Psychoeducational Assessment are an imperative starting point for any child struggling with academics or social behaviors.
Every child is different, they will excel in certain areas that other kids do not and vice versa. For all children it is important to understand where they are struggling so that you can provide the tools and resources when needed. The first step is a psychoeducational assessment.
What is a psychoeducational assessment?
The Psychoeducational Assessment is a standardized test that provides a baseline for your child’s cognitive abilities and academic skills. The goal is to assess and understand how the child works through problem solving and identify how their process looks individually.
Not only does a psychoeducational assessment give us a better understanding of how your child learns but it also provides vital information that allows us to understand if something deeper is going on. This may result in a diagnosis of a learning disability, attention hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or development disability.
Where do I get a psychoeducational assessment?
Psychoeducational assessments can be completed in a school setting if a psychologist is on staff and requested. However, referral from schools is not uncommon. Early indicators are often picked up by school teachers and admin. If you notice your child struggling with reading, writing or mathematics testing is a good option. The average diagnosis for learning difficulties is around Grade 1 or Grade 2 but can be missed and diagnosed much later in life. The earlier the intervention the sooner we can do something to help.
At McDowall Integrative Psychology & Healthcare we have highly trained staff ready to deliver a psychoeducational assessment.
Who can deliver psychoeducational assessments?
- Clinical Psychologist
What to expect with a psychoeducational assessment?
A full examination will usually take at least a full day to complete. This involves multiple tests throughout the day followed by a comprehensive report that provides next steps.
Step 1: Initial Consultation
Involves a meeting between parents, students and psychologists. During this consultation there will be discussion of ongoing issues, concerns, expectations and potential outcomes. This gives a baseline for what the student & parents can expect moving forward through the assessment process.
Step 2: Psychometric Testing
The student is administered various tests to assess executive function, memory, intellectual ability, reasoning and attention. The test duration is variable and highly reflective of your child’s individual needs. On average testing can be anywhere from 3 to 6 hours.
Step 3: Assessment of Social & Behavioral Functioning
Clinical interviews and questionnaires are conducted to gain further insight. This may include data collection from students, parents and teachers if applicable.
Step 4: Results & Reports
Final results are compiled into a comprehensive report including scored tests, interview & questionnaire results. This report includes recommendations and strategies available for the parent and child moving forward.
Step 5: Feedback Session
The final feedback session involves meeting with the psychologist to go over the report. This is an opportunity to discuss recommendations and answer any questions.
- Adaptive functioning
- Academic functioning
- Assessment techniques (testing methods)
- Attention & behaviour
- Behavioral observations
- Cognitive ability & memory skills
- Conclusions and recommendations
- Executive functioning
Still unsure? Does your child need a psychoeducational assessment?
Here are some similar signs that your child may need a psychoeducational assessment:
- When marks do not reflect effort
- Unable to deliver homework on time due to procrastination and poor planning skills
- Teacher feedback about attention & focus
- Behavioural or emotional problems
- Issues with attending school
- Struggle in main subjects like English or Math
If you feel your child would do better with accommodations is also another reason to get tested. Sometimes children need more time to think and thrive once a diagnosis is made.
Goals of psychoeducational assessments
It can be confusing at times, especially when you’re unsure about what your child is going through. Giving concrete answers can help provide a roadmap for moving forward. That insight and awareness is often what parents are looking for.
Every situation is different, however there is no doubt a parent takes on a portion of whatever their child is going through. A diagnosis may come as a shock to both the parent and their child. Our job is to provide you with the emotional support and comfort you need so you can feel prepared and able to handle aspects moving forward.
Psychoeducation offers an opportunity to better understand your child. In bringing awareness to any symptom and their causation you can become better at coaching your child. This may involve lifestyle changes, coping strategies or an individual counseling session. At McDowall Integrative Psychology & Healthcare we value the whole person. That means taking into account other factors like nutrition, sleep, hydration that may be impacting their mental health. This multifaceted approach makes sure we are taking care of all aspects of health both the mental and emotional.
Skills Through Psychoeducation
Four areas of learning:
- Condition Management
- Problem Solving
- Assertive communication
Moving forward with Individual Counselling
Individual Counselling is an opportunity to work through deeper issues that may be going on with the individual. This may be developing healthy coping strategies, learning new skills and techniques for problem solving.
Individual counseling offers the opportunity to:
- Identify problems
- Consider who is affected by the problem
- To come up with solutions
- To create alternative options
Benefits with communication
Communication is a great tool to develop early. This can avoid frustration and unnecessary conflict. Building communication between the child and parent can make life more manageable and ensure the child’s needs are being met.
We also offer a free 15 min consultation to discuss any questions or concerns you may have. You can book your free consultation here:
At McDowall Integrative Psychology Our Experts Psychologist Toronto are always committed to helping you become the best version of yourself. Wherever you are on your journey, we are here to help.