What is a Psycho-Educational Assessment?
Psychoeducational assessment refers to the evaluation of underlying mental processes impacting educational, workplace achievement and life management abilities. To understand why a person achieves at a certain level, it is critical to measure various aspects of cognition using the tools of psychological measurement. The cognitive processes indexed by these tests include attention, concentration, processing speed, working memory, reasoning, novel problem-solving, language and spatial abilities, memory, and executive functions, like planning and organizing. Other more applied performance domains may be tested also, including academic skills like reading, writing, and mathematics. Other psychological traits like depression and anxiety can impact a one’s performance on these sets of skills, as well as neurodevelopmental issues, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Dysgraphia, Dyslexia and specific learning disabilities (e.g. writing, reading, math), and ADHD. The assessment may also screen for these as need arises.
Part of psychoeducational assessment includes obtaining personal history from the client. This will include an intake interview, and we may ask you to complete self-report questionnaires. Family members, teachers or other people close to you may be asked to complete questionnaires as well.
It is important that you understand your results and can ask questions about your performance. After you complete the formal assessment, a feedback session with the psychologist provides you with information about your results, diagnoses and specific recommendations to improve functioning and overall well-being.
Why do a Psychoeducational Assessment?
Many students and non-students alike wonder why they struggle in a certain subject or task, or want to know how to improve their performance, especially as they enter higher education, as well as for those who are employed or seeking to be employed. Psychoeducational assessment can provide you with specific recommendations to improve your academic and workplace achievement, as well as stay more organized in your personal life.
Additionally, most universities and colleges require psychoeducational assessment to approve accommodations when enrolling for the first time. Even if the student has been tested in the past, it may be considered outdated. Many higher education disability offices require assessments completed within the previous four years from enrollment. [Please note that the awarding of the amount and type of accommodations are at the sole discretion of the university or colleges disability office and is not guaranteed.
Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Assesment
When your child’s effort and potential contrasts to their academic performance, it can be unclear why they are struggling. The fact is they may have a legitimate learning disability.
Assessments allow us to understand the way your child interprets, processes, and communicates information. By identifying the way they learn, we can support them in improving their weaknesses and boosting their strengths.
Schedule permitting, I will routinely meet with your child’s school to develop an IEP recommendation, or speak with their teachers to discuss ways to provide ideal care and support.
If you need accommodations for standardized test taking: SSAT, PRE-SAT, GRE, GMAT, MCAT, LSAT, and any other standardised tests, I am happy to provide the appropriate recommendation.
By identifying your learning style, we establish tailored testing strategies that help you stay on track. Regardless of the test or topic, I can help you boost your standardized test scores by 40-60%.
We meet 1-3 times a week to strengthen your study habits and reinforce techniques for learning and test taking. The tools we develop in our sessions help you effectively retain information and study independently.
Helping you understand your behaviour allows us to develop the best strategies to address your struggles and help you find stability. If you need ongoing communication with your care team, I am happy to help formulate a plan of support.
My therapy integrated approach to diagnosis means we work together to develop a long-term plan to help you manage what is present. The “road map” of recommendations we build can help future therapists, programs, and academic institutions support you along your journey.
Are you concerned with your child’s behavior(s)? A Functional Assessment might be how you can help?
A functional assessment is an approach to figuring out why your child acts a certain way. It uses a variety of techniques to understand what’s behind certain behaviors. This includes looking at non-academic factors that might be contributing to your child’s frustration with learning.
Knowing what’s behind behavior can help you and the school find ways to change the behavior. The basic idea behind this approach is that your child’s behavior serves a purpose. Whether they are aware of it or not, your child acts a certain way to get to a desired outcome or goal.
For example, your child keeps cutting class and failing to complete his math homework legibly. Upon further investigation, and some academic screening, it becomes clear that your child has a mathematical disability. The reason he cuts classes is to avoid the days the teacher has the class yell out the answers when called on - they were avoiding an embarrassing situation. The reason the homework is illegible is to hide the fact he does not know how to properly demonstrate math concepts he cannot understand. Behind the behavioral concerns is the real problem - a learning disability.
The behavior isn’t ideal, but there is a reason he is doing it. Your child managed to avoid situations and work he was not proficient in. He may have had an idea of why he was acting the way he was, but he was unable to see the reason he was struggling was not because he was ‘stupid’ or ‘dumb,’ as he told himself. The fact is he had a legitamite learning disability, which, when identified, could be properly addressed and treated. The behavior was to shield himself from shame, shame he should never have had to experience.
A key part of a functional assessment is figuring out what triggers certain behaviors in your child at home, in school and with friends. Sometimes parents and teachers assume they know what’s causing a child’s behavior because they’ve seen other children do similar things. It is important to remember the reasons why your child behaves a certain way is specific to their unique challenges and circumstances. There is no single plan we can apply to every behavior, at Unfold Psychology, we design academic and behavioral plans to address your child’s needs - in school and beyond!
Oakland – Montclair
1955 Mountain Blvd, Suite 101
Oakland, CA 94611
SFO – Pacific Heights
3022 Fillmore Street, Suite C
San Francisco, CA 94123