When children seem to be struggling in school, many factors can be the cause. The first step is to rule out an immediate medical issue. With the absence of an illness, a child can have behavioral, cognitive, or language problems. To determine what type of special education needs a child may require in order to effectively learn, a psycho-educational evaluation can be done.
What It Is
A psycho-educational evaluation consists of assessments that focus on personality and adjustment, academic skill, and an intelligence test. These three areas can individually affect a child’s learning, or there can be a combination of influences. The results of each of these assessments are compiled to determine the best methods of intervention and remediation for the child.
The personality and adjustment assessment is used to determine a child’s ability to function and cope on an academic level. Screening for signs of emotional distress also occur during this assessment. An academic skill assessment is used to determine the child’s skills and development in language, reading, and math. The intelligence test is used to measure verbal language skills such as vocabulary and long-term memory, as well as non-verbal skills such as spatial ability and short-term memory.
Psycho-educational evaluations are most commonly used to determine if a child’s educational issues are caused by a learning disability or emotional disorder. They can also be used to distinguish how a child learns. From this point, parents and school personnel can create a learning plan that is customized for the child.
In some cases, children will need additional testing and/or counseling. School system testing can be a good starting point, but they are often only designed to determine if children qualify for special services. A school’s test often shows academic areas where a child struggles, prompting a standard course of remediation. A psycho-educational assessment pinpoints exactly what the cause is in addition to what plan will be the best. Counseling can help a child, and the family, understand strengths and weaknesses, build self-esteem, and learn strategies to become a more independent learner.