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Psychoeducational Assessment


A psychoeducational (“psychoed”) assessment is an intensive, in-depth process to assess the intellectual and academic abilities of a child who is struggling behaviorally or academically. It aims to measure strengths and weaknesses, specifically in:

Cognitive processing abilities, including logical reasoning, memory, attention and executive functioning

Current level of academic knowledge in various subject areas, overall aptitude and academic achievement around core skills, such as reading, writing and math

Social, behavioral and emotional functioning 

Parents or schools may recommend students to seek a psychoeducational assessment. Depending on the student’s age and referral issue, a psychologist or psychometrist may engage parents and the young person in clinical interviews, seek parent-teacher-student input, conduct one-on-one testing sessions (using such techniques as pencil-and-paper activities or verbal responses) and observe (including the evaluation of motor skills, like drawing or playing with blocks). 

For many students, a psychoed assessment is the first step to diagnosis, timely interventions and support programs. Results help the clinician understand the student’s potential (if gifted or having a learning disability) and provide strategies to support them. 

During the assessment, other concerns, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or anxiety, can also be evaluated and recommendations made. The entire process may include the following: 

    • Students work individually with a psychologist, with breaks to keep up attention and mental stamina. 
    • Testing is typically conducted over 2 or more sessions, for a total of 8 hours. 
    • In a feedback session, parents review findings, diagnostic impressions and recommendations. 
    • A feedback session may include an older child or adolescent, to better understand learning style, with an emphasis on learning strengths. 
    • A final report connects families to essential services, including occupational therapy for improving coordination and motor functioning, speech therapy and/or other forms of treatment.

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