WHAT IS A PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT
A Psychoeducational Assessment is a type of testing aimed at identifying strengths and weaknesses in a child’s learning and development. The root of many childhood learning challenges can be identified through this type of testing. A Psychoeducational Assessment is able to generate a learning profile that takes into account a child’s educational competencies and shortcomings. It’s able to identify deficits in the different aspects of intelligence, learning, memory, language, visual-spatial, executive functioning, personality and social-emotional functioning. In addition, learning disorders such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, Cognitive disorders and intellectual Disabilities that interfere with learning can be screened early and addressed. It is a thorough examination which attempts to identify the problem and put a plan in place to resolve or support the child with the issue
How do I know if my child needs a Psychoeducational Assessment?
Common signs that might indicate a Psychoeducational Assessment might be useful include:
- Complains about child’s focus and attention in Class
- Producing low grades when effort is there
- Challenges with starting, planning or completing homework task
- Anxiety towards tests or graded work
- Inability to write or read according to his /her age level
- Difficulty with a subject matter that translates into other areas e.g. math
- Issues getting along with others
- Fantasizing or daydreaming in class
- Lack of confidence and Self esteem
- Leaned helplessness and unwillingness to even try
- Becoming reactive when asked to do challenging work
- Fiddling and doodling instead of doing work
- Lacking in understanding of certain subjects and inability to grasp no matter how hard they try
- Consistent failed attempts to use a tutor with no success
Why Get a Psychoeducational Assessment?
A Psychoeducational Assessment is extremely helpful in terms of shedding light on the truth about a child’s learning experience. It eliminates the guessing game and allows important decisions to be made based on facts and evidence. Psychoeducational Assessment helps those involved clarify the expectations of a student and evaluate whether those expectations are fair and if they are being met. A thorough completed educational assessment will include useful information about a child’s learning environment, recommended resources, academic support, placement, advancement, and special conditions.
When an evaluation is completed parents and educators will have.
- A holistic picture of a child’s strengths and weakness as it relates to academics, information Processing and learning style in a full report
- A formal diagnosis if one exists
- A customized plan put in place to set out goals, outcomes and a process to achieve them
- Accommodations and adjustments to child learning environments if needed. This may include
Provisions to have extra time on tests, use technology, specialized pens for recording notes, different options for testing, regular breaks when needed and creative alternatives to finish homework
Jason was a seven (7) year old boy who lived with his family. He was an incredibly active, so much so teachers complained or his restlessness in class and his inability to sit still during circle time. Instead of focusing on his work, he would play with his pencil and start provoking the other students. When the teacher spoke to Justin and told him to do his work and settle down, Justin replied I’m trying to! This was often Justin’s response “I am trying to”. Justin’s mom got frustrated with the frequent calls from his teachers and decided to pay for a Neuropsychological Evaluation with a psychologist. The results were as expected. Justin has ADHD and a learning disorder. His anxiety, insecurity and inability to control behaviour were misconstrued as merely bad behaviour. When Justin’s parents created a team, which consisted of his teacher, his paediatrician, a tutor and counsellor, Justin’s experience within school improved. His marks got better, had better relationships with his peers and his self-esteem increased.
What does the Psychoeducational Assessment look like?
This type of testing requires extensive and specialized training and experience. Your journey will always begin with an intake the process will include.
- An Interview with the parents to get a broader perspective
- Speaking and communicating with educators and other support staff
- On site observation of the child in their natural environment
- Acquisition of pertinent medical history or other reports
- Selection and administration the tests
- Scoring and interpretation the results
- Communicating results and recommendations with parents and teachers.
- Formal writing of the report.