What is a psychoeducational evaluation?

What is a psychoeducational evaluation?

A Psychoeducational Evaluation is typically performed by school psychologists or clinical psychologists who collaborate with schools. The purpose of the evaluation is to understand in general terms what the child’s learning style is, including strengths and weaknesses, and then provide recommendations for the development of specialized instruction and classroom accommodations to provide an appropriate educational environment. Sometimes this also leads to an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 plan.

These types of evaluations are a bit more limited in scope than other types of psychological evaluations. They usually don’t include diagnostic tests for memory and language. These psychoeducational evaluations focus more on identifying the child’s difficulties within the classroom.

You may be wondering what your child’s learning disability is or why they have one. A psychoeducational evaluation can help you understand the difference between your child’s cognitive ability and their academic achievement. The goal is to spot the difference and identify what is happening so that a plan can be recommended to bridge the gap.

Psychoeducational evaluations almost always start with an interview with the parents and a review of the student’s records. After that, tests of the child’s cognitive skills and academic achievement will be administered to determine their abilities, strengths and weaknesses in math, listening, reading, writing, and other common scholastic activities. Additional tests may also be performed to get more information on the abilities and difficulties of the student.

Some schools provide this type of evaluation, but private psychoeducational evaluations are more likely to be more comprehensive and include additional information. A private evaluation also offers more privacy, because parents can choose not to share the results with the school.

Common Issues Examined Include the following:

  • Early speech and language delays
  • Poor performance in one specific area or subject
  • Poor reading comprehension
  • Difficulty remembering basic math facts
  • Difficulty putting their thoughts into writing
  • Poor spelling
  • Difficulty remembering what he or she has studied
  • Poor performance on tests despite the fact that they have studied
  • Difficulty finishing work or tests in the allotted time
  • Difficulty identifying what information is important when they read or study material
  • Difficulty with long-term projects or follow-through
  • Poor organization
  • Poor attention in class/excessive daydreaming

While some parents may have reservations about having their child tested, there are tremendous benefits to having the evaluation completed. The arc of the child’s learning years can be dramatically improved by the results and recommendations of a psychoeducational evaluation. Without the adjustments and plan, children with these types of difficulties may develop self-esteem issues, poor coping behaviors, and other unhealthy responses.

Now that you know what a psychoeducational evaluation is, here are some questions that you may wish to ask to find the right specialist to help you.

  1. How long will the testing take?
  2. How long will it take to get the psychoeducational evaluation results from the testing?
  3. What kinds of testing are available, and what will most likely be included?
  4. Do you have an example psychoeducational evaluation report?

The Thrive Collective psychologists are licensed school and clinical psychologists, which gives you a unique advantage. Our team works together to provide a collaborative approach to the evaluations and testing.