SLD Assessment

SLD Assessment

Specific learning disorders are neurodevelopmental disorders that are typically diagnosed in early school-aged children, although may not be recognized until adulthood. They are characterized by a persistent impairment in at least one of three major areas: reading, written expression, and/or math.

Learning disorders are categorized as mild, moderate and severe. Accommodation and support services align with the severity to facilitate a person’s most effective functioning.

Learning disorders, if not recognized and managed, can cause problems throughout a person’s life beyond having lower academic achievement. These problems include increased risk of greater psychological distress, poorer overall mental health, unemployment, underemployment and dropping out of school.


To be diagnosed with a specific learning disorder, a person must meet four criteria.

  1. Have difficulties in at least one of the following areas for at least six months despite targeted help:
    • Difficulty reading (e.g., inaccurate, slow and only with much effort).
    • Difficulty understanding the meaning of what is read.
    • Difficulty with spelling.
    • Difficulty with written expression (e.g., problems with grammar, punctuation or organization).
    • Difficulty understanding number concepts, number facts or calculation.
    • Difficulty with mathematical reasoning (e.g., applying math concepts or solving math problems).
  2. Have academic skills that are substantially below what is expected for the child’s age and cause problems in school, work or everyday activities.
  3. The difficulties start during school-age even if some people don’t experience significant problems until adulthood (when academic, work and day-to-day demands are greater).
  4. Learning difficulties are not due to other conditions, such as intellectual disability, vision or hearing problems, a neurological condition (e.g., pediatric stroke), adverse conditions such as economic or environmental disadvantage, lack of instruction, or difficulties speaking/understanding the language.