“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”
Psycho-educational assessment can be valuable in understanding and addressing the learning needs of children and adolescents. When conducted, interpreted, and reported in a manner that accurately describes their needs, such assessments can positively affect their success in school.
Information is most often gathered through interviews, a review of academic records, behavioural observations, and administration of standardized assessment tools. Standardized measures most often include cognitive and achievement tests to determine your child’s strengths and weaknesses relative to same-age or grade peers. Parent and teacher rating scales may also be used to assess frequency of behaviours, in order to gain a better understanding of your child’s social-emotional and behavioural functioning, and how these factors affect school functioning.
Each assessment report will vary depending on the referral issues and assessment measures used. However, your child or adolescent’s assessment report would typically include:
- The purpose of the assessment
- A summary of relevant background information
- A list of measures used in the assessment
- A summary of your child’s performance, strengths and weaknesses as it relates to referral questions
- Recommendations such as behavioural strategies, classroom accommodations and modifications, and relevant community resources
Assessment reports summarize and interpret all information collected to make informed decisions about your child’s underlying areas of difficulty. It may also involve making a formal diagnosis as per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) and Alberta Learning codes. Diagnoses for school-aged children often include Specific Learning Disorders (e.g., reading, writing, mathematics), Intellectual Disabilities, ADHD, Disruptive Behavioral Disorders, Depressive and Anxiety Disorders, and Trauma and Stress-related Disorders.
A list of recommendations are then provided to support your child across home and school environments. Time is spent to ensure that recommendations are helpful and relevant to families and schools in order to best facilitate each child’s growth and success moving forward.