What is a Psycho-educational Evaluation?
A psycho-educational evaluation is an assessment of your child’s cognitive and academic skills. It can also provide information about your child’s attentional functioning, executive functioning, and/or social-emotional functioning. A complete evaluation will yield detailed information about your child’s learning profile and their areas of strength and weakness.
The cognitive portion of the evaluation will look at your child’s verbal learning skills, nonverbal learning skills, visual spatial skills, working memory, and processing speed. The academic portion of the assessment will evaluate your child’s skills in the areas of reading, writing and math. The psychological evaluation may also include an examination of your child’s executive functioning (their ability to initiate tasks, organization skills, and complete tasks in a timely manner), attentional functioning (can they sustain their attention, are they hyperactive, and do they have impulse control), and social-emotional functioning (are they displaying signs of anxiety, depression, or difficulty with social interactions).
The assessment tools that are utilized are standardized measures that provide valid and reliable information about your child’s current functioning. The tests yield standard scores and percentiles which determine if your child’s performance is in the Below Average, Average, or Above Average range compared to peers of the same age and/or grade.
A Complete Psycho-educational Evaluation can include:
- Cognitive Assessment
- Academic Assessments
- Working Memory Assessments
- Processing Speed Assessments
- Social-Emotional Assessments
- Attention Assessment
- Executive Functioning Assessment
- Consultation with the school
Why would my child need an evaluation?
If your child is struggling in school academically or socially, a complete psychological evaluation can help determine the exact nature of your child’s difficulties. The assessment tools can help establish if the difficulties are a result of a Specific Learning Disability, attentional difficulties, executive functioning difficulties, or social-emotional difficulties.
If your child has difficulty with reading, math, and/or writing, an evaluation looks closely at each of these academic areas. Using a variety of assessment tools, we can determine the exact nature of your child’s reading difficulties. The evaluation can establish if the reading struggles are a result of comprehension difficulties, reading fluency deficits, or phonological awareness weaknesses. The testing can also pinpoint the exact areas of mathematical difficulties or why your child struggles with writing. It may be possible that your child does not have a specific learning disability but rather struggles in school because of attentional, social-emotional or executive functioning difficulties.
A comprehensive assessment will yield detailed information about your child’s areas of strength and weakness. Using this knowledge, the clinician will generate some recommendations that can help your child both in school and at home. The clinician may also make a diagnosis based on the data that could include a Specific Learning Disability, Dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Depression, and/or Anxiety.
What is included in the evaluation?
A comprehensive evaluation will include an intake session with the parents, 2 or 3 in person testing sessions with the child, and a feedback session with the parents. It can take 2 to 3 weeks for the report to be written and then the clinician will share the report with the parents before the feedback session. At times, the clinician may want to contact the child’s teacher in order to get a more comprehensive picture of the child’s functioning in school.
In order to maintain the reliability and validity of the assessment tools, a majority of the evaluation needs to be in person. For safety purposes, both the examiner and the client will be expected to wear masks and keep a safe distance from each other. While the tools were not standardized under these conditions, the testing will provide accurate information on how your child is currently functioning.
A majority of the evaluation will take place in our office in Franklin, MA. The testing sessions will be in person while the intake and feedback sessions can be telehealth.
How much will the evaluation cost?
There are two options open to you to pay for a complete psycho-evaluation. First is a self pay model where a complete psycho-evaluation will cost $3,000, which will be split into 2 payments. A shorter evaluation (i.e. Attentional evaluation) will cost $1,500 also split into 2 payments.
A second method is to use your Health Insurance to cover the costs associated with testing. Currently we are accepting Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance plans. Typically this will require authorization from your insurer after an initial intake to evaluate the medical necessity of the testing.