear to the examiner, he would re-state the idea using different words, suggesting that he is aware of his listener’s confusion in comprehending what he says.

Jacob’s use of language has several characteristics of expressive language delay.  First, he often speaks in phrases that are disjointed or un-grammatical.  Second, as he begins talking, he has to struggle to retrieve words that are appropriate to the idea he has formed in his mind.  He often speaks as if he first has to picture the phenomena in his mind, and then label the aspects of this mental image when providing an explanation.  Third, he often leaves out articles of speech……

Test Results and Interpretations

In the middle of a report, a psychologist should be describing the client’s performance on specific tests, and should describe the process by which the client performed.

Tests fall into different categories.  There are tests that are educational, such as reading tests”.  Others are tests of ability, such as visual-motor integration or language abilities.

Many reports, unfortunately, focus on descriptions of tests and scores, and worse yet, some test reports are computer-generated.  Thus, a good report should clearly show that the psychologist is reasoning about the client in an active way, and tying together information that really describes the client.

(Note: because psychological and educational tests are copyrighted, they will not be named directly in this section).

……Rachel has difficulty, ultimately, with word knowledge.  Her oral vocabulary score, below the mean for children her age (25th percentile) and far below her other conceptual skills, suggests that in large part, her academic problems may be related to a deficiency in quickly retrieving words and ideas from memory, and her oral vocabulary may not be fully developed.  She had no ability, for example, to define common terms such as “confidence”, which she tried to define as “it’s when you feel confident”,  A synonym, such as “secure” in this case, was rarely offered, and her ability to explain something was halted suddenly……

…..It is also important to note that Jacob struggles when he tries to read out loud.  In certain cases, a child’s oral (aloud) reading is better than their silent reading, because they can hear themselves read words more clearly, and can listen to their own voice to improve comprehension.  In Jacob’s case, this mechanism is absent.  Jacob, when asked to read a story at the 1st grade level, has difficulty parsing the grammatical structure of basic sentences.  The necessity, for any emergent reader, is that they can read both words by decoding and by sight vocabulary, and also grasp the grammatical sequence of words, or the way that words follow in a sentence to form an idea.  For Jacob, it was very difficult to decode new words, or any words that were unlikely to be sight words.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Finally, a report should have a concluding section, and a list of recommendations for accommodations and other interventions that will address the core problems that were diagnosed in the report.  Specific conclusions are recommendations should be offered.  A few pages of test scores should be provided.

Some reports fall short when they do not present a complex model of the client’s work process, or when they offer only a few recommendations, or when recommendations cannot be implemented in a ready manner by parents or by school officials.  Other reports fail to provide a DSM-V diagnosis.  Note how this concluding section and sample recommendations pinpoint the client’s area of difficulty.

Following are examples of these concluding sections.

In addition to language comprehension problems, a second problem for Rachel is that her decoding is not automatic, and she she does not re-read passages that confuse her.  Her word recognition skills are poor, and while she can make use of contextual cues when reading, she doesn’t seem to read in a way that is likely to strengthen her vocabulary.  These factors cause her to read more slowly than she otherwise might, and may limit the knowledge she gains when reading.

…and without extended-time accommodations, which will give her a fair chance of performing up to the level of her abilities, Rachel’s standardized test results will not fairly and accurately measure her true academic potential…

Recommendations:

  1. Mr. Levin should be provided with extended time (double time) accommodations on classroom and standardized tests.  Given the inefficiencies in his processing of visual-spatial data, and in quick retrieval of word meaning, it is expected that he will not be able to work up to his potential under time constraints provided on most tests.
  2. Mr. Levin will benefit from taking standardized exams in a separate room or facility with relatively few students present.  His experience of watching others finish before him will erode his self-confidence further and increase his anxiety a great deal.

Diagnosis:

Diagnosis (DSM-V):

Axis I:    F81.0: Specific Learning Disorder, with impairment in reading.

F88.0: Unspecified Neurodevelopmental Disorder (weaknesses in rapid visual processing of detail, in visual-symbolic reasoning, and in grapho-motor movement and precision).