General Information for Professionals
There are eight stages to the diagnostic process (see flowchart). The diagnosis entails three or four sessions with the applicant: two sessions of about two hours each for testing with the MATAL tests, and one or two sessions with an expert clinician for more detailed analysis and providing the applicant with feedback on the results of the diagnosis and their significance.
The clinician makes a final diagnosis as to whether the applicant has any learning disability and the probability of the presence of ADD. The diagnosis is based on all the data available to the clinician, including performance in the MATAL tests, the applicant’s developmental and educational history as documented in the material attached to the application and the personal questionnaire filled out by the applicant, behavioral observation of the applicant, and information gathered in the one-on-one meeting with the applicant.
Below is a detailed description of the eight stages of the diagnostic process:
1. Application to the diagnostic institution
On application to the diagnostic institution the secretariat of the institution provides the applicant with general information on the diagnostic process, checks the applicant’s eligibility for diagnosis by MATAL according to the requirements listed above and sends registration material to the applicant.
2. Filling out the personal questionnaire and submitting relevant documentation
The applicant is requested to fill out a detailed personal questionnaire and submit relevant documentation:
- School diplomas - elementary, middle and high school (all diplomas in your possession).
- Bagrut (high school matriculation) certificate or up-to-date transcript of Bagrut scores.
- Previous diagnostic reports
- Score certificate from the Psychometric Entrance Test
- Certificates of entitlement to accommodations in the Bagrut or Psychometric Entrance Test.
- Up-to-date score transcript from most recently attended educational institution
- Any other documentation liable to cast light on the applicant’s past and present difficulties such as: referrals for diagnosis, referrals for treatment and assistance, assessments by teachers or counselors, summaries of treatment, medication records.
3. Verification of eligibility for diagnosis by MATAL
On receipt of the background material the applicant’s eligibility for diagnosis by MATAL is verified. If the applicant is ineligible or if there is a reasonable basis to assume that the applicant’s difficulties are not a consequence of learning disabilities, the applicant will be referred to an appropriate professional for continued evaluation.
4. Administration of the test battery
The MATAL diagnostic tools are administered by a trained examiner in two sessions of about two hours each. The applicant’s responses in the production tests are documented in the personal diagnostic file. At the end of the session the examiner evaluates the applicant’s performance in the production tests and enters the scores into the scoring system.
5. Generation of a computerized report
After the administration of the diagnostic tools a computerized report is generated summarizing the results of the diagnosis. The report lists in full detail the applicant’s level of performance according to 54 metrics generated by the diagnostic tools. The results are reported as standard scores and percentage scores. The percentage scores are also displayed graphically. In addition, the test results are weighted for the purpose of producing a general assessment of the level of functioning in different domains: reading, writing, arithmetic and attention. The results are weighted by a mathematical algorithm (predictor function) developed both from empirical data collected during the MATAL validation study and norm research, and also based on theoretical considerations. The algorithm is based on advanced statistical methods.
6. Review of the diagnosis results and background material
The expert clinician reviews the applicant’s background information and the results of the evaluation documented in the computerized report and diagnostic file. The clinician arrives at a preliminary assessment of the presence of learning disabilities or ADD. In consequence the diagnostician formulates preliminary recommendations concerning granting accommodations in academic tests and assistance during study courses.
7. Meeting with the applicant
The meeting is devoted to a deeper analysis of the applicant’s difficulties, checking whether the difficulties reported by the applicant are consistent with the results of the diagnosis, giving the applicant feedback on the results of the diagnosis and their significance and discussing recommendations concerning granting accommodations and assistance.
8. Composition of a final report and communicating to the applicant
At the end of the data analysis process, the clinician writes a professional opinion including a report of the principal findings, final diagnosis and recommendations for accommodations in academic tests and assistance during study courses. The opinion is structured in a fixed format.
The final diagnostic report includes the computerized test report with results of functioning in all the MATAL tests and the clinician’s professional opinion. At the end of the diagnosis the applicant receives two signed copies of the report.
The validity of the MATAL diagnosis is conditional on the applicant’s full cooperation, both in submitting complete and correct information and in performing to the best of his or her ability in the test assignments. In the event that the picture emerging from the data as a whole is unlikely, incomplete or obscure, the clinician may not be able to arrive at an unambiguous diagnosis and recommendations for accommodations and assistance. In such cases the clinician will recommend additional investigation, separately from the diagnosis via MATAL.
Diagnosis via MATAL is admissible for the purposes of submitting a request for accommodations in the Psychometric Entrance Test, together with the additional documentation required by the Special Test Accommodations (BAMOT) unit of the National Institute for Testing and Evaluation.
Diagnosis via MATAL is admissible for the purposes of submitting a request for accommodations in academic tests at all institutions of higher educations funded by the Council for Higher Education, among others.
However, it should be clearly understood that these institutions are under no obligation to adopt the clinician’s opinion and recommendations with respect to granting accommodations. The right of the final decision on granting accommodations is reserved exclusively to each institution’s professional board.
In the event that an institution funded by the Council for Higher Education does not recognize a diagnosis via MATAL, you may apply to Ms. Noa Binstein, coordinator of the PBC Steering Committee concerning Students with Learning Disabilities by telephone 02-5679951, or email to email@example.com.