Does My Child Need A Psycho-Educational Assessment?

Many children struggle with certain aspects of educational development from time to time or with certain school assignments and projects. It is also not unusual for children to have difficult days or weeks with behaviour or social skills as they progress through the various stages of development or life transitions. If however, your child continues to struggle consistently over time in certain areas despite learning support involvement, academic interventions or additional help, it may be worthwhile to consider a psycho-educational assessment otherwise known as a psych-ed assessment. 

  • Is your child struggling to master and apply skills such as reading, writing, and math?  
  • Are they falling behind their peers when it comes to grade level expectations?  
  • Do they find it hard to settle down, focus, and pay attention when you try to engage them in a learning activity?  

As every child is unique, there is no one answer that fits every situation when considering this type of major assessment. Each child must be considered individually. Below is some general information that may help you determine if a psych-ed assessment is something you should explore for your child. 

Psycho-educational testing provides a comprehensive assessment of a child’s educational needs and is administered by a registered psychologist. The Psych Ed is a standardized assessment that measures cognitive ability (IQ), academic performance, memory, and general behaviour. Assessment of visual-motor functioning, attention and concentration or another specific area of performance may also be included. The purpose is to provide an age-referenced profile of the child’s cognitive, learning and behavioural strengths, and needs and give supportive follow-up recommendations.  

The assessment includes a number of standardized evaluations that are administered to the child by the psychologist. Parents and teachers are also interviewed or asked to complete checklists and questionnaires. The psychologist carefully studies the results looking for patterns that reveal a child’s unique abilities and learning challenges.  

The information gathered is used to provide recommendations that will support the child’s learning and is applied in a variety of ways. The assessment information is compiled and outlined in a thorough report that may: 

  • identify cognitive weaknesses  
  • identify areas of giftedness and strengths 
  • diagnose learning disorders or developmental problems, attention deficit disorders and other psychological conditions 
  • identify learning supports and accommodations the child may need to  move forward academically 
  • guide future educational and career choices 
  • help with choosing enrichment or extracurricular activities 

 The information documented in the report may allow the school to make accommodations or modifications to your child’s learning program. Accommodations for tests/exams and assignments or access to individual or small group tutoring, software or online programs may also be suggested. The specific remedial interventions or accelerated/enriched program recommendations will be based on your child’s learning profile as determined through the psych-ed assessment. 

 If you feel that a psych-ed assessment would be supportive for your child please explore this with your Home Learning Support or Home Room Teacher. The teacher may suggest the involvement of one of our Learning Support Coordinators to look closely at your child’s learning history and current performance. Learning Support Services is often able to assist with school assessments to determine if a psych-ed assessment is necessary. Your child’s unique needs and diverse abilities will be taken into consideration along with your ability to access this type of assessment financially. Our team will help you weigh out the pros and cons of going this route with your child or teen and can provide names of psychologists in your geographical area if you choose to move ahead. 

Have a wonderful Christmas!