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What is a Psychoeducational Evaluation and what information can it provide about your child?

Psychoeducational Evaluation examines psychological and cognitive processing related to your child’s educational performance. As part of the process, strengths and weaknesses of the child are identified in order to provide recommendations as to the best way your child learns and what strategies can be used to overcome areas of weakness. Children may learn best when given auditory or visual information; whereas, others may need hands-on learning, or a combination of modalities. There are many other types of accommodations or modifications to the learning environment that certain children require in order to succeed. Some children achieve optimal performance in small settings for test taking, while some may need a smaller classroom environment throughout the school day in order to succeed.

A Psychoeducational Evaluation is often requested for a suspected Learning Disability or for a suspected attention problem. Other reasons for a requested evaluation may be social, emotional, adaptive, or behavioral issues that are affecting academics. A Psychoeducational Evaluation completed by a licensed Psychologist is recommended because of the comprehensive nature of testing, which goes above and beyond what is traditionally completed in schools, and will give a clearer picture of a child’s overall functioning. A Psychoeducational Evaluation will determine functioning by direct assessment between the Psychologist and child, and through observations and ratings of the child by individuals closely involved.

The answers a Psychoeducational Evaluation provide can be plentiful but testing is usually focused on answering the referral question. These referral questions are typically based on observations that a child is having difficulty in a certain area that warrants more indepth analysis.

Example Referral Questions :
• Does my child have a learning disabilityn what academic area(s), and how is it affecting their academic achievement?
• Does my child have an underlying psychological or neurodevelopmental disorder that is interfering with functioning?What is my child’s IQ?
• What are my child’s strengths and weaknesses?
• How does my child learn best?
• How is my child’s short-term, long-term, verbal, and/or visual memory?
• How is my child’s sustained attention?
• Why does my child have trouble paying attention in class?
• Does my child have an attention deficit disorder (ADHD)?
• Does my child have executive functioning deficits?
• Why is my child so disorganized?
• Are there social or emotional issues interfering with my child’s success?
• Why is my child struggling to make and maintain friendships?
• Is my child a little shy and nervous or should I be concerned about my child worrying?
• My child doesn’t look at people when he talks and doesn’t have any friends. Could this be Autism?
• What can I do to help my child experience more success when learning?
• What can my child do, and what can we do as a family to address any and/or all of these issues?

This list can go on and on, but will always depend on the referral question. The recommendations section of a Psychoeducational Report will help with many of the answers a parent is seeking.

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