Small Child with Large Glasses

Psychoeducational Assessment

This service combines specialised knowledge and standardised assessment tools in order to provide a comprehensive assessment focused on each child/teenager and family's needs.

Main Purposes:

  • Obtaining information on cognitive profile and executive functioning, including screening for Neurodevelopmental Disorders:

    • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

    • Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

    • Specific Learning Disorders (SLD), with impairment in:

      • Reading and Written Expression (e.g.: dyslexia, dysorthography)

      • Mathematics (e.g.: dyscalculia)

  • Informing Individualised Educational Plans (IEPs)

  • Assessing eligibility for applying for exam access arrangements (e.g.:  additional time, rest breaks, use of word processor, reader, etc).

What is the purpose of a psychoeducational assessment?

A Psychoeducational Assessment is used to determine a child or teenager's cognitive and learning profile, and may additionally screen for aspects related to behaviour, social skills and the child's emotions. Its ultimate goal is to assist parents and school in better understanding their child or teenager, to support them in the identification of strengths and weaknesses, and to help inform educational measures aimed at promoting the child or teenager's learning and overall well-being. 

When may a child benefit from a psychoeducational assessment?

A Psychoeducational assessment may be sought, whenever a student reveals sustained difficulties in:

  • Understanding or remembering information;

  • Maintaining appropriate attention levels, staying on task, etc;

  • Specific areas of attainment, such as reading, writing and mathematics;

  • Behavioural and emotional regulation.

What does the assessment process entail?

1. Initial Consultation / Anamnesis

First, a meeting with parents is held in order to gather relevant educational and developmental information. If the child has undergone a previous assessment, information on this or former assessment reports are requested. Questionnaires may also be handed out in order to gather complementary information.

 

2. Psychometric Assessment and Screening of Social-Emotional and Behavioural Functioning

Following the first consultation, assessment sessions are carried out with the child. If the concerns are developmental, cognitive, or related to learning, standardised psychometric tools are used to assess cognitive and neuropsychological abilities (attention, impulse control, memory, etc). Specific ability or attainment assessment instruments (e.g.: reading, writing, mathematics) may also be administered depending on the area assessed. Where the concerns are emotional in nature, or if emotional problems are suspected from prior cognitive testing, a clinical/psychotherapeutic screening may be recommended.

3. School meetings, feedback and observations

Whenever necessary, and given parents’ authorisation, information may also be requested from Teachers through meetings or questionnaires, and classroom or playground observations of the child may be made.

4. Report and feedback meeting

After the assessment is complete, a feedback meeting is held with parents and, in some cases, the child/teenager. During this meeting, the report is delivered, discussing the areas assessed and the needs identified, as well as recommending potential resolution strategies.

What may I expect from a psychoeducational assessment report?

  • Ascertainment and analysis of overall and specific cognitive ability, attainment level in various areas of learning, as well as relevant behavioural and/or emotional aspects.

  • If present, the diagnosis of a specific learning disorder in reading (dyslexia), written expression (dysorthography) and mathematics (dyscalculia); Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); Intellectual Developmental Disorder.

  • Recommendations, which may include:

    • instruction strategies within the school setting;

    • guidelines for parents;

    • assessment accommodations (e.g.: additional time to complete tests/exams, rest breaks, use of a word processor, reader, scribe, etc.