HomeLearning DifficultiesLearning Disabilities & ADHDIdentifying a Learning Disability

Terms Used in Individual Standardized Tests

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By Joyce Destefanis, M.A.

Terms Used by School or Educational Psychologists

Attention: Selective focus on what is important while screening out distractions

Ability to pay attention permits kids to listen intently to classroom instruction even though others in the class may be talking, feet are shuffling on the floor, or a plane is flying overhead.

Auditory Processing: Given normal hearing, the ability to understand spoken language in a meaningful way

Auditory processing includes all of these skills: identifying the source of sound, recognizing sounds and discriminating between sounds, sequencing auditory information, storing and recalling auditory information, and functioning in a background of noise.

Cognition: Ability to think, reason, and solve problems

Cognitive skills usually are measured by an individual test of intelligence, sometimes called an IQ test. Cognition refers to perception, memory, and judgment and involves understanding language, numbers, spatial relationships, and time. It requires being able to generalize from past experience and use that knowledge to respond to new situations.

Impulsivity: Behaving without thinking about possible consequences

Impulsive children may act or speak without first thinking about how their behavior might make other people react or feel. They don't consider other ways of behaving before acting.

Visual Processing: Given normal vision, the ability to recognize and interpret information taken in through the eyes

Skills of visual processing include perceiving the position of objects in space and their relationship to other objects; identifying objects based on their color, form shape, pattern, size and position; picking out a specific object from a group of objects; recognizing an object although part of it may be missing; recognizing the whole object; and identifying the parts of that object.

The Specialist Knows

Whenever you have a question about your child's test results or need a specific term explained, contact the specialist who gave the test. This is the best person to explain the term and what it means about your child's unique needs. Together, you can identify strategies to help your child succeed.