Full Educational Evaluation

Educational Evaluations

A psychoeducational evaluation is an assessment of how a person learns. It measures different aspects of learning including reasoning, memory and working efficiency. It is different from the standard approach to testing provided in public school settings in that a psychoeducational assessment uses a wide variety of assessment tools to develop a complete perspective about a person’s academic needs and cognitive abilities. Determining whether an individual presents with a discrepancy between their intelligence and achievement is not the purpose of a psychoeducational evaluation. Rather, it is critical to determine not only how much a person has learned but more importantly how they learn and go about solving problems. Educational evaluations are conducted by psychologists and/or Learning Disabilities Teacher consultants (LDTCs). Often other evaluators provide information, including Speech pathologies, Occupational Therapists and social workers.

These assessments can provide a diagnosis of a learning disability such as dyslexia, dyscalculia or dysgraphia.  It also measured learned knowledge like reading individual word reading, vocabulary and reading comprehension, math problem solving and calculation skills and written expression.

Educational evaluations vary according to a person’s age and the goal for the evaluation, however most evaluations include several key parts:

Background History

Evaluations always begin with an initial interview with the parents, student, their teachers and others who may have knowledge of the student’s learning strengths and weaknesses and their educational history. It may include information about early learning development, language acquisition, social emotional development and other school related skills.

Psychometric Testing

Various tests are administered to assess academic and intellectual abilities, reasoning skills, memory attention and function. Testing typically lasts about 4-6 hours, often given over two different days to ensure that fatigue is not a factor in performance.

Evaluation of Cognitive Skills

It is important to measure the cognitive skills that a person brings to the learning environment. This part of the assessment is an overall view of a person’s strengths and weaknesses in cognitive areas including fluid reasoning, long and short term and working memory, working efficiency and processing speed, problem solving and executive functioning. Our clinicians use the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities, and other assessments of these skills to establish strengths and weaknesses in these areas.

Academic Achievement Testing

On this part of the Assessment, academic skills are measured. In the area of reading, single word and multisyllabic decoding, pseudoword reading (word attack), reading comprehension and reading fluency are measured. In the area of math, assessment of calculation skills, math facts and problem solving skills are evaluated. In written expression a person’s spelling, mechanics, grammar and organization of thought are evaluated. Also, handwriting and writing speed are measured. Vocabulary and oral expression skills are also evaluated, as these are critical across subject areas. Finally, background knowledge about history, music, art, current events, and general information may be measured.

Observations

As an evaluator completes assessments they are always observing the person as they are working to identify and corroborate work habits, patterns and behaviors.

Report and Recommendations

Tests are scored and the examiner develops a comprehensive report for parents or guardians that will include explanations of tests and interpretations of results, feedback for recommendations and any necessary remediation, programmatic additions and interventions, accommodations and at home support that will assist the person in learning to the best of their abilities.

Information Sharing Session

The parents (and student, when appropriate) will meet with the Educational evaluators to review the findings and discuss recommendations and any questions that the parents may have.

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