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We help parents and teachers understand how a child or adolescent learns.
Psychoeducational assessment identifies many reasons children have difficulty learning, developing friendships, staying organized and managing emotions. This valuable tool helps parents and teachers understand how a child learns and the reasons they may be struggling academically and/or socially. The goal is to establish the best ways to respond to a child’s needs, deliver information so that it is easy for the child to learn, and help the child communicate what they know.
The psychoeducational assessment process begins with a meeting with one or both parents to gather information about a child’s development, school functioning, social skills, family relationships, and emotion regulation. Input from teachers helps provide a complete picture of a child’s strengths and the challenges they may be experiencing at school. Parents and teachers may also fill out questionnaires and provide copies of report cards or other assessment reports.
Psychoeducational assessment testing
Direct testing with the child or adolescent occurs in step two of the psychoeducational assessment process. Testing typically measures intelligence; how well a child is able to think through visual and verbal problems, processing speed, and working memory. A broader memory test evaluates different ways of presenting information. Some children are stronger at learning and remembering what they hear, rather than what they see. Others may need to hear or see things repeated a few times to learn. Others do better with small bits of information instead of larger chunks, like remembering a list of words rather than a story. Academic learning is evaluated by breaking down reading, writing, and math to understand what areas are strong, where the child needs help, and why they might be struggling.
Additional tests may be administered during the psychoeducational assessment depending on the child’s struggles. For example, some children reverse numbers and letters, and others have difficulty controlling a pencil and printing neatly. Assessing attention and executive functioning can also be important. Anxiety and depression may be factors that affect the ability to learn. Attention, anxiety, mood and behavioural issues are often best evaluated through conversations with parents, teachers, children and adolescents, and by completing rating scales.
Psychoeducational assessment results
The results of the psychoeducational assessment are explained to parents within ten days of testing completion. This is one of the most important steps in the process. Talking through the assessment results, as well as having visual aids, is vital in helping parents thoroughly understand their child’s learning needs and strengths in order to access necessary support. At the end of the feedback session, parents are provided with a comprehensive written report that details the psychoeducational assessment results.
This report summarizes all the results of testing, questionnaires, and information from parents and teachers and provides recommendations for how to help the child. Recommendations may include seeking other professional support (e.g., additional school help or accommodations, counselling for parents or children, Occupational Therapy), as well as specific strategies to build reading, writing and math skills, develop social skills, and improve emotion regulation. It is usually recommended that parents share the report with the child’s school, and family physician or pediatrician.
The results of psychoeducational assessments frequently make a lot of sense to parents and help them understand their child’s learning profile. Sometimes the results may be surprising and may capture something that parents had not considered. For example, some children who are struggling to regulate emotions, make friends, and have a broad range of interests may have Autism Spectrum Disorder. A comprehensive assessment of symptoms of autism can be completed at What if…? Psychology, if necessary.
Psychoeducational assessment helps improve understanding of all aspects of a child and identifies the reasons for their struggles and strategies to help them. We believe this process should be completed efficiently, be easy to understand and result in helping parents figure out the next steps to support their child’s development.
Read more about psychoeducational assessment here (Grossberg, Blythe. “What Is a Psychoeducational Evaluation?” ThoughtCo, Jul. 31, 2021, thoughtco.com/what-is-a-psychoeducational-evaluation-2774272.).
1. Initial Interview with Parent(s)
To compile a comprehensive understanding of the child, further information may also be sought, such as report cards, interviews with, and/or input from, teachers, as well as previous assessments (if any).
2. In-Person Assessment Session
3. Feedback Meeting With
A meeting is held to explain the results of the psycho-educational assessment to parents and provide the diagnosis, if there is one. Recommendations are discussed for next steps to support the child’s learning and development.
4. Written Report
A comprehensive report is written detailing all the findings of the assessment and recommendations for next steps. The report is provided within 10 days of the last testing session.
5. Help Child /Adolescent
After sharing results with parents, a brief session can be held with the child or adolescent to help them understand more about their learning profile and the strategies that can help.
6. After the Psycho-educational
Assessment is Complete
Follow up meetings with parents can take place as necessary, and meetings may also be held with school teams if parents wish to have support when sharing the assessment results with the school.
Reach out to What if? Psychology today. We are here to help.
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