Psycho-educational assessments are extremely important because they can help parents understand their child's behavioral profile and learning methods. These assessments identify the way that your child best learns and help you understand why they behave the way they do. For example, if your child struggles to perform as expected in literacy, mathematics, or writing, a psycho-educational assessment would help to identify the areas of need and help your child understand their strengths and weaknesses. This post tells you all about the importance of Calgary psycho-educational assessment and answers some common questions about these all too important tools.
Who can perform a psycho-educational assessment?
Psycho-educational assessments Take into account your child's thinking and reasoning abilities, motor skills, phonological processing, developmental history, and overall cognitive functioning. They also look at their academic skills, executive functioning, and socio-emotional profile. Most psycho-educational assessments are performed by psychologists in Calgary. When choosing a psychologist, it is important to note that different psychologists offer different services and come with different backgrounds and experiences. For this reason, it is important to ask what is included in a specific psycho-educational assessment that you are getting for your child.
What is involved in the psycho-educational process?
Psycho-educational assessment typically involves a comprehensive interview with the teacher, the parents, the child, observations of the child, and multiple standardized assessments. Typically assessments to identify learning disabilities are performed around grades two or three. However, assessments can be done to investigate behavior and learning needs in younger children as well.
How do I know if my child needs a psycho-educational assessment?
In most cases, your child's school will suggest they get a psycho-educational assessment if their teacher finds that they are falling significantly behind their peers in a certain subject area or generally. In some cases, the principal will bring it up with you, while the teacher will bring it up with you directly in other cases. You might also notice signs at home that your child is struggling with math, writing, or literacy and want to take action. Most of the time, learning difficulties are noticed around grade 1 or 2, but they can also be noticed slightly earlier or later.
How do I get a psycho-educational assessment for my child?
In some cases, when your child's school recommends that you get a psycho-educational assessment done, they will be able to provide a free assessment performed by the school's psychologist or psychiatrist. Sometimes the wait times for a psycho-educational assessment through the school board can be extremely long, up to several months. If this is the case, you may also opt to get a private psycho-educational assessment done, but you should be aware that you will be paying for this out of your pocket. Some private insurance companies offer partial or complete coverage for psycho-educational assessment, so it is a good idea to check with your provider to see if they are willing to cover the cost of this assessment for your child.
What happens if the results of the assessment show that my child has a learning disability?
If the results of your child's psycho-educational assessment show that they have a learning disability, it may cause you to feel a little nervous. However, the first step to ensuring that your child can thrive and succeed in an academic and professional environment is to have an accurate diagnosis so the proper adjustments can be made to allow them to thrive. Both you and the school will receive the report from the psychologist explaining the findings of the psycho-educational assessment. This report will include recommendations that will help your child's teacher and school board create an individualized education program to accommodate your child's specific needs.
In certain situations, an underlying issue, such as depression, anxiety, or stress, can be mistakenly diagnosed as a learning disability. However, it is important to remember that psychologists are trained to look at your child from multiple viewpoints, including their medical history, social behavior, and family dynamics, to help you get to the root of the problem. No matter what they find, rest assured that your psychologist will help you and your child develop a clear plan to move forward with success and joy.
I'm worried about my child being labeled; how will this affect them?
Many parents are worried about getting a psycho-educational assessment for their child because they don't want their child to be "labeled." While labels can sometimes seem like a bad thing, it can often be very empowering for a child to understand and know their diagnosis. Children often blame themselves for their failures and have a negative outlook on their ability to learn when they don't understand why they cannot keep up with their peers. While some parents are concerned that their child will use their diagnosis as an excuse for not doing well in school, it often does not cause this problem and allows the child to work harder and understand better how to thrive in an academic environment.
Will my child need multiple psycho-educational assessments?
It is a good idea to get your child an updated psycho-educational assessment with a psychologist near you once every two to three years. Since children are consistently developing, growing, and changing, an updated psycho-educational assessment helps the school, parents, and teachers understand their learning profile and update their target areas of growth. This will help create new individualized program plans based on your child's progress and their wishes to obtain various academic and socio-emotional goals in the classroom.
If it is found that the current assessment report continues to represent your child's needs, this timeline of two to three years can often be stretched. However, it is always recommended that you bring your child in for a new psycho-educational assessment whenever they go through major areas of transition in school. For example, if your child is now moving from junior high to high school, you should book them in for a new psycho-educational assessment.
How do I support my child in the meantime?
If you are waiting for your child to undergo a psycho-educational assessment with psychologists in Calgary, the best thing you can do for them is to be patient and ask them which areas they would like to improve. Having open and honest discussions with your child about their strengths, feelings, and differences with others can ease their fears and also build resiliency and self-advocacy skills within your child.
Published by Miller