What is a psychoeducational evaluation and why is it helpful?
A psychoeducational evaluation is a formal assessment to evaluate how a student learns. It can identify difficulties in learning in students of all ages.
Who needs a psychoeducational evaluation?
Psychoeducational evaluations are typically recommended for students who are having difficulties at school (i.e., lower grades, challenges in passing a course, and or difficulties with one or several academic areas). However, a psychoeducational evaluation can provide important information to any student, whether he or she is experiencing academic difficulties or not. A psychoeducational evaluation can help recognize areas of strength and weaknesses in learning.
What is involved in the process of the evaluation?
The evaluation’s length varies depending on the person’s age and the reason for the assessment. The process usually starts with a clinical interview with the student and the parent, as well as a review of any medical and academic records. This type of assessment can take anywhere from 6 to 8 hours or more (usually a couple of separate testing days) of testing and additional clinical time is required to score, interpret, and prepare a comprehensive report.
How do I prepare my child for the psychoeducational evaluation?
The first thing to have in mind is that your child will probably be anxious about the testing. However, that anxiety can be lowered by talking openly to your child. If you are also feeling anxious about the test, try to talk to your child about the testing process in a relaxed manner. A few days before the appointment, explain to your child the reason for the testing. You must do this in a way that the child understands, using positive phrases, while emphasizing the importance of discovering why sometimes he struggles in school, even when he or she tries his best. Finally, explain how getting to the bottom of it will help him going forward.
It is important that they know that the tests are not painful and that you tell them, that the reason they are going to see a psychologist is not because they are crazy. Explain that he or she will be working with blocks solving puzzles, hearing stories, doing some writing, and answering some questions. Explaining to your child about the testing process will ease their anxiety and in turn yours. They will be more willing to try their best, which is what matters most in order to obtain valid test results.
Make sure that your child has a good night sleep, eats a full breakfast or lunch, brings snacks, brings glasses, if needed, brings the hearing aids, if needed, brings a light sweater, and his or her favorite toy, if needed to reduce anxiety. Breaks will be provided as needed.