In general, a psychoeducational evaluation typically answers the question, “Why is my child struggling in school” and provides direction on what to do about it (i.e., recommendations, interventions, Individualized Education Program [IEP], 504, etc.). However, the specific reason for why a psychoeducational evaluation may be requested is vast. A psychoeducational evaluation may be required to identify any combination of the following (or to rule out) Specific Learning Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, and behavioral problems. A high-quality psychoeducational evaluation will address all of your questions pertaining to education and how to best assist your child.
The “authority” on which testing psychologists should conduct their evaluation is the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing. Licensed psychologists in private practice also follow principles and guidelines set forth by the American Psychological Association (APA). A major difference between licensed psychologists in private practice versus school psychologists in a school setting is that school psychologists must follow regulations set forth by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Therefore, the evaluation practices differ between private practice psychologists and school psychologists working in schools. You can view the evaluation procedures set forth by IDEA here, which is what school psychologists must follow. Again, licensed psychologists in private practice do not follow these guidelines. However, it is extremely important for a licensed psychologist in private practice that is conducting a psychoeducational evaluation to know the IDEA guidelines. That is because the psychoeducational evaluation, which is conducted in a clinic outside of the child’s school, needs to inform the school on the next steps. And psychologists in private practice not familiar with school regulations, policies, and/or IDEA will not be able to provide practical and useful recommendations.
Licensed psychologists in private practice can also conduct psychoeducational evaluation as a “second opinion,” which is paid for by the school. This type of evaluation is called an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE). The interested reader can refer to my service page and/or blog post regarding IEEs. And for licensed psychologists in private practice that conducts IEEs, it is of the upmost importance for them to be fluent in IDEA guidelines as well as state regulations (Arizona Department of Education) and statues (Arizona Revised Statues).
What Do You Receive with a Psychoeducational Evaluation?
- Interview with the parent(s)/guardian(s) (~1 hour)
- IQ test (~1 hour) with a thorough examination of your child’s cognitive processes
- Academic testing (~3 hours)
- Social/Emotional//Behavioral test (~1 hour)
- Verbal Feedback (~1 hour) with practical school, home, and community based recommendations
- Dr. Andersen can also go over the results/diagnosis/feedback with your child upon request!
- Written Report (~10 to 15 pages) with diagnostic impressions and recommendations
This type of evaluation is typically conducted over three sessions. First, the initial interview. Second, Dr. Andersen will work directly with your child. Finally, the third session is to provide verbal feedback, at which time you will also receive a written report.
*An Autism evaluation can be added onto a psychoeducational evaluation. If this is done then add one hour onto the interview (i.e., ~2 hour interview) and potentially an additional day for face-to-face testing. Autism rating scales will be also administered, and additional communication & executive function testing will be performed.
Dr. Andersen can also participate in school meetings (e.g., MET, IEP, intervention and problem solving meetings, 504, FBA/BIP, etc.) upon request.
Still have questions? Do no hesitate to reach out directly to Dr. Andersen at 602.699.4543 for a FREE phone consult!