WHAT IS A PSYCHO-EDUCATIONAL ASSESSMENT?
A psycho-educational assessment is performed by a psychologist and provides information regarding a child’s intellectual capacity, or cognitive functioning, and their academic achievement. A child’s current academic performance is compared to their overall cognitive ability and any discrepancy may suggest a specific learning difficulty. This can provide direction for families, schools and particularly for the class and specialist teachers and health service providers.
DOES MY CHILD NEED AN ASSESSMENT?
Learning difficulties can severely hinder learning and enjoyment of school and the education experience.
The follows signs could be indicators of specific learning difficulties (such as Dyslexia, Dyscalculia or Dysgraphia) which may impact your child’s behaviour and self-esteem. Other concerns can also be assessed such as poor working memory or processing speed. Once the difficulties are assessed and identified, the journey of intervention and support will start for your child.
- Speaks later than most children
- Pronunciation problems
- Slow vocabulary growth, often unable to find the right word
- Difficulty rhyming words
- Trouble learning numbers, alphabet, days of the week, colours, shapes
- Extremely restless and easily distracted
- Difficulty interacting with peers
- Difficulty following directions or routines
- Fine motor skills slow to develop
- Slow to learn the connection between letters and sounds
- Makes consistent reading and writing errors, eg mixing up letters or jumbling sentences
- Spells incorrectly, eg frequently spells the same word differently in a single piece of writing
- Avoids reading and writing tasks
- Difficulty with numbers, time, symbols or maths
- Weak memory skills
- Works slowly
- Impulsive, difficulty planning
- Difficulty with handwriting
- Difficulty copying from the blackboard or often become frustrated in the classroom environment
Giftedness and Intellectual Disability can also be assessed.
A measure of a child’s cognitive functioning, aged 4-7 years, is achieved using the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence – Fourth Edition (WPPSI). A measure of a child’s cognitive functioning, aged 6 – 16 years, is achieved using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children – Fourth Edition (WISC-IV). Formal assessment using these tools takes between 45 – 90 minutes depending on the age and ability level of the child. A child’s academic achievement can be measured using the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test – Second Edition (WIAT-II), which takes between 30 – 60 minutes to administer depending on the age and ability level of the child.
A psycho-educational assessment session with the child will take up to approximately 2 hours to complete. Verbal feedback is provided to the parent/caregiver following the assessment in a separate feedback session, which will take up to 60 minutes, as well as a full, comprehensive report which will be emailed after the feedback session.
The Adelaide Paediatrics psychologists providing psycho-educational assessments are: