Many parents worry that getting a psychoeducational assessment means there is something wrong with their child. This is a myth – plain and simple.
Unfortunately, due to such misbeliefs, along with other factors such as a lack of information, avoidance, etc., it is often the case that parents don’t send their child for a psychoeducational assessment until further into the schooling years, where larger problems begin to take fold, such as harder to manage behavioural issues and/or plummeting grades.
Early Signs of a Problem
Children who have a history of delays in their early development are more likely to struggle with learning when they are school-aged. Generally speaking, children develop skills in five main areas of development: fine motor, gross motor, speech & language, cognition, and emotional/social. The following can serve as a benchmark to help you determine which areas your child may be struggling in that would be in need of attention.
- Does your young child struggle with drawing and writing when other children of the same age don’t seem to have the same difficulty? Does your child often get fatigued because the physical process of writing is so demanding?
- Is your child slow to learn new skills, such as the alphabet, numbers, colours, shapes, days of the week?
- Are you concerned that your young child may not be learning, communicating or relating socially as well as other children of the same age?
- Does it seem like your child knows what words to use but can’t get the right “mouth muscles” to cooperate when speaking? Does your child tend to show signs of trouble learning the connection between letters and sounds? In the area of reading, does your child consistently confuse basic words and make frequent reading errors?
- Does your child tend to bump into things or people or have a weak hand grip when grabbing objects?
Take note if your child is not grasping new skills as readily as one would expect. It is important to note whether he/she is only able to grasp new skills and concepts with tremendous effort or a substantial amount of parental support.
The Importance of Timing
One cannot downplay the importance of timing, especially when referring to having an early psychoeducational assessment completed. The EARLIER a child receives a psychoeducational assessment, the earlier insights can be gleaned about your child’s learning style to help ensure that they develop to their full potential.
After all, having a very young child who is experiencing difficulty at school is distressing for parents as well as for the child. To take the perspective of your child, that feeling of being behind is stressful because you see the difference between yourself and others- highlighting the gaps.
While waiting for an Educational Assessment your child may continue to struggle academically and possibly continue to fall further and further behind. Your child may become intimidated by the demands of school and end up like a deer in the headlights in the learning environment. As time progresses, without an Educational Assessment, your child may lose confidence in their capabilities as a student. Naturally, a person’s self-esteem may be compromised if they begin to have doubts about their ability to succeed. There is no question that doing something well helps a child feel better about themselves, their accomplishments, and their potential to succeed in the future. The long-term impact of such instances is that these students often become disinterested in school or learning altogether.
The “Worm” (i.e. the BENEFITS of a Psychoeducational Assessment)
First of all, the results of an assessment often surprise parents because hidden strengths and talents can be uncovered that are often, unfortunately, missed or neglected at school.
The results of an assessment can change a child’s educational future in significant ways, allowing the child to meet or exceed educational expectations.
Additional key benefits of psychoeducational assessments are:
- Setting realistic academic expectations according to your child’s strengths and relative weaknesses or challenges.
- Identifying what strategies, tools, and resources will maximize their learning.
- Determining the most effective academic environment and study strategies for their individual learning style.
A Private Psychoeducational Assessment at Toronto Psychological Services
At our west Toronto clinic, Toronto Psychological Services, we can complete a comprehensive Educational Assessment in 2-4 weeks NOT 2-4 years. We routinely assess young children who are 6+ years of age.
The goal of a psychometrist is to help parents and school personnel understand which factors may be impacting a child’s learning. Such factors may include:
- fine motor coordination,
- memory abilities,
- phonological processing,
- intellectual & language abilities,
- academic skills,
- attention, and
For some children, receiving an assessment can seem intimidating. Accordingly, an equally important goal of ours is to make each and every child that we assess feel at ease and comfortable to help ensure that accurate results be obtained.
Using all of the information gained over the course of an assessment — from interviews, parent, teacher and child rating scales, one-on-one testing results, and observations of the child — it is of hope that a clear picture of your child’s abilities and their needs in the classroom, at home, and with peers emerges.
The psychoeducational assessment will include achievement testing in all subject areas, such as reading, math, and writing. Achievement scores in these areas will be presented, as will specific strengths and weaknesses. These results give parents, teachers, and fellow support staff with the knowledge needed to remediate and strengthen a child’s academic weaknesses as well as grant advanced instruction and placement in areas of strength to occur.
As part of a psychoeducational assessment report, recommendations will be provided that directly pertain to your child, with the intention that these will be implemented by the child’s teacher and school staff. The report generated at TPS may enable the following provisions of support to be made at school: accommodations within the classroom and during tests and/or exams, access to individual or group educational help, assistive technology and software usage, and/or modification of the child’s educational program. The specific interventions will depend on your child’s profile and will be reflected in the IEP, according to the recommendations found in the report.
Psychological services are covered by your workplace benefits. To consult with us, please call 416-531-0727 to set up an appointment today.