Frequently Asked Questions
Questions About Evaluations
What is dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a learning disorder that affects reading. Students with dyslexia have difficulty learning to decode words and use phonics. They struggle to read fluently and tend to read very slowly. Although some students with dyslexia reverse letters and numbers, dyslexia is not a visual problem. Rather, it is a language-based disorder related to how the brain is activated during the reading process.With dyslexia, comprehension can be affected because the student struggles so much to decode words that the meaning of the text is lost. Dyslexic students often show poor spelling and have difficulty with writing. While dyslexia impacts learning, it is not a problem of intelligence, and students with dyslexia are often just as bright as their peers. While dyslexia cannot be “cured,” research-based academic instruction and strategies can help those with dyslexia become successful students.
What is Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder?
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurological disorder that causes inappropriate levels of inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Problems with mental flexibility and executive functioning skills, such as planning and organization, are usually evident as well. ADHD often improves with growth and development, but the majority of children diagnosed with ADHD continue to experience symptoms in adulthood. With proper treatment, ADHD can be managed so that the student can learn and experience success at school. Behavior management, school services and supports, medication, and therapy can be used alone or in combination to help the student with ADHD.
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disorder that appears in early childhood and affects the ability to interact and communicate with others. The range and severity of symptoms vary widely. Symptoms of autism include delayed or unusual language development, difficulties in holding a conversation, repetitive play or poor play skills, intense interests, difficulties with executive functioning, poor motor skills, and sensory sensitivities (such as overreaction to loud sounds, fascination with certain textures, and rejection of certain foods). Children do not outgrow autism, but studies show early diagnosis and treatment result in better outcomes.
What is an intellectual disability?
An intellectual disability is defined by significant limitations in cognitive or intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior that originate before the age of 18. Adaptive behavior refers to everyday skills used in life, such as personal grooming, socialization, and communication. Many students with intellectual disabilities are able to learn basic academic skills, but will require special instruction and a slower pace.
Questions About Specific Diagnoses