Assessing learning needs

When an assessor is working with a child, they are looking for pieces of the puzzle that don’t fit. They are looking for patterns – they are looking for WHY…

Judith Alexander – SPELD assessor

Specific Learning disabilities can include:

  • Dyslexia
  • Visual perceptual difficulties
  • Dysgraphia
  • Dyspraxia
  • Dyscalculia
  • Non-verbal learning disabilities

Specific learning disabilities with impairment in reading:

  • word reading accuracy (dyslexia)
  • reading comprehension (hyperlexia)
  • reading rate or fluency

Specific learning disabilities with impairment in written expression:

  • spelling accuracy (may be dyslexia)
  • grammar and punctuation accuracy
  • clarity or organisation of written expression

When to refer?

  • persistent difficulties
  • well below average
  • academic achievement, occupational performance and activities of daily living is significantly interfered with

Interesting links:

Reading Rockets


Maryanne Wolfe Tufts University 

The Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity

SPELD NZ Conference 2019

SPELD NZ Training and Courses