Psychoeducational evaluations examine different areas of functioning and may include cognitive, language, visual motor, memory and learning, attention and socio-emotional functioning as these relate to academic achievement. This type of assessment can be of special interest to teachers and parents wanting to understand the educational potential of their child. For parents of preschoolers, psychoeducational evaluations can provide important data to assess academic readiness and to inform decision making related to educational environments.
Psychoeducational evaluations can also be beneficial when a concern for a potential learning disability such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, and/or nonverbal learning disorder arises. During these academic evaluations, achievement tests are often used to assess a child’s academic achievement in areas such as reading, spelling, writing, and mathematics. Psychoeducational evaluations can also help identify twice-exceptional learners (2e), who may be intellectually gifted, while also exhibiting learning differences. Caregivers may be interested in a psychoeducational evaluation if they notice any of the following:
- difficulties with rhyming, letter identification, and phonemic awareness
- difficulties paying attention, following directions, and/or completing multi-step tasks
- experiences significant difficulty doing grade-level work
- has gaps in skills or inconsistent grades
- difficulties with retention of information
- has memory or organization problems
- experiences a decline in grades or school performance
- has difficulty getting homework completed
- routinely runs out of time on tests
- school refusal and/or school related anxiety
Many children who have learning disabilities are very bright young individuals. By helping to identify learning differences early in one’s educational endeavors, parents, teachers, and caregivers can be more prepared to educate in a manner that best accommodates their child’s learning style. In doing so, children can be more equipped to demonstrate their full intellectual potential in a consistent and adaptive manner.