Psychoeducational Assessment

boy-looking-at-world-300x300What is a Psychoeducational Assessment?

A psychoeducational assessment (or a ‘psych-ed’ assessment) is designed to identify a child’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses, evaluate
achievement levels, identify learning disabilities, and make recommendations for academic supports and accommodations that will allow the child to do his or her best in school. If a learning disability is identified, the psychoeducational assessment is the basis for developing an individualized educational plan (IEP), in which the school lays out modified learning expectations, accommodations, and standards for monitoring academic progress.

How can a Registered Psychologist help?

Within the field of education, only Registered Psychologists or school psychologists are qualified to administer and interpret the standardized tests of a psych-ed assessment, which require many years of education and training to master. Schools will only recognize a psychoeducational assessment conducted by a Registered Psychologist or a school psychologist (who is not necessarily a Registered Psychologist) who works within the school district. Waitlists for psych-ed assessments within the school district are often considerable, which is why parents may decide to have the assessment done through a Registered Psychologist in private practice.

Why a Psychoeducational Assessment?

A common reason for academic underperformance is an undiagnosed learning disorder or some other condition such as Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Academic underperformance can lead to frustration, low self-esteem and behavioural issues with long-term implications, which is why timely diagnosis and interventions are necessary. A psychoeducational assessment can identify weaknesses or a learning disorder through the use of standardized measures and a controlled process free of external variables, such as auditory and visual distractions, which can impact performance. The standardization of measures is a crucial factor as this allows the student’s performance to be statistically compared to his or her age and/or grade cohort to reveal limitations and strengths across different areas of intellectual functioning and academic performance. Because of test standardization and the controlled nature of testing, a psychoeducational evaluation is capable of yielding a far more accurate picture of a child’s actual abilities and unique learning challenges. The findings of the assessment can then be translated into specific recommendations for learning strategies, supports, and accommodations to assist the student in reaching his or her academic potential.

What does a Psychoeducational Assessment involve?

The psychoeducational assessment involves a combination of interviews, standardized individual testing, and behavioural ratings and observations to identify a student’s strengths and weaknesses across many areas of functioning. It involves assessment of intellectual functioning, academic achievement, language processing, and various domains of emotional and behavioural functioning such as inattention, impulsivity, and anxiety. Other areas may be tested based on suspected deficits in a specific area, such as visual perception, motor coordination, and adaptive functioning.

How long does it take?

The psychoeducational testing itself requires 8-10 hours of face-to-face time, which will be spread out over several sessions to help a child to maintain consistency of attention and effort.

How much does it cost?

The cost of the psychoeducational assessment is $3,500. The cost covers 15 hours of clinical time including clinical interviews, all face-to-face testing, scoring, interpretation, report-writing and the feedback session. While the cost is often capped at $3,300, in some cases, extensive supplemental testing may raise the cost of the assessment. Any cost increases will always be discussed with the client beforehand.

Further Questions?

Request more information by contacting Dr. Kwee today.

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