In my work with children and families, academic challenges are often a topic of discussion or concern. From time to time, I recommend a family get a psychoeducational assessment from a trained psychologist. I asked my colleague and friend Virginia Lindahl, PhD, a licensed psychologist, to explain for my blog readers exactly what a psychoeducational assessment is. Thank you, Virginia, for the information!


What is a psychoeducational assessment?

If your child is struggling academically, you may seek a psychoeducational evaluation. The results can be used to identify an underlying learning disability and/or attention problem, and clarify cognitive strengths and weaknesses. This will allow you and your child’s teachers to identify interventions to help and to determine if your child qualifies for special services at school.

There are two parts to a psychoeducational assessment:

Psychological measures which assess cognitive strengths and weaknesses and look at overall abilities. Areas evaluated include verbal and nonverbal skills, perceptual reasoning, memory, visual learning, processing speed, planning, attention/concentration, and language skills.

Educational measures which evaluate academic achievement and how ability (measured by psychological measures) is translated into educational performance. Areas assessed include reading, writing, math, spelling, academic fluency (speed of reading, writing, math calculation/facts), and oral comprehension/expression.

Putting these together, the evaluator will get a profile of your child’s strengths and weaknesses and how well she is realizing her potential. She can also make recommendations as to what interventions will help your child build on her strengths and compensate for her weaknesses.