Learning Disability Tests for Adults

Closeup shot of a young man writing on a note pad

Peopleimages / Getty Images 

Learning disabilities (LDs) are not limited to children. In fact, quite a few adults discover that an underlying LD was the cause of many of their frustrations in school and the workplace.

Learning Disabilities in Adults

Could you be an adult with a learning disability? The Learning Disabilities Association of America offers guidance about the screening process for learning disabilities in the adult workforce. A LD screening can only be performed by a qualified professional.

The issues that are evaluated during an adult LD screening may include the following:

  • Does the person confuse similar letters or numbers, reverse them, or confuse their order?
  • Does the person have difficulty reading the newspaper, following small print, and/or following columns?
  • Does the person have difficulty completing job applications correctly?
  • Does the person have difficulty writing ideas on paper?
  • Does the person have persistent problems with sentence structure, writing mechanics, and organizing written work?
  • Does the person have trouble dialing phone numbers or reading addresses?
  • Does the person reverse or omit letters, words, or phrases when writing?
  • Does the person often misread or miscopy?
  • Does the person spell the same word differently in one document?
  • Is the person able to explain things orally, but not in writing?


If you are concerned that you or a loved one may have a learning disability, you have the option of seeking a screening, a formal evaluation, a diagnosis, and/or suggestions for addressing or working around your challenges at home and at work.

  • If you do go through the full evaluation process and are diagnosed with a learning disability, chances are you'll also receive help in the form of tools, resources, and other processes to make life easier at home, school, or work.
  • In many cases, LD screenings are brief and may include quick tests, interviews, and discussions.
  • LD diagnosis, on the other hand, requires a formal evaluation and often involves the administration of full-scale tests for intelligence, abilities, and other challenges.
  • You will receive a LD diagnosis from a psychologist, psychiatrist, physician, occupational therapist, or some other licensed mental health or medical professional. Learning disabilities may include dyslexia, speech and language disorders, communication disorders, or issues such as ADD/ADHD.

Often, help will include recommendations for accommodations ranging from more time to complete tasks to tools such as speech to print technology, online and print planners, 1-to-1 job coaching, and more. Because you may qualify as a disabled individual, it is possible that these resources will be provided without cost to you through your school or employer.

LD Professionals

There are many different types of professionals who can administer screening and evaluation. These range from PhD and medical professionals (psychologists, psychiatrists, developmental neurologists) to school counselors, social workers, and others who have training and experience in the field.​

To find a qualified professional, begin your search at your state's Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR). You can find your state's office of Vocational Rehabilitation on your state's disability resource page.

State DVRs offer tests for learning disabilities and many other services at little or no cost when clients need testing to assist with employment issues. If you would prefer to have learning disability tests performed by a private testing professional, you can usually find a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist who performs tests by consulting with your physician for a referral. You may also find licensed psychologists or psychiatrists through your local telephone directory.

5 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Miller B, Vaughn S, Freund L. Learning Disabilities Research Studies: Findings From NICHD-Funded Projects. J Res Educ Eff. 2014;7(3):225-231. doi:10.1080/19345747.2014.927251

  2. Learning Disabilities Association of America. Adult learning disability assessment process flyer.

  3. Moreau D, Waldie KE. Developmental Learning Disorders: From Generic Interventions to Individualized Remediation. Front Psychol. 2015;6:2053. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.02053

  4. Latham PS, Latham PH. Learning Disabilities in the Workplace. Learning Disabilities Association of America.

  5. Learning Disabilities Association of America. Adult Learning Disability Assessment Process.

By Ann Logsdon
Ann Logsdon is a school psychologist specializing in helping parents and teachers support students with a range of educational and developmental disabilities.