Frequently Asked Questions
What are psycho-educational assessments?
A psycho-educational assessment is made of a number of components including interviews, questionnaires and the completion of standardized, norm-referenced cognitive, academic, social/emotional, and executive functioning tests. The purpose of the assessment is to identify strengths and areas of growth for the child being assessed. A psycho-educational assessment should lead to a better understanding of how your child learns best, and what you and the school can do to help them succeed.
Should my child have a psycho-educational assessment?
Usually an inquiry about a psycho-educational assessment comes because of school or parental concerns about a child’s cognitive functioning, learning, attention, and/or behaviour at school and/or at home. If you have concerns about your child’s learning, attention and focus, or behaviour a psycho-educational assessment may help to identify areas of concern.
What happens after the psychologist is done the assessment?
Following completion of the assessment the psychologist will write a report. This report will outline the results of the assessment and will have recommendations for the parents and school in regards to possible supports and accommodations that may assist the child, or it may make recommendations regarding the type of programming the child would best benefit from at school.
The psychologist will meet with the parents and the school to review the report. She will be available at later dates for further consultation, if necessary.
It is up to the school and parents to determine which of the recommendations, if any, they will trial and use. Because it is difficult to get psycho-educational assessments in the north, the psychologist may make recommendations that would carry forward for future consideration and use, not just for the immediate.
What is the goal of a psycho-educational assessment?
The goal is to identify areas of the child’s strengths and weaknesses in order to attempt to provide additional support or interventions to see if the child can be assisted in their learning.
What is the process of the assessment?
Dependent upon the referral question and the involvement of the school and family the process may look slightly differently. However, the typical psycho-educational assessment has the following:
Intake Process: the school (if involved) and parents will complete a number of forms that detail the child’s medical and developmental history, current behaviour, and social-emotional functioning. The psychologist will also want to interview the parents. The psychologist will ask about family members and query whether there are mental health concerns or illnesses in the family tree, the educational history of family members, and about life at home in the family. The school will be asked to have a teacher who knows the child complete a questionnaire about the child’s performance in the classroom and at school. Information will be gathered from school files in regards to attendance, report cards, behavioural referrals, school interventions and other assessments that have been completed. The psychologist may wish to complete an observation of the student in the classroom.
Testing Sessions: Dependent upon the referral question and the child’s age, testing sessions will be scheduled to allow the child to perform at their best. The assessment may be completed over more than 1 session, and dependent upon the assessment tools being used, as many as 4-6 sessions may be necessary.
Following completion of the assessment and collection of all the questionnaires, a report will be written. It typically takes 4 weeks from the date of finishing the assessment and receiving all forms, to the report being available.