What is a “psychoeducational assessment”?

A psychoeducational assessment identifies your (or your child’s) strengths and growth areas related to cognitive/intellectual ability, academic skills, and psychological functioning (including socioemotional, behavioural, and attentional functioning). Skills in associated areas are also often assessed, including memory, language, and visual-motor coordination. Learning styles are explored in order to determine not only the way in which you or your child learns best, but also how you or your childare best able to demonstrate that learning.

Why get a psychoeducational assessment?

  • To identify diagnosable challenges, including learning disabilities, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), developmental or intellectual disabilities, and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
  • To determine other factors impacting learning, such as anxiety or depression.
  • To identify giftedness or other personal strengths.
  • To help develop remedial programs, such as an Individual Education Plan (IEP).
  • To access appropriate supports at school, work, and/or in the community.
  • To aid in career planning.

Who should get a psychoeducational assessment?

Those who could benefit include young children delayed in meeting developmental milestones, school-aged children or university students with academic, social, emotional, behavioural or other challenges, and adults struggling in the workplace and/or with daily life skills. Children and youth displaying signs of giftedness (e.g., unusual insight, superior reasoning or creativity, advanced academic capabilities, extensive vocabulary, and/or rapid mastery of new skills) could also benefit.

The Assessment Process

The process begins with an intake interview, during which your or your child’s history and current functioning is reviewed. This helps to place any test results into a meaningful and understandable context. You or your child will then participate in approximately 6 hours of one-on-one assessment activities, often spread over a few sessions, during which a variety of tests are administered (some may seem like games or puzzles, others may seem more like schoolwork, and some may be symptom checklists).

It is also usually helpful if some checklists can be completed by observers (e.g., a parent/caregiver, teacher, employer, spouse).

Once the results are compiled and interpreted, a feedback session is held, at which time the results are discussed with you, any applicable diagnoses are communicated, and personalized recommendations are offered (for settings including home and school or work).

A detailed comprehensive report with the aforementioned information is also provided, which can be shared at your discretion (e.g., with a school, physician, employer, etc.).

As an addendum to the assessment process, your assessor can assist with the completion of any forms deemed appropriate and necessary and requiring input from a healthcare professional (e.g., applications for the Ontario Disability Support Program/ODSP).

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