The Psychometric Assessment process is usually carried out by an Educational Psychologist or Clinical Psychologist and can include assistance from Psychometrists in the administration of some assessment procedures.
This might be appropriate when a student struggles to work up to their full potential in some aspect of learning such as reading, writing, arithmetic, memory, attention, organisational skills, time management issues and processing speed.
These evaluations are necessary to enjoy special benefits and supports at all levels of education and are required by physicians and psychiatrists for the dispensing any medications that could support a child’s functioning and enable them to better access educational experiences and capitalise on those opportunities.
Learning has many components and can be affected by a range of learning, behavioural and emotional issues. Comprehensive evaluations can ensure that any learning issues are not misdiagnosed and the complex cause and effect relationships can be better understood for remedial purposes.
It is important to know strengths and understand how each individual learns in order to best design strategies to support areas in need of further development and specialist skillset training. The correct choice for any intervention and therapy relies on this. This can direct strategies for intervention for more effective and directed intervention and less time wasting.
These are also necessary to justify accommodations such as extended time, coloured paper, text reader, and so on, to be made available during examinations and during standardised testing situations such as with the SAT and ACT.
The psychoeducational assessment process is designed to attend to academic, learning and behavioural issues flagged up by educator’s observations and summative reporting.
If there is enough evidence based on teacher reporting and recommendations then either in school Educational Psychologists will be assigned to carry out the assessment procedures or independent Educational or Clinical Psychologists can be employed to carry out the assessments and report on the results as well make recommendations for adaptations in the school environment and learning processes and support.
Appropriate age for commencing queries and any such assessment could be as early as two years of age.
These are performed in the offices of the Educational or Clinical Psychologist or sometimes in the school setting where appropriate. Ideally there should be as few distractions as possible and a key element of obtaining the most accurate results is ensuring that students feel as comfortable, consulted and as included as possible.
Psychoeducational assessment is a process of using tests, interviews, observations and analysis of background information and reports to determine an individual’s learning strengths and areas in need of support. Each evaluation should be tailored to each individual in order to answer questions about the person’s learning profile.
1. Intellectual: Intelligence or ability testing provides a measure of a student’s overall abilities in order to support realistic and effective expectations. This helps to identify learning potential with scores split between verbal and non-verbal intellectual functioning.
2. Academic Achievement: Academic knowledge and functioning in Reading, Writing and Maths, including their subcomponents are assessed by academic achievement tests specially designed to measure each component and avoid biases,focusing more on the skills that lead to effective learning in these subjects.
3. Information Processing: Potentially the most useful and informative part of the assessment, this looks for why a student may be having difficulties and what areas could be supported more effectively to improve it. Areas assessed include; Visual, Auditory Processing, Tactile Processing, Memory, Attention Span and Executive Functioning.
4. Social-Emotional: Coexisting with academic issues, social-emotional issues can include the existence of any clinical issues such as depression, anxiety and behavioural concerns by including awareness, information processing, reciprocal social communication, anxiety and any avoidances or presence of any autistic spectrum issues. specting existence and level of social functioning
5. Adaptive functioning: Inspected here are abilities and daily living skills, socialisation motor skills. Results of these assessments are examined and analysed with results and recommendations provided verbally as well as in a full written report.
Five Step Assessment Process:
1. Initial Consultation: The background and history is taken with current queries highlighted in order to select the most relevant tests with regards to age, language, existing needs, etc and assessments are also completed by parents and teachers in order to provide the most complete picture.
2. Testing Sessions: Direct individual testing of the child’s abilities are carried out over two to three sessions depending on the number of and types of assessments required and any existing issues. Additional steps can include observations in the school environment and interviews with teachers in some instances where specific behavioural concerns merit the additional input prior to making interpretations.
3. Test Scoring and Interpretation: Results of the scores obtained in testing, including patterns and consistencies, the questionnaires from parents and teachers and any observations are integrated in order to develop a learning profile for that individual child.
4. Feedback Session: The information, results, strengths and areas in need of support will be discussed with parents including strategies for improvement and support and a written report is usually provided 4-6 weeks later.
5. Follow-up consultation: Often a secondary meeting at a later date can be a helpful way to review results with teachers, to monitor progress and meeting up with older children and teens can help them feel more involved in and included in the process and solution.
Each students unique patterns of strengths and needs will guide any recommendations made for home and school settings and can include regular school work accommodations, assessment accommodations, examination alterations to best allow the student to both access information and fairly demonstrate any learning achieved. Medication and any assistive technology would also be made as a part of this area of reporting.
If a diagnosis of learning issues has been given then a complete re-evaluation is often recommended within three to five years depending on the age of the child and issues concerned. It is important to monitor and document areas of improvement and identify any areas in further need of support in order to effectively provide for these on a continuing basis where necessary. More advanced standardised tests require updated evaluations to justify continuing accommodations.