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Learning Assessments

Seabrook-Mckenzie Centre-2018-10-16_DSC2248.jpg


Identify the individual's pattern of strengths and weaknesses

Identify if an individual has a

Specific Learning Disability (SLD)

Make recommendations on the best way to teach and support the individual

We conduct assessments to:




Process Overview

Our Method

We assess clients using the model the Pattern of Strengths and Weaknesses. This is researched as the most efficient way of providing information for remediation. In our assessment, we assess for basic processes as well as academic areas.

An older model of diagnosis based on the discrepancy between ‘potential’ and ‘achievement’ has been largely discredited, due to difficulties separating and measuring these constructs. While the Discrepancy model can indicate if a child is under performing academically, it is unable to tell us why.

Assessment age

Specifying a particular type of SLD (such as dyslexia)may be difficult in some cases, especially if the child is under the age of 8 or if there are other factors affecting the child. Guidance about appropriate support will still be included in the report.

Centre visits

We understand that having an assessment may cause anxiety for some children. Clients are welcome to visit the Centre beforehand. You may also be able to meet the assessor prior to the assessment. While the assessor will explain to both you and your child, what will be done during the actual assessment, they will work with your child alone.

Types of Learning Assessments

Full Assessment

Consists of two parts

1. Intellectual assessment

We use the Wechsler Series of Intelligence testing (depending on age) or the Woodcock-Johnson IV test of cognitive abilities. These tests identify the client’s strengths and weaknesses in different areas.

Most clients enjoy this session as its activities are varied and does not involve reading and writing.

2. A battery for Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD)

The battery, originally compiled by Dr Jean Seabrook, covers many areas that have been identified by research as involved in an SLD. The test administered may vary somewhat according to the student’s age, presenting problems and abilities. Areas covered include: coordination, sequencing, visual perception, memory, phonological awareness, naming speed and graphophonic integration; handwriting, reading, spelling and/or maths as necessary.

The parts  may completed together with a 15 to 30 minute break in between or on separate days.


At the end of the assessment, feedback is offered to parents/individuals (if adults) to provide a summary of initial findings and discuss any concerns. Additional screening tools will also be offered if deemed necessary to further investigate potential difficulties. 

Special Assessment Conditions for High School NCEA 

For high school students seeking Special Assessment Conditions (SAC), the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT-III) and other relevant tests will be used to look at academic achievement scores.

Adult Assessments

Adults may arrange for assessments without a referral. They may also be referred for assessments by tertiary institutions, workplaces, or other agencies.  A full or partial assessment can be completed dependent on individual requirements. Self-referrals are also welcomed.

Additional tests

When relevant, we may include other questionnaires/ psychometrics that screen for attention difficulties (Conners 3), adaptive functioning (ABAS), and language difficulties (CELF-5). These will be an additional cost. 

Assessment Reports

Each assessment includes a written report usually completed within 4-6 weeks .  The report will be sent by email (or post if requested) to either the client or parent(s)/legal guardian (s) for children.  The assessment invoice must be paid for the report to be released.

The report contains:

  • detailed results of the testing

  • recommendations for teachers trained in the teaching of students with SLD (e.g. specialist tutoring)

  • recommendations for the student’s school to accommodate their learning disability


If you have any questions after you receive the report, please email these to at no additional cost. However, if you require a meeting (phone or in-person) there will be a charge (please see Our Fees list). 

Teachers with training in the teaching of students with SLDs will be able to use the information in the report to design an individualised programme for the student.

School age students may find their school can offer some specialised tuition at school. Please share the report with the school’s Learning Support Co-ordinator or Special Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) and ask for advice.

The Seabrook McKenzie Centre has a number of specialised tutors affiliated with it. If you have a formal report from us, we may be able to refer you to a tutor in your locality. 

Other follow-up options:

Additional copies

Additional copies of reports can be requested for up to ten years following an assessment.

Parents/guardians requests: 

If you or your child has previously had an assessment at the Seabrook McKenzie Centre and need a copy of the assessment report, please complete the Request for Assessment Report Form (pdf).  Email the completed form to us, along with a copy of your identification and the contact details you would have supplied us at the time of the assessment

Social Workers, teachers or other professionals:

If you work for an organisation (such as Oranga Tamariki, a school or a tertiary institution) and need a copy of a report, you may:

  • ask the client or their parents/guardians (as applicable) for a copy. If they no longer have a copy, ask them to send us a Request for Assessment Report Form(pdf) as above, to enable them to give you a copy directly.



Costs of our services can be found here.

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