​What is a psycho-educational assessment?

If your child is struggling with reading, math, spelling, putting ideas on paper, or is generally struggling to reach his or her potential in school, a psycho-educational assessment can help to identify processing strengths, weaknesses and deficits which may need to be addressed, remediated, and accommodated for.

Carolyn’s approach to psycho-educational assessment is holistic, relying on relevant historical information, behavioural observations, well-researched psychometric measures, and parent, teacher and student reports of functioning. Cognitive abilities, verbal skills, visual-spatial skills, memory, attention, executive functioning, and academic achievement will all be explored in a typical psycho-educational assessment, along with behaviour and adaptive functioning as indicated. You will be interviewed either in person or by phone to determine the presenting problems and to understand your perspective and concerns about your child’s functioning. You will be asked to complete some consent forms and questionnaires about your child as part of the assessment process. Psycho-educational assessments then require individual face-to-face interaction with children for either 2 three-hour sessions, or 3 two-hour sessions, at the parents’ discretion. With your consent, a connection will also be made with your child’s school to gather further information about your child. All of this information will be useful in analyzing assessment results, formulating a diagnosis, and determining recommendations for moving forward.

Carolyn uses well-researched, up-to-date assessment measures, spends enough time getting to know your child to answer the presenting questions without doing unnecessary testing, and writes comprehensive reports with realistic, usable recommendations for school and for parents, in language that is easy to understand. The goal is for you to understand your child’s cognitive and academic strengths and weaknesses so that you can best advocate for and support your child’s learning. An in-depth feedback interview will be arranged with you to go over the assessment findings and recommendations. Arrangements can also be made for Carolyn to attend a subsequent school meeting with you to review findings and recommendations with your child’s teacher, Special Education teacher, and/or Principal.

Consultation after an assessment has been completed is also available, to help you understand and collaborate on your child’s Individual Education Plan, and to navigate available Special Education services. Psycho-educational assessments can be updated after a two-year period between test dates, but are most likely to be helpful at natural transition points in your child’s education (e.g., Grade 8 to 9, or Grade 12 to post-secondary), or if there are perceived changes to his/her functioning that are not explained by the previous assessment.

Assessments are not covered by OHIP but are often at least partly covered by employee extended health benefits. Please check with your insurance provider to determine eligibility.


Carolyn Shilton

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