We conduct psychoeducational evaluations of children/adolescents ages 3-18 years old, as
well as students older than 18 years old in college, vocational, and other programs. The
purpose of a psychoeducational evaluation is to assess intellectual, academic, and
emotional/behavioral functioning. Additional assessment of phonological processing is also
conducted for children with reading and/or spelling problems. Children are most commonly
seen for a psychoeducational evaluation if there is question about the presence of a learning
disability/disorder. Test results are used to determine a child’s strengths and weaknesses in
various domains with the goal of helping her/him to be more successful in school, social,
and other situations. If a diagnosis seems appropriate, test results can help determine if the
child qualifies for reasonable academic accommodations under the Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The results of the evaluation are used to develop
treatment recommendations and interventions.
The following domains are typically assessed in a psychoeducational evaluation:
- Various forms of intelligence (e.g., verbal and nonverbal abilities)
- Academic skills (e.g., basic reading, reading comprehension, spelling, written
expression, math calculations, math reasoning, and academic fluency/speed)
- Phonological Processing (e.g., phonological awareness and rapid naming abilities)
- Emotional/behavioral functioning
Evaluations involve a review of available records; interview of the parent/guardian, child,
and potentially school staff or other professionals familiar with the child; and psychometric
testing. Children are typically finished by lunch, but if not, are given a lunch break before
Once the evaluation is completed, a report is written providing a summary of test results and
recommendations. A feedback session (usually 1 hour) is scheduled to review the findings
and recommendations with parents/guardians, and potentially with the child in a separate
feedback session (if desired). We provide numerous recommendations related to
accommodations needed in school to improve performance and behavior, as well as
interventions that may be beneficial.
As further described in the "Child Neuropsychological Evaluation" section of this website,
children with reading difficulties may have underlying problems related to phonological
awareness (awareness and access to the phonological structure of oral language), rapid
naming (retrieval of phonological information from long-term or permanent memory, and
the ability to execute a sequence of operations quickly and repeatedly), and/or reading
comprehension. We evaluate the child’s strengths and weaknesses, and this information is
helpful for developing appropriate interventions for improving the child’s reading skills.
Similarly, children who struggle in math may experience deficits in visual-spatial skills (e.g.,
writing out problems and carrying numbers), although these deficits may not hinder math
performance until later grades since earlier grades place less emphasis on complex math
calculations. Other children struggle with math because of limited math knowledge, and
subsequently benefit from drilling in math facts and concepts. Children may also experience
difficulties performing math story problems because of reading comprehension difficulties.
Test results can be used to determine the specific strengths and weaknesses
related to broad math skills. However, neuropsychological testing (described on another
page) is often needed to further assess certain abilities that can reduce math performance,
including higher-level visual perceptual/spatial skills, working memory, and planning skills).
Test results are used to develop specific recommendations for interventions and
accommodations in school to improve the child’s math skills and academic performance.
Finally, children with problems related to spelling and/or written expression may experience
problems with phonological processing and/or hand graphomotor skills (which may result in
sloppy handwriting or slowed written production). These children may benefit from
participating in occupational therapy to improve their hand motor skills. We also determine
possible accommodations that may be beneficial for these children in school, which may
include dictating test responses, receiving note-taking services, etc. We carefully evaluate
various problems that may underlie spelling/written expression disorders, including basic
spelling and written sentence/paragraph writing. Certain tasks requiring hand graphomotor
skills and visual perceptual/spatial skills are assessed within a psychoeducational evaluation,
but these abilities are more thoroughly assessed within a neuropsychological evaluation.
Attention/concentration and executive functioning deficits often contribute to academic
difficulties. Although these domains are briefly assessed through psychoeducational
evaluations, neuropsychological testing is needed to more thoroughly assess these domains.
For additional information about the role impaired attention and executive functioning can
play, click on the following link: Neuropsychological Testing and Academic Problems
Children seen for neuopsychological, psychoeducational, or
psychological evaluations can have a qEEG brain mapping assessment
added to the evaluation. Brain mapping data can help explain the
underlying factors contributing to a children's cognitive, academic,
and emotional/behavioral functioning.