A psychoeducational assessment can identify learning challenges in students of all ages, from young children to adults.
Learning disabilities, attention deficits and emotional difficulties may not always be obvious but can still have a significant impact on a person’s performance and behaviour both in and outside of the classroom. For anyone not achieving their full potential or for someone who is experiencing difficulties in the classroom, a psychoeducational assessment will identify the cause. A psychoeducational assessment identifies areas of strength and weakness in a person’s learning profile and provides a deeper understanding of their educational abilities.
An assessment can also identify Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), developmental disabilities, reading (dyslexia), writing (dysgraphia) and mathematic (dyscalculia) challenges and other mental health issues (depression or anxiety) that can interfere with learning. Identifying learning difficulties involves looking for characteristic patterns, as well as associated difficulties in such areas as, speech and language, oral skills, attention and distractibility, social and emotional factors, organisation and under-achievement.
Academic difficulties can involve the psychological processes of input (the receiving of information), memory (the storing and retrieving of information), integration (comparing, enlarging, uniting, relating, combining or any means used to render information more complete) and output (using the information normally and meaningfully). When there is trouble with information coming in or with the way the information is sifted and related, in memory and the association of ideas in the brain or with the way the brain controls the body’s response, it is necessary to conduct an assessment aimed at determining at which point this psychological or neurodevelopmental process breaks down in order to provide the information necessary to reorganise the brain so it can be used most efficiently.
A psychoeducational assessment diagnoses the root cause of a student’s academic and behavioural issues and identifies a plan for solving the problem. The idea is to provide clear recommendations on using the person’s strengths to improve their performance.
The following are identified in a psychoeducational assessment:
⦁ Cognitive or intellectual functioning
⦁ The person’s ability to think, solve problems, analyse situations and understand social values, customs and norms.
⦁ Educational abilities and needs
⦁ Areas of strength and weakness
⦁ Learning profile, different types of processing, memory, attention, visual and auditory preferences and other factors that affect school or work success
⦁ Specific learning challenges, such as learning disorders, ADHD, anxiety, etc.
⦁ Factors that are interfering with the learning process
A psychoeducational assessment also identifies the students needs for educational accommodations or access arrangements and makes the relevant recommendations for assistance.
While each assessment follows the same process, the tests used during the assessment are tailored to the unique needs of each person.