Psychoeducational assessments

A Psychoeducational Assessment is considered the best means of gaining an in-depth understanding of a student’s learning style and at the same time, their potential to learn in future. It is a thorough assessment of a child’s intellectual, academic and social-emotional development. It is recommended for children six years-old and up. It may indicate if the child would benefit from an Individual Education Plan (IEP) and it provides important recommendations for both teachers and parents. Sometimes a psychoeducational assessment may conclude in a diagnosis of a learning or developmental disability, an emotional disorder or attentional difficulties.

 The assessment process involves a number of sessions with either the parents or the child.

Initial Session: The examiner meets with parent or guardian(s) and/or student to receive consent for assessment, gather background information, and discuss fees (approximately 1 to 1.5 hours). 

Assessment Sessions: The examiner meets with the child/adolescent and administers tests (approximately 2 hours per session). The number of testing sessions will be estimated during the initial interview.

Scoring and Report Writing: The examiner reviews results and formulates conclusions. A comprehensive report with recommendations is completed (hours vary).

Feedback Meeting: The examiner meets with parent or guardian(s) and/or student, shares results and provides a copy of the report (approximately 1 hour).

 

Developmental assessments

Many families seek out psychological services early on in a child’s life (18 months – 4 years), due to concerns about the child’s development. They may be following up on recommendations of their family doctor or pediatrician. Concerns may have been brought to a parent’s attention by a daycare provider, a preschool teacher, a professional already working with the child or a family member. Sometimes, parents will be the first to express concern, knowing that their child is not meeting milestones in language, play, motor or self-help skills at the pace that is expected. Also, a child may be displaying challenging behaviors at home.

A developmental assessment  provides valuable information across different domains of functioning: communication skills, problem-solving, play skills, social skills, motor skills, and daily living skills. A child’s social-emotional functioning and family life are also considered in order to make sense of a child’s difficulties. From this assessment, recommendations for intervention, for programming, and for parenting strategies are provided, to emphasize a child’s areas of strength, while at the same time supporting or targeting their areas of difficulty. Sometimes – if there are very clear signs of impairment – a developmental assessment may lead to a diagnosis of a developmental disorder, an intellectual disorder or a communication disorder.

In many cases, a developmental assessment involves a very particular type of assessment that seeks to clarify whether or not a child’s current constellation of difficulties in the areas of social communication, play, and behavior are indicative of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The use of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, 2nd Edition (ADOS-2) – a play-based assessment tool that allows the clinician to assess the presence (or absence) a child’s use of language, his/her social skills, play, sensory interests and restrictive behaviors – is particularly relevant in this case, as is a thorough diagnostic interview with parents. In addition, daycare observations, parent and teacher ratings, consultation with other professionals provide very important information regarding the child’s skills in different settings. At the end of the assessment process, the clinician’s impressions are shared with parents, and a diagnosis of ASD may be provided. Recommendations for next steps, intervention priorities and community resources are discussed and provided as well.

Meet your practitioner

Monica Lazarescu, Psychological Associate

Monica’s great passion is helping her clients explore ways to make the changes in their lives that will allow them to look forward to the future with hope. Monica provides her clients with that warm, nonjudgmental environment and safe place to explore the issues that may be preventing them from living the life they want….. learn more