Empowering Families and Schools with Comprehensive Assessments and Customized Learning Support

Dyslexia Assessment Clinic

Our Dyslexia Assessment Clinic has been designed to partner with families and schools to deliver comprehensive assessments and provide tailored recommendations to support learning.

Our Assessment

Our assessments include exploration of the many different barriers to learning such as difficulties with processing sounds, short- and long-term memory, anxiety, attention, and inadequate instruction. When appropriate, formal diagnoses are provided.

This may include a diagnosis of Specific Learning Disorder (such as dyslexia, dysgraphia and/or dyscalculia).

At Raise the Bar Psychology, we recognise the importance of early identification and intervention to support children and adolescents with learning disorders. All our assessments are collaborative, strength-based, and comprehensive.

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What are Specific Learning Disorders?

Specific Learning Disorders (SLD) can be understood as persistent difficulties learning and using key academic skills, despite the provision of high quality and individualised intervention targeting these difficulties. Specific Learning Disorders are more commonly referred to as dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia which relate to difficulty with aspects of reading, mathematics and writing, respectively. Specific Learning Disorders are categorised as a neurodevelopmental disorder as it is lifelong, and onset begins in childhood.

When identified early, and provided with appropriate intervention, many individuals with Specific Learning Disorders are able to learn and achieve well. However, it is essential that reasonable adjustments during teaching and assessment activities at school are made to help students thrive.

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What are the types of learning disorders?

There are three common types of learning disorders, namely Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, and Dyscalculia. 

Dyslexia is a common language-based learning disorder that affects reading and spelling. Individuals with dyslexia often struggle with phonological processing, which is the ability to hear and manipulate sounds in words. This makes recognising and decoding words challenging. Individuals with dyslexia may read slowly and mechanically, and this often has a negative flow-on effect to comprehending what is read. Spelling difficulties are also common in dyslexia.

Dysgraphia is a learning disorder characterised by difficulties in spelling, grammar and punctuation, and organising thoughts on paper. Difficulties with speed and/or legibility of handwriting may also be present. Individuals with dysgraphia may struggle with forming letters, spacing, writing within margins, and writing coherently, and they are likely to find it challenging to express themselves through written communication.

Dyscalculia is a learning disorder involving difficulties with mathematical concepts, making it challenging for individuals to understand and manipulate numbers. It can affect tasks such as arithmetic, problem-solving, and understanding mathematical symbols. It impedes an individual’s ability to comprehend mathematical symbols, perform calculations and solve mathematical problems.

Students with dyscalculia may be able to arrive at the correct answer for a math problem, but they do so slowly compared to their peers, often using immature math strategies for their age (e.g., finger counting, repeated addition). 

Signs and symptoms of learning disorders

Signs of learning disorders generally appear during school-age years. While symptoms can vary depending on the type of learning disorder and the age of the individual, some common symptoms can include:

  • Difficulty learning new skills (this will be apparent despite practice)
  • Problems understanding and following instructions
  • Trouble remembering what someone just told them
  • Discrepancy between a person’s potential and actual achievement
  • Difficulty understanding the concept of time
  • Problems staying organised

Without adequate support, children or adolescents with learning disorders may be reluctant to engage in academic tasks, leading to avoidance behaviours and frustration. 

Other task-specific problems may include:

Individuals with dyslexia may exhibit persistent difficulties in reading, including slow and inaccurate reading, as well as challenges in understanding written text.

Dysgraphia may be indicated by messy or inconsistent handwriting, difficulties with spelling, inaccurate or missing punctuation, and challenges in organising thoughts coherently in written form.

Dyscalculia can manifest as difficulties in understanding basic mathematical concepts, poor memory for maths facts, and challenges in solving mathematical problems.

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Helping you with assessment and diagnosis

At Raise the Bar Psychology, our focus is to help children, adolescents, adults, and families understand learning disorders and to provide the necessary tools and strategies to manage them effectively. We understand the unique challenges posed by learning disorders and are dedicated to providing accurate assessments and diagnoses

If you or someone you know is experiencing difficulties with reading, writing, or maths, our team is here to offer support and guidance. Our expert clinical team will provide comprehensive assessments and appropriate diagnoses to guide the journey towards understanding and living successfully with learning disorders. We are here to support you every step of the way.

Early identification and intervention can make a significant difference in navigating the educational and personal challenges associated with learning disorders.

We’re with you all the way

If you or your child experiences learning difficulties or have questions, our experienced team at Raise the Bar Psychology is here to help. We are here to help you unlock the potential for success and well-being in individuals with learning disorders. Contact us today if you have any questions or would like to request an assessment.

Frequently Asked Questions about Learning Disorders

Yes, learning disorders are pretty common. In Australia approximately 5% of children are believed to have a learning disorder. That’s at least one in every classroom.1  


1   uldforparents.com/staging/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/DSF12029_Auspeld_Learning-Difficulties_PARENTS_V9-LR_WEB.pdf

Yes, learning disorders can be diagnosed in adulthood. At Raise the Bar Psychology, our assessments cater to individuals of all ages.

The assessment process includes comprehensive evaluations of cognitive abilities, academic skills, and emotional and behavioural factors that can interfere with learning to determine whether a  learning disorder is present.

While learning disorders are not able to be “cured,” they can be effectively managed through tailored interventions, accommodations, and support with evidence based instruction and explicit teaching practices being central to supporting the development of reading, writing and mathematics skills. 

Evidence based instruction refers to the teaching practices that research has shown will have the greatest impact on student learning. Examples of high quality, evidence-based phonics programs that target reading and spelling are: https://dsf.net.au/getattachment/11c25d69-8718-4c4c-9685-aebeb371c09f/.aspx

Here you can listen to Professor Pamela Snow discuss decodable readers: https://youtu.be/B1ganwHqe68?si=jWZVbw5LWzDb_IUS

Explicit teaching practices clearly show students what to do and how to do it. The teacher decides on learning intentions and success criteria, makes them transparent to students, and demonstrates them by modelling. In addition, the teacher checks for understanding, and at the end of each lesson revisits what the lesson has covered and ties it all together.

Learning disorders can coexist with other conditions, such as ADHD, autism or language delays. Our comprehensive and holistic assessments are able to identify if there are multiple factors influencing an individual’s learning.

Yes, accommodations, such as extra time during exams or the use of assistive technology, can be implemented to support individuals with learning disorders in academic settings.

No, learning disorders are not a form of intellectual disability. They are specific impairments in reading, writing, or maths that are not related to a person’s overall intelligence.

While there’s no cure for learning disorders, there are many strategies, interventions, and supports that can help individuals manage their difficulties and succeed academically and in life. This includes evidence based instruction and explicit teaching practices that are central to supporting the development of reading, writing and mathematics skills. 

Evidence based instruction refers to the teaching practices that research has shown will have the greatest impact on student learning. Examples of high quality, evidence-based phonics programs that target reading and spelling are: https://dsf.net.au/getattachment/11c25d69-8718-4c4c-9685-aebeb371c09f/.aspx

Here you can listen to Professor Pamela Snow discuss decodable readers: https://youtu.be/B1ganwHqe68?si=jWZVbw5LWzDb_IUS

Explicit teaching practices clearly show students what to do and how to do it. The teacher decides on learning intentions and success criteria, makes them transparent to students, and demonstrates them by modelling. In addition, the teacher checks for understanding, and at the end of each lesson revisits what the lesson has covered and ties it all together.

Yes, a person can have more than one type of learning disorder. It’s also common for these conditions to co-occur with other issues, such as ADHD.