DIAGNOSTIC ASSESSMENT SERVICES
Psychoeducational testing is a comprehensive process that usually involves several components:
Parents/clients are asked to complete an online intake form prior to testing. The form includes questions pertaining to family history, early development, academic attainment, social and emotional functioning, attention and behaviour. The psychologist will discuss these details further with the client/guardian at the onset of testing.
Review of School Records
If the client/guardian consents, a review of school records, including report cards, academic work samples, and previous assessment reports, is conducted. In addition, parent and teacher rating scales may be used to obtain a formal measure of the student’s functioning in the home and school settings.
Testing is typically completed over two appointments and includes many activities, some of which are like games (e.g., puzzles), some question and answer, and some are more like school (e.g., math, spelling, and reading). Ipads are used for many of the assessment activities, which is appealing to most children. The process is flexible and adapts to the needs of the client. Breaks are offered throughout testing as needed. Clients are welcome to bring a snack and drinks to their appointments.
A feedback session is held with adult clients (or the legal guardian in the case of children) to review psychoeducational testing results. Children do not attend this appointment, but are welcome to play in the private waiting area if childcare is an issue.
A written report is provided that summarizes the psychoeducational testing information and recommendations. The recommendations are based on a student’s unique profile of strengths, challenges, and learning style. They can target academic programming (e.g., reading remediation), behavioural programming (e.g., strategies to improve attention/focus), and/or social-emotional functioning (e.g., anxiety management strategies, strategies to foster self-esteem in the school setting). Other types of recommendations may include school accommodations, such as extended time, shortening or modifying the format of assignments, breaking large tasks into smaller ones, and using assistive technology (e.g., computer, noise cancellation headphones). In addition to educational recommendations, recommendations for further testing or other services may be appropriate (e.g., medical testing, psychological counselling, or therapy).
As a parent, psychoeducational testing may seem like an intimidating process. While it is certainly intensive, the information obtained about a student’s learning-related strengths and weaknesses is invaluable in helping them reach their full academic potential.