Would a patient with severe stomach pain receive surgery or medication without obtaining an evaluation? Hopefully not. He probably wouldn't consent to surgery unless the doctor had some tests to confirm its necessity. In the dental office, X-rays are considered fundamental in determining the extent of decay or deterioration. And most of us certainly wouldn't buy prescription eyeglasses without an eye doctor's examination to determine correct visual needs. Yet, in education, instruction and intervention without diagnostic assessment are the norm. People routinely submit their children to years of education without the benefit of an individually administered examination to determine readiness, learning needs, styles, and limitations. This is astonishing, especially in light of the evidence that learning and developmental disorders afflict nearly 20% of the school-aged population.