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reception@pawc.co.za
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Assessment

Psycho-educational assessments

What is the process of a psycho-educational assessment?
A comprehensive psychoeducational assessment is typically comprised of four parts:

  • Initial Consultation: During an initial screening interview, the parents or caregivers (and learner when appropriate) will meet with one of our educational psychologists to discuss any ongoing issues, the family history and background information. This part of the assessment involves gathering collateral and qualitative information that would allow the educational psychologist to better understand your child. Clinical interviews with parents are conducted and questionnaires are given to the parents and sometimes teacher to complete.
  • Psycho-educational assessment process: The learner will then be given various activities and assessment tools. Our child friendly environment and experienced educational psychologist will ensure that the process is not a stressful experience for your child. The assessment duration will be adjusted to your child’s individual needs, but will typically last four to six hours. The full assessment will usually take at least a half a day to complete, which allows the educational psychologist to administer all the necessary assessments to achieve the intake goals and to observe your child’s behaviour and attention as it would be during a school day.
  • Report and Recommendations: Scored test results, insights, and questionnaire information is developed into a comprehensive report for parents. The report will also include recommendations for any necessary accommodations and at-home support strategies.
  • Feedback Session with Educational Psychologist: The parents (and learner when appropriate) will meet with the educational psychologist to go over the report. At this time, the educational psychologist will discuss the recommendations and answer any questions that parents may have.

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What is a psycho-educational assessment?
Every person is different. Every human brain is different. All brains have parts that don’t work as well as others. For all children, it is important to determine what these strengths and weaknesses are so that they can be taught well and receive the appropriate accommodations and support for academic and life success.

One of the ways to do this is with a psychoeducational assessment. Unlike standardized testing usually provided in the school setting, a psychoeducational assessment is one-on-one and uses a variety of tools to develop a complete perspective of your child’s academic skills and cognitive abilities. It is important to determine not just how much your child has learned, but how he/she learns and goes about the task of solving problems.

Psychoeducational assessments are conducted by one of our registered and experienced educational psychologists and in addition to showing how a child learns, can provide a diagnosis of a learning disability, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), developmental disability, and identify any other social/emotional/behavioural or psychological problems.

A psychoeducational assessment is beneficial in helping parents better understand where they should focus their efforts for development. These decisions are extremely important in the long run for your child’s happiness and quality of life.

The most important result of a psychoeducational assessment are the comprehensive recommendations for home and school.

What makes up a psycho-educational assessment?

  • A psycho-educational assessments is comprised of 4 main components
    • Cognitive/IQ assessment
    • Intelligence
    • language skill
    • memory
    • verbal and visual learning
    • attention / concentration
    • eye - hand coordination for paper - and - pencil tasks
    • planning ability
    • reflective / impulsive response style
    • perceptual reasoning
    • logical reasoning
    • spatial reasoning
  • academic ability assessment
    • reading (phonetic skills, sight vocabulary, reading comprehension),
    • spelling
    • writing
    • mathematics (basic numerical operations, mathematical reasoning),
    • academic fluency (speed of reading, writing, calculating)
    • listening comprehension
    • oral expressive skills
  • Emotional Assessment
    • emotional intelligence
    • self-concept
    • self-esteem
    • self-confidence
    • family dynamics
    • Social perception
    • social skills
    • the child’s emotional inner world

Why would my child need a psycho-educational assessment?
Every child is different in terms of their needs and abilities, but here are some of the signs that your child may need a psychoeducational assessment:

  • If your child consistently studies hard but the marks don’t reflect his/her effort
  • If your child is clearly intelligent but, because of procrastination and poor planning skills, cannot deliver their homework or assignments on time
  • If your child’s teacher notes in his/her report that they need to pay more attention or stay more focused in class
  • If your child presents with any behavioural or emotional problems related to school or home
  • If your child consistently doesn’t want or doesn’t like to go to school
  • If your child’s marks are good in all areas except one or two, such as Math or English
  • If you think your child would benefit from school accommodations
  • If there are frequently raised concerns from teachers regarding your child’s behaviour in class. That he/she is acting out, “always” getting into trouble. Or that your child is withdrawn, anxious, or demotivated child
  • If the teacher raises concerns that your child is behind his/her peers with academic performance, slow work pace, or there is a lack of comprehension and understanding
  • If as a parents you have the same concerns, or might be confused because you don’t see these behaviour at home and want to get to the bottom of it.
  • If as a parent you have concerns at home that your child seems frequently sad, there is excessive sibling rivalry, he /she is isolating themselves, displaying aggressive or inappropriate behaviour or unexplained changes in behaviour.

The benefits of a psycho-educational assessment
Many parents worry that getting a psychoeducational assessment means there is something wrong with their child. This is a myth, plain and simple. A psychoeducational assessment is a way to determine your child’s strengths and weaknesses in many different areas. Not only are these insights empowering but also act as a roadmap for ensuring your child learns and develops to their full potential. Knowing which natural strengths you should help your child to develop is important to improving their happiness and quality of life in the future.

Additional key benefits of psychoeducational assessments are:

  • Setting realistic academic expectations according to your child’s strengths and relative weaknesses or challenges
  • Identifying what strategies, tools, and resources will maximize their learning
  • Determining the most effective academic environment and study strategies for their individual learning style.

Examination concessions assessments

The education department and the IEB have acknowledged that there are learners through no fault of their own are unable to reach their true potential in an examination setting.

Through an examination concession assessment the following can be applied for:

  • Extra time
  • A scribe
  • A Reader
  • Spelling concessions
  • Allocation of Separate Venue to write and complete examinations

Career assessments

Career assessments are tools that are designed to help individuals understand how a variety of personal attributes (i.e., interests, values, preferences, motivations, aptitudes and skills), impact their potential success and satisfaction with different career options and work environments. Career assessments have played a critical role in career development. Career assessments are designed to discover your skills, aptitude and talents. It is a useful tool in assessing the areas in which you have strengths and limitations. The results can be useful in helping you choose a career that is in tune with your goals and talents. Career assessments have been proven to introduce more career options, increase your satisfaction in your career plan and increase the understanding of yourself and personal satisfaction.