What is a Psychoeducational Assessment and Why might it be necessary?
A psychoeducational assessment may be considered when questions arise regarding learning, thinking and behavior. For example, parents or caregivers may have questions about attention, impulsivity, learning, emotional or behavioral concerns or perhaps diagnoses such as ADHD or Specific Learning Disability. A psychoeducational assessment includes evaluation of intelligence, memory, academic and behavioral skills. This assessment can give more information about learning style and is useful in identifying interventions designed for the individual that build on personal strengths and support areas of difficulty. Accommodations can be made in the classroom, on tests and school work when assessment results support a need for assistance. A psychoeducational assessment is a robust source of information when teachers, physicians, or parents have noted concerns about home, school or work performance.
Types of Assessment included in a Psychoeducational Assessment:
Cognitive/Intelligence Assessments: These assessments provide a picture of overall cognitive ability (i.e. IQ) as well as view of the individual's cognitive profile. Results can provide important information about how information is processed, the types of information that are processed with ease/difficulty, the amount of time it takes to process information that is received, and the individual's ability to hold and manipulate information. Taken together, this information can be very informative when used to tailor instruction and intervention to the individual's particular cognitive profile.
Academic Assessments: Academic testing provides information about general academic ability for things like Spelling, Writing, Oral Expression, Math, Reading and Comprehension. These assessments can be combined with a Cognitive assessment to provide more information about an individuals unique learning profile. Results of assessment may be used to support access to supports like accommodations for exams, assignments, and daily classroom activities.
Emotional and Behavioral Assessments: Emotional and Behavioral assessment can be used to examine an individual's current level of emotional and behavioral functioning. These assessments provide information about things like attention, hyperactivity, anxiety and socialization for example. Results of assessment may be used to inform parents and professionals about appropriate intervention strategies and inform diagnosis.
What Can I Expect From the Assessment Process?
The Registered Psychologist will spend time with the parent(s) or caregiver(s) to discuss the nature of the evaluation, obtain further information about the areas of concern and obtain informed consent. Next, the individual receiving the assessment participates with the psychologist one-on-one to complete the evaluation. Testing time varies depending on the types of tools used during the evaluation and can generally take between three and four hours to complete. Once the testing is completed, the psychologist will summarize testing results and prepare a written report that is later shared with parents/caregivers. The results appointment is an opportunity for the psychologist, individual and/or family to discuss the results of assessment, ask questions and discuss recommended interventions and follow-up.
Will my insurance provider cover the cost of the assessment?
This will depend on the form of insurance coverage you have. Many insurance providers provide coverage for psychological services. The amount that is covered is dependent on your individual insurance coverage. For coverage for psychoeducational testing and assessment services, it is best to contact your insurance provider and ask specifically if there is coverage for these types of services as these services differ from counseling and therapeutic intervention.