Finding a path forward
A comprehensive psychoeducational assessment looks at a variety of areas depending on the reason for referral:
- Developmental History
- Previous Assessments
- Cognitive (IQ) Functioning
- Academic Achievement
- Visual Motor Integration
- Social Emotional Functioning
- Phonological Processing
- Executive Functioning
The assessment process will begin with a comprehensive interview to better understand the reasons for bringing you to Wolff Psychological Services. You will be asked to provide some history about the presenting issues such as: when did the problem start, how do these problems affect your child’s life at home, school and social life. This interview is typically conducted with the parent(s), although older children and adolescents may wish to participate in this interview. This initial interview is scheduled for 1 – 2 hours.
Once the background information clarifies the reasons for the assessment, two sessions for direct assessment will be booked. These sessions are typically booked in 3-hour blocks, with additional sessions scheduled until the testing is complete. The assessment sessions are client-led in terms of frequency of breaks and pacing of activities. It is important that clients are working at their best during these sessions and to that end, ‘brain breaks’ are required to ensure clients remains engaged with the process.
After the assessment sessions are completed, all the information collected needs to be reviewed. This includes: review all information provided by the client, scoring the assessments, interpreting and integrating all the results of the assessment, and writing a comprehensive written report to document the assessment results including recommendations to address the unique needs of the client. This ‘behind the scenes’ process can take longer than the actual face to face assessment time.
At this point, a meeting will be scheduled to discuss the results. At the assessment debrief meeting (1 – 2 hours), a draft of the assessment report will be discussed with the parent(s). Each part of the assessment process will be discussed and recommendations for intervention will be presented. You will have the opportunity to ask questions so that you understand the meaning of the results and how those results impact your child’s education. The report will be collaboratively discussed, so that if there are any errors or omissions, they can be addressed at the meeting. While there are sections of the report that cannot be altered, Wolff Psychological Services will work with you to craft a report that reflects your child. The final report is the possession of the client/parent(s); no copies of the report will be release to other parties without express written consent from the client/parent(s).
Depending on the age of the child, you may wish to schedule a separate debrief for you and your child to discuss the assessment results in child friendly language so that your child has a better understanding of his or her learning strengths and challenges.
Following the final debrief meeting, Wolff Psychological Services is available to consult with other professionals such as school personnel to discuss the assessment results and recommendations.
PREPARING FOR THE ASSESSMENT
Prior to the assessment, please gather supporting documents related to early development and medical history, academic progress (report cards and any Individual Education Plans (IEPs), if applicable), and any previous assessment reports. If your child wears glasses or hearing aids, these should be worn for the assessment session. The night before the assessment, ensure your child has had a good night’s sleep. As the assessment session may last up to 3 hours, bring along snacks for your child’s comfort.
Clients are often curious as to what will happen in an assessment session. The assessment will take place in a quiet ‘one-to-one’ setting. Sometimes they will answer questions; sometimes they will do things such as solving puzzles. Younger children may see some of the tasks as games. Older children should know that the assessment does not count for ‘marks’ at school, but that it is still important that they try their best.