A psycho-educational assessment is made up of two types of testing: psychological assessment and educational assessment. Psychological testing measures learning potential, not what has been learned. Educational assessment measures what has been learned in math, reading, spelling, and other academic areas. A psycho-educational assessment is helpful in examining a number of factors that might influence academic performance. At times, testing may lead to a diagnosis of a learning disability or attention deficit. Giftedness or a developmental delay may also become apparent through the assessment.
A psycho-educational assessment involves a comprehensive evaluation of an individual’s school potential and functioning. This generally includes the following:
- Overall intellectual functioning, including both verbal and non-verbal problem solving.
- An examination of a variety of processes involved in learning, such as phonological processing, memory and attention, processing speed, language processing, perceptual-motor processing, visual-spatial processing, and executive functions.
- A thorough assessment of academic skills, including reading, spelling, written expression, comprehension, and mathematics.
In addition to administering standardized measures to the examinee, a comprehensive psycho-educational assessment involves gathering information from multiple sources using various methods, including:
- Self-report measures that are completed by parents, teachers, partners, and examinees in order to assess psychosocial functioning, executive functioning, attention, and/or personality.
- Clinical interviews.
- Behavioural observations.
- Review of school records (e.g., report cards and any Individual Education Plans).
- Review of previous assessment reports (e.g., educational assessment reports, speech and language assessment reports, occupational assessment reports, and past psycho-educational assessment reports)
A psycho-educational assessment may prove helpful if an individual is experiencing academic frustration, seems bright but not working to potential, experiences difficulties with focus or attention, is not developing academic, social, or motor skills as quickly as peers, or encounters difficulties in language acquisition.