Clinical Psychoeducational Evaluations
Podcast with Dr. Baldwin: Adolescents struggling in school
Please click the play button below to hear a Podcast from The Mary Waldon Show where Dr. Baldwin discusses the importance of a thorough Neuropsychological assessment for Adolescents who may be struggling in school:
What is a Psychoeducational Evaluation?
A private Psychoeducational evaluation usually occurs after parents have witnessed their child struggling in many aspects of life, including academic achievement. Perhaps parents have sought services through the school district and are seeking additional information, guidance or support. A thorough Psychoeducational evaluation report details their child’s strengths, weaknesses, and neurological development. Aside from determining if their child has been “diagnosed” with a learning issue, test findings often detail important information about a child’s natural learning style, detailed by specific strengths and weaknesses. Neurobehavioral Sciences can offer assessments to explain that “the testing showed us that you are very smart. You just have a problem with your attention.” After so much frustration, or self-loathing, it is very powerful for a child to hear a Neuropsychologist reinforce that they are smart and capable, and back it up with objective evidence. There may actually be a neurological basis for challenges that are mistakenly construed as “lack of motivation” or “just lazy.” This can impact self-esteem, coping behaviors, and their relationships with friends and family. Many of these issues can be resolved if an assessment is conducted and an appropriate course of action is identified.
A comprehensive Neuropsychological assessment can help evaluate an individual’s current level of overall functioning, and then isolate certain problem areas that are likely to be interfering with their ability to be more successful. Once these problems are identified, a list of modifications and/or accommodations can be recommended in an effort to tailor specific plans for the individual and for parents, spouses, family members, teachers, and other professionals who live/work with them. This plan will help the individual to function more effectively in their academic, work or social environment.
How does a Neuropsychological evaluation differ from a learning disability assessment done at school?
Learning disability assessments conducted at school usually focus upon measuring IQ-academic achievement discrepancies. School evaluations usually do not provide an overview of all cognitive abilities. A Neuropsychological evaluation within the context of a Psychoeducational context is an interactive assessment that uses standardized procedures to understand the process of how and why an individual behaves, struggles, or fails. The focus is upon understanding the reasons for the problem. The results should be linked to interventions, which may or may not be school based.
School assessments tend to successfully identify students with learning problems when the students are older and the academic failure is more pronounced. By design however, a school-based evaluation may miss subtle learning problems, particularly in bright children or younger children.
Time can also be a key concern when opting school-based evaluations. Despite the best of intentions, most often the school process takes longer than an independent specialist.
Neurobehavioral Sciences can provide consultative services for the school or participate in a telephone conference with the child’s parents, teachers and appropriate school administrators in an effort to discuss assessment findings and to coordinate follow-up plans for optimal success in school. Additional fees will be charged for school or phone conferences.
When is a Psychoeducational Evaluation Needed?
- Early speech and language delays
- Poor performance in one specific area or subject
- Poor reading comprehension
- Difficulty remembering basic math facts
- Difficulty putting their thoughts into writing
- Poor spelling
- Difficulty remembering what he or she has studied
- Poor performance on tests despite the fact that they have studied
- Difficulty finishing work or tests in the allotted time
- Difficulty identifying what information is important when they read or study material
- Difficulty with long-term projects or follow-through
- Poor organization
- Poor attention in class/excessive daydreaming
- Emotional/Behavioral Problems
What are the Benefits in Obtaining a Psychoeducational Evaluation?
- Obtain an accurate diagnosis from a thorough Neuropsychological Psychoeducational assessment, which will directly impact medication decisions and intervention/treatment planning.
- Accommodations for testing (e.g. GRE, LSATs, MCATs, etc.)
- Identification of career and vocational interests prior to college placement
- Identifying if the clinical needs of the child and adolescent are better addressed in an alternative placement (i.e. outside the traditional school setting). Such placements may include an initial placement in an intensive observation and assessment center, wilderness intervention, residential treatment center or therapeutic boarding school.
- Provide additional clinical information outside of the school system for comprehensive 504 or Individual Educational Planning.
Special Education Categories
- Speech or language impairment
- Emotional disturbance
- Hearing impairment including deafness
- Intellectual disability
- Multiple disabilities
- Orthopedic impairment
- Other health impairment
- Specific learning disability
- Traumatic brain injury
- Visual impairment including blindness
- A student ages 3-7 experiencing developmental delays whose disability affects their educational performance and who, by reason thereof, meeds special education and related services.
Additional Assessment Tools:
Independent Educational Consultants Association http://www.iecaonline.org
National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs http://www.natsap.org
WrightsLaw Special Education Law and Advocacy http://www.wrightslaw.com
National Association of Special Education Teacher http://www.naset.org
Autism Society of America http://www.autism-society.org
Autism Speaks http://www.autismspeaks.org
Exploring Autism in English and Spanish http://www.exploringautism.org
National Autism Center http://www.nationalautismcenter.org
Interactive Autism Network http://www.ianproject.org
Organization for Autism Research http://www.researchautism.org
Speech and Language
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association http://www.asha.org
Cleft Palate Foundation http://www.cleftline.org
Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America http://www.apraxia-kids.org
FAQ about deaf-blindness http://www.aadb.org
Children who are deaf-blind http://www.nationaldb.org
Information about deaf-blindness http://www.deafblind.com
Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing http://www.agbell.org
American Hearing Research Foundation http://www.american-hearing.org
American Society for Deaf Children http://www.deafchildren.org
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association http://www.asha.org
Better Hearing Institute http://www.betterhearing.org
Hands and Voices http://www.handsandvoices.org
Hearing Loss Association of America http://www.hearingloss.org
How’s Your Hearing? http://www.howsyourhearing.com
Listen Up! http://www.listen-up.org
National Association of the Deaf http://nad.org
National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management http://www.infanthearing.org
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing
American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities http://www.aaidd.org
Intellectual Disability-National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities http://www.nichcy.org
The Arc http://www.thearc.org
Informational website http://orthopedicimpairments.weebly.com
The National Center for Learning Disabilities http://www.ncld.org
Traumatic Brain Injury
Brain Injury Association of America http://www.biausa.org
TBI Education http://www.cbirt.org
TBI Recovery Center http://tbirecoverycenter.org
National Alliance on Mental Illness http://www.nami.org
National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse http://www.cdsdirectory.org
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry http://www.aacap.org
American Psychological Association http://www.apa.org
National Institute of Mental Health http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health
American Council of the Blind http://www.acb.org
American Foundation for the Blind http://www.afb.org
American Printing House for the Blind http://www.aph.org
National Eye Institute http://www.nei.nih.gov
National Federation of the Blind http://www.nfb.org
National Braille Press http://www.nbp.org
Developmental milestones http://www.nichcy.org/disability/milestones
What is developmental delay http://www.howkidsdevelop.com
First signs http://www.firstsigns.org