What is a Psychoeducational Assessment?
With year long waiting list, many parents wonder if a psychoeducational assessment is necessary? This was the dilemma Rob was facing in regards to his daughter Lilianna. Would the assessment help her in school? Will a diagnosis of a learning disability hinder her in her future?
Rob has a lot of questions, and information to process. It can be overwhelming for any parent to know where to start and get help for their son or daughter. The first step for Rob is to get Lilianna a psychoeducational assessment. A psychoeducational assessment consist of various testing of cognition, processing, personality, behaviour and achievement (Kampwirth, T. J., & Powers, K. M). The information from the test is used for diagnosing cognitive exceptionalities, which can included: intellectual disabilities, gifted/talents, autism spectrum disorder and even learning disabilities. (Kampwirth, T. J., & Powers, K. M).
Psychoeducational assessment is not just for diagnosis purpose, but essential in demonstrating how a person's mind works and functions. Showing their strengths and areas of needs. The information from the assessments help professionals develop plans that will supports the individuals needs. In an educational context, the information is used to create a Individual Education Plan (IEP).
An IEP is a working document given to students who have been identified as having an exceptionality. This document outlines students areas of needs, strengths, goals, an action plan how students will achieve their goals, recourse to help students achieve these objectives, and accommodations. As a student progresses to higher education IEPs eventually will include transition planning. Transition planning focuses on helping the student prepare for the next academic milestone. i.e. Middle school to high school, or high school to post-secondary education.
Rob was on the fence about the psychoeducational assessment but after watching a Different Sides of Learning, he realize that the assessment will be in Lilianna's best interest. This is the first and most important step that will help him guide Lilianna to success. Rob was able to find an available psychologist who would do the assessment in a few weeks.
The nature of this assessment is in depth, and the psychologist recommend that the conduct the assessment over a two day period back to back. Rob and Lilianna are in for an interesting adventure. How will the assessment go? What will the psychologist ask Lilianna? Will the assessment confirm that Lilianna has a learning disability? Every step of the journey will bring more questions and concerns for Rob and Lilianna, but Lilianna is not worried. She knows with her dad by her side everything will be alright. Despite the unknown path ahead Rob knows the best decision for his daughter is to take a step forward. Father and daughter walking together on to the next adventure.
Kampwirth, T. J., & Powers, K. M. (2012). Collaborative consultation in the schools: Effective practices for students with learning and behavior problems. Boston: Pearson.