Psycho-Educational Evaluation

A psycho-educational evaluation is usually conducted when a child or adult has been having difficulties in school or when there is indication that the child may be gifted. 

Difficulties in school can occur for a number of different reasons, including problems with attention, learning disabilities, and other specific cognitive limitations.  Additionally, some children have difficulties in school as a result of emotional difficulties or social/emotional development.

Children who are gifted may have specific strengths or may be above average in many areas.  Gifted children often require greater challenges both in the classroom and at home, which can sometimes result in a gifted child underachieving when the giftedness goes unrecognized.  There are also children who have limitations or learning disabilities in some areas despite being gifted in other areas.  These children can learn to compensate for their weaknesses and sometimes go unnoticed because they are not necessarily “failing.”  A psycho-educational evaluation can help to determine if your child is performing below expectations.

A learning disability is diagnosed when a child's performance in a specific area (e.g., reading, mathematics) is below the child's expected performance based on intelligence.  However, it should be noted that children can under-perform for many different reasons and psycho-educational testing is part of a more comprehensive evaluation that will help to determine the extent to which your child's academic difficulties result from a specific learning disability.  Children with emotional difficulties such as depression or anxiety, medical problems, and other difficulties that do not reflect on the child's intelligence, such as a hearing impairment or a different cultural background, can also have an adverse impact on how well they perform in school.  

Additional funding for your child’s learning often depends on whether the child has undergone a formal psycho-educational evaluation.  It is important that parents and teachers have an objective understanding of the child's cognitive strengths and weaknesses in order to be able to adequately challenge the child in areas of strength and accommodate or facilitate the child's learning in areas of weakness.

A psycho-educational evaluation includes a review of your child's academic record, in addition to other relevant medical and psychological records as well as any documentation regarding behavioral problems.  Parents are interviewed about their child's academic performance and any behavioral problems in school and at home.  Additionally, information is gathered either directly or indirectly from the child's teachers.  The extent of psycho-educational testing depends on the child’s needs.  Parents are provided with a written report that includes recommendations to help the child reach his or her potential.  A meeting to discuss and clarify the findings and recommendations is also part of the evaluation process.

Psychological and Neuropsychological Assessment Services