Special Considerations in Testing

Special Considerations in Testing




Special Considerations in Testing


The symptoms exhibited by Melanie are indicative of a learning disability condition. This is primarily because all the stated signs by parents and guardians match the criteria used when diagnosing a child with this condition. Some of these symptoms can appear during the developmental stages of a child. However, when the symptoms occur subsequently in a child, it is indicative of the onset of this condition (Swanson, Harris & Graham, 2003). The psychologist involved in diagnosing Melanie for her condition should address certain issues to improve the validity of the assessment as well to avoid misdiagnosis.

There is one main issue that Keith should consider when undertaking the diagnosis process. This is the employment of Response-to-Intervention (RTI) (Naff, 2010). Through the refinement of RTI, researchers and educators have been able to implement this method in understanding the learning ability of a child suspected to suffer from LD. The effectiveness of this method validated by years of research and its high performance as compared to other models proposed such as the IQ-achievement discrepancy method (Wong, 2004). Additionally, it incorporates multiple collections of information derived from standardized tests, progress monitoring, parent reports and informal measures. All these methods apply to this diagnosis because they are better suited for the patient who in this case is Melanie. Through considering this method in diagnosis procedure, Keith will be able to ascertain the validity of his results following his psychological evaluation of Melanie.

Testing Accommodations

Melanie can be categorized as a child with learning disabilities as indicated by research on the same. Due to this reality, there is a need for accommodations to be arranged to ease the assessment process (Naff, 2010). Keith is required to ensure that he recommends testing accommodations for Melanie for her to be provided with equitable and effective access to course curriculum as well as assessments she can handle (Swanson, Harris & Graham, 2003). Additionally, through testing accommodations, Melanie is able to inculcate herself into the classroom setting which is effective in encouraging her participation and subsequently improving her academic progression (Wong, 2004). The criterion that qualifies Melanie with this regard is the fact that she has an identifiable learning disability, which requires special education. Some of the accommodations recommendations that Keith will make based on the challenges being faced by Melanie include

  • She should be provided with a tool for presentations such as designated readers, an audio tape, and large print.
  • The number of items in her assignments should be reduced
  • She should be allowed to have frequent breaks and have test extensions
  • The test scheduling should be adjusted to allow her to have her tests running over several days
  • The space provided to Melanie for education acidities should have reduced distractions, special lighting which can be replaced by acoustics as well as have preferential seating
  • She should be specially prepared for her tests

Impact of Accommodations on Standardization

Concerning standardization, the results should be interpreted as those of children without learning disabilities (Wong, 2004). This is primarily because accommodation levels the playing field allowing the LD child who in this case is Melanie the chance to perform as her counterpart in various school activities (Naff, 2010). Because accommodations will also allow her to access information as easily as her counterparts and be able to learn at her pace, there is reduced impact on the standardization process.

Suitable Testing Format

Due to learning disabilities expressed by Melanie, there is a need for Keith to consider recommending an ideal testing format that will assist her in performing like her peers (Wong, 2004). One of the most preferred methods of testing that is on the rise is computer based testing (Swanson, Harris & Graham, 2003). This technological advancement has enabled educators to transform the testing process into technology-based formats that are easier for students with disabilities such as Melanie. Owing to the trend of social media and internet usage in children and educational institutions, this format would be ideal for Melanie as she undertakes her academic tests and tasks.

Lessons Learnt

Through Melanie’s case study, Keith was able to learn various signs and symptoms that are synonymous with learning disabilities and the extent to which it affects children. Additionally, he has also learnt the pertinent issues that should be considered when determining the appropriate treatment for LD patients especially younger ones (Naff, 2010). In terms of assessment, one of the key lessons Keith has been able to learn is the relation between LD onset and the medical history of the child. Through this lesson, he is better informed on the genetic makeup involvement in the development of the condition. The case was also imperative in depicting that at different levels of LD, children tend to manifest different signs and symptoms hence a psychologist should be aware of this fact when recommending treatment. Through research, Keith’s decision will change drastically especially in recommending accommodations. After learning about computer-based testing formats, he shall be knowledgeable on the current trends and will provide appropriate treatment for the condition.



Naff, C. (2010). Learning disabilities. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press.

Swanson, H., Harris, K., & Graham, S. (2003). Handbook of learning disabilities. New York: Guilford Press.

Wong, B. (2004). Learning about learning disabilities. San Diego: Elsevier Academic Press.

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