In light of Governor Herbert’s declaration of Utah being in a state of emergency in preparation for the coronavirus, there are no late-cancellation fees for assessment appointments.

 

General Information

At UVU’s Student Health Services, evaluations are performed to assess a student’s learning strengths, as well as areas indicative of significant difficulty. These evaluations can determine if a specific learning disability, autism, attention, and/or emotional issues exist, and can provide detailed recommendations regarding academic functioning. Please be aware that we can only provide testing to currently enrolled UVU students. The testing can help explain your academic strengths and weaknesses and give you and the Office of Accessibility Services (LC 312) ideas for how to help you be more successful in school, and assist in determining whether you qualify for academic accommodations.

Specific Learning Disorder (SLD)

Specific learning disorder (often referred to as learning disorder or learning disability, see A note on terminology below) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that begins during school-age, although may not be recognized until adulthood. Learning disabilities refers to ongoing problems in one of three areas, reading, writing and math, which are foundational to one’s ability to learn.

An estimated 5 to 15 percent of school-age children struggle with a learning disability. An estimated 80 percent of those with learning disorders have reading disorder in particular (commonly referred to as dyslexia). One-third of people with learning disabilities are estimated to also have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Other specific skills that may be impacted include the ability to put thoughts into written words, spelling, reading comprehension, math calculation, and math problem solving. Difficulties with these skills may cause problems in learning subjects such as: history, math, science and social studies, and may impact everyday activities.

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/under-employment, and dropping out of school.

A note on terminologySpecific learning disorder is a medical term used for diagnosis. It is often referred to as “learning disorder.” Learning disability is a term used by both the educational and legal systems. Though learning disability is not exactly synonymous with specific learning disorder, someone with a diagnosis of specific learning disorder can expect to meet criteria for a learning disability and have the legal status of a federally recognized disability to qualify for accommodations and services in school. (From the American Psychiatric Association website)

As part of this assessment, we will look at cognitive ability, academic achievement, processing speed, and attention/emotional concerns. We also look at other important areas related to learning that may need attention (memory, auditory processing, etc.).

If you experience symptoms of learning difficulties, find that meeting your academic performance expectations is difficult compared to your peers, or have a history of learning problems but need updated documentation, then a learning disability evaluation may be of help. Though there is no guarantee that you will receive a diagnosis or academic accommodations, you will receive suggestions to improve performance. Please send us an email at ldtesting@uvu.edu and ask to be put on the learning disability waiting list.

 

Assessments like this take a significant amount of time (about 8-10 total hours of testing given in 2-hour meetings) and we have a waiting list for those who wish to be assessed. If you believe you need an assessment, the sooner you contact us, the better. Additionally, these services have significant costs due to the costs of the testing materials, scoring, and the time to complete the testing. Post-secondary institutions are not required to provide these services, and UVU is one of the few colleges in the state that provides the service “in house.” The fee for an evaluation has remained fixed for over a decade, but rising costs have created the need for increasing the fee for this service. Starting in Fall 2019 the fee for this testing became $400.

Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common mental disorders affecting children. ADHD also affects many adults. Symptoms of ADHD include inattention (not being able to keep focus), hyperactivity (excess movement that is not fitting to the setting), and impulsivity (hasty acts that occur in the moment without thought).

An estimated 8.4 percent of children and 2.5 percent of adults have ADHD. ADHD is often first identified in school-aged children when it leads to disruption in the classroom or problems with schoolwork. It can also affect adults. It is more common among boys than girls.

Many adults with ADHD do not realize they have the disorder. A comprehensive evaluation typically includes a review of past and current symptoms, a medical exam and history, and use of adult rating scales or checklists. Adults with ADHD are treated with medication, psychotherapy, or a combination. Behavior management strategies, such as ways to minimize distractions and increase structure and organization, as well as involving immediate family members can also be helpful. (From the American Psychiatric Association website)

Testing to assess for ADHD usually consists of three one-hour sessions. At the conclusion of the evaluation, you will be provided a report which can be used by the Office of Accessibility Services for accommodation determination, as well as to assist a medical professional in deciding if medication is also warranted.

If you experience symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, or impulsivity, and these seem to make academic performance difficult, an ADHD evaluation may be of help. The first meeting is an intake session and we sometimes assess for emotional concerns that may also be present. At the second meeting, you will complete an objective measure of attention. At the third and final meeting, you will receive a report summarizing your results. Though there is no guarantee that you will receive a diagnosis or academic accommodation, you will receive suggestions to improve performance. Please send us an email at adhdtesting@uvu.edu and ask to be put on the ADHD assessment waiting list.

 

The fee for an evaluation has remained fixed for over a decade, but rising costs for tests, scoring programs, and other “overhead” costs, have created the need for increasing the fee for testing. Starting in Fall 2019 the cost for this testing became $75.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental condition that involves persistent challenges in social interaction, speech and nonverbal communication, and restricted/repetitive behaviors. The effects of ASD and the severity of symptoms are different in each person.

ASD is usually first diagnosed in childhood with many of the most-obvious signs presenting around 2-3 years old, but some children with autism develop normally until toddlerhood when they stop acquiring or lose previously gained skills. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in 59 children is estimated to have autism. Autism spectrum disorder is also three to four times more common in boys than in girls, and many girls with ASD exhibit less obvious signs compared to boys. Autism is a lifelong condition. However, many children diagnosed with ASD go on to live independent, productive, and fulfilling lives. (From the American Psychiatric Association website)

Our ASD evaluations are intended for the use of UVU students needing accommodations or qualifying for services at UVU. These evaluations may NOT be sufficient for outside agencies like Social Security or for scholarships or other non-academic situations. Please send us an email at ldtesting@uvu.edu and ask to be put on the autism assessment waiting list.

This testing involves an intake, testing similar to a learning disability (LD) evaluation (see above), and some specific testing related to distinguishing autism from other difficulties.

 

The increased costs of providing evaluations has resulted in our need to increase the fee for testing. Starting in Fall 2019 the cost for this testing became $400.

Costs of Evaluations

$400.00 for a learning disability evaluation

$400.00 for an autism spectrum disorder evaluation

$75.00 for an ADHD evaluation

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