This assessment may be initiated due to school and/or parental concerns about a child’s scholastic functioning, learning, attention, and/or behaviour at school. Educational Psychologist assessments evaluate a child’s thinking/reasoning abilities and underlying psychological processes (e.g., memory, attention, processing, executive functioning), academic achievement (e.g., reading, writing, math, oral language), behaviour and social-emotional functioning in the context of their stage of development and in comparison to other children their age.
Parents may suggest that their child appears very bright and could be at the top of their class if they only worked harder. An Educational Psychologist assessment could be helpful in this case to make sense of this disconnect between the child’s potential and their current performance at school and home.
The goal of a “Educational Psychologist” assessment is therefore to identify areas of strength and weakness cognitively and academically so that these areas can be targeted through intervention or additional support. Using all of the information gained over the course of the assessment – from interviews, one-on-one testing results, and observations of the child –I will provide the parents and (with consent from the family) the child’s teachers, with a clear picture of their abilities and their needs in the classroom, at home and with peers. I will compile my findings into a report, and will discuss all findings, diagnoses and recommendations with the parents at the end of the assessment process. Referrals to other services may be made as appropriate, such as to occupational therapy for fine motor concerns or to speech-language pathology for communication difficulties.
The psycho-educational and emotional assessment is divided in to the following components
Intellectual/Aptitude (abstraction, verbal and non-verbal reasoning, comprehension, memory, spatial reasoning, intellectual potential): The purpose of this assessment is to determine whether there are underlying causes for the child to struggle in the classroom.
Neuropsychological (learning ability, planning ability, attention, sequential processing, organicity): The purpose of this assessment is to develop a deeper understanding of how the child’s brain works in a classroom setting so that the teacher can be aware of what strategies would be more effective.
Auditory processing: To determine whether there are deficits in this area which will then impact on literacy development
Visual Motor Integration: To determine whether there are deficits in this area which will then impact on writing, spelling, copying.
Scholastic Ability (reading, reading comprehension, written language, spelling, mathematics): To determine what level the child is performing at and identify reasons for underperformance.
Emotional Assessment (projective techniques): Provides an extensive understanding of how the child is perceiving themselves and the people in their world, how they are coping in general, issues causing distress for the child, and self-esteem, etc
The Process of an assessment is as follows
For the intake process: As parents, you will be involved in the initial intake interview and will likely be asked to fill out a number of forms detailing your child’s medical and developmental history, current behaviour and social-emotional functioning. It’s ideal to have both parents present for the intake interview, to get the most comprehensive picture of the child.
For testing sessions: Depending on your child’s age, you will need to schedule a number of hours of one-on-one testing. To maximize performance, morning testing sessions are recommended, which will likely require the child to miss some school. Moreover, we don’t want to exhaust the child over one testing session; scheduling a few testing “blocks” over a few days may be necessary. I always will attempt to make the experience as enjoyable, stress-free and dynamic as possible.
For the feedback session: As part of a psycho-educational assessment report, I will provide findings and recommendations, with the intention that these will be implemented by the child’s parents, teacher and school staff. Moreover, I am willing to speak or meet with school staff in person once the report is complete to interpret the assessment results.