Psycho-educational assessments, also known as psychological assessments, school assessments, learning assessments or gifted assessments, are useful when children struggle with learning or behaviour, or when their social or emotional skills are less developed than expected.
These challenges can be symptoms of hidden problems with attention or organization. They can also reflect exceptional strengths and/or difficulties with academic skills, like reading and math. Left unidentified, problems can spiral into secondary issues, including low self-esteem, school refusal and anger.
The Benefits of a Learning Assessment
A comprehensive psycho-educational assessment should explain why the problems are occurring and provide useful recommendations to address the problems and improve your child’s performance at school.
Assessments provide recommendations relevant for educational planning and may assist with decisions regarding school placement and/or identification. While learning is the primary focus of psycho-educational assessment, behavioural, socio-emotional, and medical issues may also need to be addressed.
What is an Educational Assessment
The basic components of a psycho-educational assessment include the developmental history; the tests and questionnaires that will evaluate the child’s cognitive ability, memory skills, academic achievement, and executive functioning; behavioural observations; along with conclusions and a series of recommendations. It may or may not include a diagnosis.
What are the Outcomes of an Assessment
Possible outcomes of a psycho-educational assessment may include diagnosis of a learning disability, a developmental disability, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or a psychological diagnosis, such as anxiety. The report received after a psycho-educational assessment can be shared with your child’s school to produce an Individual Education Plan (IEP).
How are Education Assessments Scored
The measurement techniques used in psycho-educational reports are norm-referenced, meaning they compare your child’s scores to others the same age, and are standardized, meaning the test has been given to a large number of students from various backgrounds to determine what is average, low average, high average, etc.
This allows the psychologist to compare any single child’s scores to thousands of other students who were part of the normative sample.
Early assessment and intervention give you and your child the tools necessary to enhance strengths and address limitations before problems really take root. A comprehensive psycho-educational assessment can assist and enhance your child’s educational experience.