SEARCH is a 20-minute individual test designed to:
- Identify children vulnerable to learning difficulties
- Provide a clear profile of strengths and weaknesses in neuropsychological skills,
basic to reading and the language arts
- Provide a structure to guide appropriate intervention before failure has occurred
SEARCH was developed as a screening instrument for children ages 60-80 months. Its most effective use is in scanning an entire class during nursery school or early in first grade in order to provide teachers and administrators with a grade-wide profile for the proper planning of content, organisation and timing of instruction. SEARCH can also be used in clinical planning for individual children who appear to be faltering in classroom activities.
SEARCH is based on both clinical and statistical research that focuses on neuropsychological skills basic to reading and the language arts. The importance of these skills was determined via a 2-year intensive interdisciplinary study that examined 1st graders neurologically, psychiatrically, perceptually, psychologically and educationally.
Results of this study revealed that those children vulnerable to learning failure lagged in developing skills relating to spatial orientation and temporal organization. A follow-up of the original group of children, validated the clinical judgment that reading failure is associated with specific types of perceptual immaturity—namely, in visual, auditory, and body-image immaturity—all relating to orientation in space and organization in time. SEARCH uses the results of this research to formulate its programme, making early identification of learning disorders in children key to overcoming potential failure.