Does My Child or Teen Need a Psycho-Educational Assessment?
You may have noticed that your child or teen may be experiencing consistent academic difficulties, is not well matched to their educational curriculum, is struggling to meet their learning and behavioral expectations in school, or may be performing well above their peers. It can be difficult for parents, teachers, or children and youth themselves, to figure out the reasons why or understand how to make things better. A psycho-educational assessment will give parents and teachers a clear understanding of the child’s needs.
What is a psycho-assessment?
Psychoeducational assessments aim to describe an individual’s learning profile (strengths and weaknesses) and psychological functioning. This includes an assessment of their cognitive (thinking) abilities, evaluate their information processing skills, and academic achievement using objective, standardized measures. These assessments also evaluate emotional, social, and behavioural characteristics that can influence their functioning.
Benefits of Psycho-educational Assessments
- The results of the assessment can change a child’s educational future significantly, allowing the child to meet or exceed educational expectations. The test records will be placed in the child’s academic file and will follow them as they progress through school.
- The report may enable the school to make accommodations during tests and exams, classroom accommodations, access to individual or small-group educational help, the use of assistive technology and software, and/or modification of the child’s educational program. The specific interventions will depend on your child’s profile and will be reflected in the Individualized Educational Plan, according to the recommendations found in the psychological report.
- Parents will get a better idea of how to work with their child at home and what kind of instruction and support they should provide. When a student’s struggles are left unaddressed, they will dislike school and this may result in academic delays and low self-esteem.
Tips for Parents
- Listen for feedback from your child and their teachers
Considering a psychological assessment after consistent feedback from your child or their teachers could be beneficial. If you notice your child is starting to lose interest in school, express that they are ‘bad at school’ or express they work too hard, it may be valuable to look into an psycho-educational assessment.
- Monitor your child’s behavior
A child’s behaviour in the classroom may be indicative of learning or attentional difficulties. A child may be acting out to distract attention away from their area of weakness. When a child is displaying disruptive behaviour in the classroom, a psycho-educational assessment could be helpful.
- Look for changes in your child’s interest in school
A child may not have shown any difficulty in school at first but is now disinterested in putting effort into schoolwork. A psycho-educational assessment could be help make sense of this disconnect between the child’s potential and their current performance at school.
A psycho-ed assessment is an intensive process for both a child and their family. The intake process includes filling out a number of forms about your child’s medical and developmental history, current behaviour and social-emotional functioning. Testing includes multiple one-on-one sessions in which a child completes multiples assessment materials. The process is also followed by a debrief session, where the parent and child is informed about the results. It is important to recognize the thorough and rigorous process of a psycho-educational assessment.