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I have an 8-year-old son who is struggling with reading and writing, but does fine with mathematics. I’ve taken him to a developmental optometrist, who found some problems with tracking and binocularity. He’s also been tested by an audiologist, who found that he has problems hearing in background noise, but felt that due to his age, he might still be developing this skill.

I feel like I need to take him to someone who can give me an overall idea of what’s happening. I’m unsure whether to take him for a neuropsychological exam to someone who does psychoeducational exams. Can you explain the difference between these two and tell me which you think would be better for him now?

It is important to identify why he has a reading and writing problem. Formal testing should provide this information.

Psychoeducational evaluations focus on identifying if the individual has cognitive/academic problems. If present, what are they, were are the strengths, and where are the weaknesses. The results help to develop an intervention strategy. A neuropsychological evaluation assesses does not focus on learning but on the function of most areas of brain function. The testing is more elaborate (and probably more expensive). The results will help to clarify if there is a learning disability and, if so, what to do about it.

Note from LD OnLine: To find out more about evaluation, please visit What Do You Do If You Suspect That Your Child Has a Learning Disability?.

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