A psychoeducational assessment is a thorough investigation into a child’s cognitive abilities (thinking and problem solving skills), academic skills, and socio-emotional functioning in order to determine what may be hindering that child’s ability to reach their potential at school. A psychoeducational assessment will identify a child’s strengths and weaknesses and will look at how a child’s cognitive skills and emotional functioning are related to academic progress. Sometimes a psychoeducational assessment will result in a diagnosis, for example a learning disability or ADHD, and other times it does not. Either way, a more thorough understanding of a child’s learning profile will help parents and teachers apply strategies to allow the child to reach their full potential.
A psychoeducational assessment is a comprehensive process. This includes:
– an intake session/clinical interview where your clinician will learn about current concerns and functioning and also obtain a thorough developmental history
– clinical interviews with the child’s current teacher as well as a review of current and past report cards
– formal testing with the child/teen using standardized assessment measures to determine the child’s current level of functioning relative to other children their age
– standardized questionnaires completed by parents and teachers to examine a child’s current social, emotional, and behavioural functioning relative to same aged children
– scoring, interpretation, and integration of all of the information (e.g., developmental history, information from parent and teacher interviews and questionnaires, test data). All the data is integrated to provide a thorough understanding of a child’s learning profile including strengths and needs
– a detailed report with recommendations. If a diagnosis is applicable, it will be documented in this report. The report will contain recommendations for the parents and for the school. The report is prepared for the family and it is their decision with whom the report is shared (e.g., if it is shared with the school)
– a feedback session where the test results, applicable diagnoses, and recommendations are shared with the parents and child (depending on the age of the child)
– the clinicians at Dr. Spere and Associates also conduct detailed assessments to query Autism Spectrum Disorders. The assessments are similar to a psychoeducational assessment, but require additional testing, observations, and interviewing
In addition to psychoeducational assessments, sometimes individuals require an assessment and diagnostic clarification of a mental health concern such as anxiety or depression. Assessments of this nature typically do not include the formal standardized testing, but will still involve clinical interviews with relevant individuals, standardized questionnaires, and a review of developmental history.