Is your child struggling academically? Maybe a Psychoeducational Assessment can help.
Updated: Nov 3
Is your child struggling at school? Are you concerned that he or she might have a learning disorder, attention deficit, behavioural, or emotional issues which may be affecting his/her learning? Is he/she falling behind? If these questions are areas of concern for you, then your child may benefit from a psychoeducational evaluation.
What Is a Psychoeducational Assessment?
A psychoeducational assessment (psychoed) is an in depth evaluation of a person's current functioning including but not limited to:
and Behavioural Functioning
A psychoed places emphasis on evaluating a child’s intellectual potential and current level of academic achievement. The process usually takes 8-12 contact hours to complete; during this time, the psychologist interviews the parent/legal guardian, observes the child's behaviour, and administers all the necessary tests. The components of a psychoeducational assessment include:
1. Interview with parents/guardians to get relevant background information
During the intake session, the evaluator chats with caretakers to get information about the child’s birth, development, medical, and legal history. Additionally, an account of the student’s academic, social-emotional and family history is required. This will help with understanding of the presenting problem (expressed or observable symptoms and challenges). The evaluator will also ask about the caretaker’s impressions of the child’s strengths and weaknesses. As part of the assessment process, parents, family members and teachers may also be required to complete questionnaires rating the child’s behaviours.
Observation of the child helps with understanding of what emotional factors or mental health concerns may be influencing behaviour and academic performance. For example, factors such as anxiety, stress or sadness may be impacting levels of engagement and learning, and require intervention. This may also include school visits to observe the child in his/her classroom setting as well as their activities during break or lunch time.
3. Psychometric Testing
The student will then be given various tasks to evaluate their cognitive skills, academic achievement (in areas such as writing, oral language, reading, and mathematics), as well as visual-motor, behavioural and social-emotional functioning. Tools that provide insight into personality is also included in a standard battery. Supplemental tests can be added depending on the presenting concern.
4. Report and Recommendations
Test results, observations and background information are collated into a comprehensive report for parents, teachers and other professionals. The reports may include diagnostic impressions and discussion the presenting concern. Relevant recommendations for any necessary school accommodations and at-home support strategies are also documented in the report. Referrals to other specialised services such as Child/Adolescent Therapy, Psychiatry, Occupational Therapy, or Speech and Language Therapy may be included when necessary.
5. Feedback Session
The parents/guardians will meet with the evaluator to go over the report. At this time, recommendations will be discussed and any questions with regards to the way forward will be addressed. Additional resources and materials are often provided to help understand and manage their child’s challenges.
Some parents may see their child is struggling while others may not be sure. Either way, a psychoed can give you answers. Many parents feel relieved knowing that there is an issue and that there are ways to help. The results can help the psychologist understand your child’s potential and provide strategies to support them. Individualized educational plans (IEP) can be designed to accommodate your child’s needs, helping them to progress and succeed.
By identifying where your child needs help, and intervening early on, you can significantly increase your child’s opportunities to thrive.