A psychoeducational assessment is comprehensive in that it goes beyond obvious symptoms and focuses on the factors that affect your child’s functioning. For example, attention and memory are underlying factors that may contribute to learning problems with reading, writing, and math. An assessment identifies your child’s strengths and needs related to intellectual, academic, school functioning and/or behavioural needs. A psychoeducational assessment is a critical piece in identifying children with learning and behavioural difficulties, as well as children who are academically talented (gifted).
As loving and concerned parents, we want the best for our children. We want them to be successful in school, in social and in professional life. When the child struggles at school, it is a very stressful and challenging experience for many parents. They may feel disappointed, frustrated and at times defensive toward the teacher who identified the problems. However, without appropriate support, the child who struggles academically or with behavior, may continue to fall further behind, and as a result, perceive coming to school as an unpleasant and stressful experience.
Child’s school difficulties may be related to a number of different factors. Recognizing them promptly and accurately is essential to help the child succeed at school. Family stresses, lack of interest and motivation or unrealistic goals may negatively affect child’s school performance. Bright children, who have been intellectually stimulated before entering school, may become frustrated and underachieve in the traditional educational system. There are also psychological factors, such as Learning Disability or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder that are relatively common reasons for child’s academic and behavioral struggles at school.
A psychological assessment that addresses school and learning issues is usually essential to understanding the reason of child’s difficulties and to assist in developing best strategies to ensure that the child learns and develops to his or her full potential. Psychological assessments are individualized and may be completed only with the written consent of the student’s parent/guardian or by the student 18 years of age or older. Based on the results from the assessment, the child may be identified as an exceptional learner and be eligible for special services and academic support within the public school system. However, not all assessments lead to a diagnosis. Many colleges and universities accept individuals deemed as exceptional and provide them with necessary accommodations, based on recommendations from the psychological assessment. In other words, the whole purpose of this type of assessment is to provide parents, teacher and the student, with programing suggestions that are specifically tailored to the student’s unique learning style. Therefore, early identification of child’s areas of strengths and weaknesses can lead to educational success by providing the child with appropriate strategies and as a result, keep the child motivated to learn.
There are two methods of accessing a psychological assessment that addresses school and learning issues. This evaluation may be obtained through the child’s school system or it can be done by some psychologists in private practice. Psychologists in the school system are highly trained professionals who have good knowledge and understanding of resources that can be offered to the student and his/her parents within the public school system. There is no financial cost for an assessment; however, the waiting time may be excessive. Private assessment may be done much sooner. There is usually a cost to it which can be partially or in full covered by some work benefits.
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