What is involved in a psycho-educational assessment?
A comprehensive psycho-educational assessment involves a number of different steps.
1. Initial intake meeting
During the initial intake meeting, parents meet with the psychologist to provide a background and history about the child, and discuss areas of concern that have led to the decision to complete an assessment. Parents are asked to bring along report cards, IPPs or ILPs if available, work samples, relevant medical documentation, and any previous assessments or reports. This meeting is also an opportunity to talk about the assessment process and ask any questions that may be had at this time.
Assessment typically occurs over two or three days, depending on the nature of the inquiry, with each testing session approximately 2 hours in length. Assessments are conducted using the latest test versions and technology, with many of the tasks completed on iPads which can make the experience more engaging and enjoyable for the individual. During these assessment sessions, your child will also be asked questions about their learning, what they feel their strengths and weaknesses are, what strategies they have found to be helpful, not so helpful, and so on. You can help your child prepare for the assessment sessions by ensuring they are well rested, not suffering from a cold or illness that might impact their performance, take all prescribed medications they would typically take during the day, and encouraging them to bring along a snack and water bottle.
3. Parent and teacher questionnaires
Parents will be asked to complete a background questionnaire about their child prior to the initial intake meeting. You also may be asked to complete additional questionnaires and rating scales during the assessment process, depending on the purpose of the assessment. Where possible, a teacher or school staff member who is familiar with your child may also be asked to complete questionnaires and/or rating scales to help provide additional information about your child in multiple environments.
4. Data Analysis and Report
Once the assessment sessions with your child are completed, and all rating scales and questionnaires have been returned, the psychologist will review all of the provided documentation, as well as results and scores from the assessments. At this time, all of the sources of information come together to form an in-depth picture of your child’s cognitive and learning profile, as well as language, attention, behaviour, social, emotional and adaptive functioning as applicable. This information will be put together in a report, which you will receive during the final feedback meeting.
5. Feedback meeting
The results of the assessment will be presented in a feedback meeting and report. This information, along with any diagnosis that may come from the assessment, may help parents/guardians, school staff, community agencies and other health professionals to help develop strategies, supports, and accommodations or adaptations that can be used to improve your child’s learning and their ability to meet their own personal level of success at home, school and in their community. Results from the assessment may also help to make appropriate programming or placement decisions, and may provide access to additional funding, benefits and supports. These decisions are made at the discretion of the school and/or agency.
During this meeting, parents have an opportunity to ask questions and make suggestions regarding the final report. An original copy of the final written report is shared with the parent(s) or legal guardians only, and parents/guardians may choose to make copies to provide to your child’s school or other health care professionals.
School Meeting and Consultation
Parents can request for the psychologist to arrange and meet with school staff. This would be outside of the scope of the standard assessment and subject to an additional fee