Guidance: 1-21


  • Those between the ages of 1 and 21-26 (varies by state) are entitled to free testing through their local public education service district.

(find my state's special education office).

  • Adults (18+) and high school seniors (17+) can get help through the State Rehabilitation Services Office (find my state's VRS office).

To start, do the following:

  • If you would like a diagnostic evaluation through,

please follow these instructions.

Keep records of your testing process:

  • Begin a formal journal/binder to track documents, process & progress.

  • Journal details of every action, conversation, & relevant experience and put a copy of all documents and emails into the binder.

  • Fill out the LD Checklist and the Dyscalculia Checklist.

Testing by a local school district:

  • Compose a letter addressed to the school principal or the special education director of your local school district, requesting a comprehensive evaluation for specific learning disabilities in the areas indicated on your checklists. Attach the completed LD & Dyscalculia Checklists and keep a copy for yourself before sending. Send it certified mail, by e-mail, or hand deliver it.

  • After receiving the written request, or teacher referral, the school has 60 days to respond to the request and to schedule an evaluation. [Private school students still get testing and services for free through their resident public school district.]

  • The evaluation must be completed within 60 days from receipt of the parental consent to evaluate (unless state has shorter timeline) and must conclude with an IEPC (Individual Education Programming Committee) meeting, held at a convenient place and time for all participants.

  • The evaluator does not need to consider a severe discrepancy between achievement and intellectual ability-- in oral expression, listening comprehension, written expression, basic reading skill, reading comprehension, mathematical calculation, or mathematical reasoning-- in order to establish the existence of a learning disability.

  • Evaluations for LD can include information about how a child responds to scientific, research-based interventions (RTI), but an RTI (Response To Intervention) program is NOT a substitute for formal evaluation of learning disabilities.

  • The IEP Team must identify data sources needed to evaluate and report on the child's:

(a) present levels of academic achievement / performance; and

(b) the related developmental needs; and

(c) the related educational needs;

(d) once per year or at least every 3 years, as needed

  • Create a Parent Report outlining the student's strengths, weaknesses, and the success or failure of any interventions.

  • Ask the school secretary to make copies of your Parent Report (1 for each participant) and present your report at the IEPC meeting. Insist that it be part of the IEP record.

  • Never sign the IEP papers at the meeting. Always take them home and review them with an experienced special education advocate.

  • For more information, consult the primer on Special Education Law & Process.

Private testing:

  • If you have health insurance that covers outpatient psychological services, you can seek a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation for learning disabilities. If not, seek an evaluation for learning disabilities by a educational psychologist trained in diagnosis of dyslexia and other learning disabilities.

  • If you have signs of auditory processing disorder, seek testing by an audiologist. If you have signs of dyslexia, seek testing for visual processing disorders by a specialty ophthalmologist. If you experience seasickness when reading, see Dr. Harold Levinson. Be sure to give the doctor a copy of your checklists.

  • We would be happy to provide you with diagnostic, consulting, advocacy and remedial services.

Please contact us with your concerns.

The Team