How does it work? Pyschoeducational assessment.

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by JamieM, May 6, 2008.

  1. JamieM

    JamieM New Member

    My son's appointment for a psychoeducational assessment is on the 22nd. I also think as I have mentioned on other posts that my difficult child may be ODD. His pediatrician indicated that he has possible sxs. I know that the psychoedu assessment is to test for delays and advances. His main issues are behavior issues. His grades do not seem to be effected as of yet. What are the possible steps that this process will go through? The assessment? Determining ODD? Can anyone that has been through this please explain the processes to me? My difficult child already has an IEP inplace for speech services, but it doesnt include anything other than speech. All help is appreciated!
  2. jal

    jal Member

    My difficult child has behavioral problems also. We had a neuropsychologist exam to rule out delay/diabilities. I am not sure if it is the same as a pyschoeducational assessment. At our testing difficult child was in one room, while I was in the waiting room. It laste several hours and breaks were given. A few weeks later we were presented with a report that basically told us what we already knew, no disability or delay. We did not get much out of it, but it was another avenue to pursue. Also when we did it, he was not yet in school. As for the IEP, my difficult child is now in Kindergarten and has several interventions in place. He has his own para, takes movement breaks and has a behavior plan that he follows daily. It has helped a lot.
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    My youngest daughter will undergo a psychoeducational evaluation beginning at the end of this month. Her testers, a listensed clinical psychologist with a PhD and an educational diagnostician with an medication, will conduct the assessment over several sessions. They will meet with us (parents) for a 1-hour intake appointment, the psycholgist will test our daughter for 3 hours on one day and 1.5 hours on a second day, the educational diagnostician will test her fon a third day for 3 hours, and then both testers will provide us with feedback for 1 hour.

    The evaluators provided us with information about the testing from which I will quote:

    "The testing is divided into three sections.
    Cognitive Testing. These tests are designed to help us understand how an individual takes in information, uses that information and is able to carry out work in an efficient and effective manner. Among other things, these tests are useful for examining memory functions, verbal and non-verbal abstract reasoning, general knowledge, vocabulary skills, expressive language ability the abiliyt to analyze visually presented information, planning and organizational skills and rates at which the individual can work effectively. Aspects of motor development, grapho-motor functioning and attentional processes are also examined using these tests.

    Social-Emotional Assessment. A variety of different instruments are useful in helping to understand a youngster's personality. These instruments can help determine whether and to what extent a youngster is suffering from depression or anxiety. They can help to gain a fuller understanding of areas of strength and potential areas of psychological vulnerability.

    Educational and Academic Assessment. This portion of the evaluation uses a variety of objective instruments to develop a profile of a child's cognitive and academic strengths and vulnerabilities. Educational and academic tests, in conjunction with cognitive tests, help to determine the presence, nature and scope of specific learning disabilities. These tests provide an objective and independent means of determining a youngster's grade level in a number of different subject areas."

    To my knowledge, each psychoeducational evaluation is tailored to the individual child so the evaluator chooses which specific tests to use to explore the scope of these psychological and educational areas.

    I would be very concerned if the end result of your evaluation is a diagnosis of ODD. ODD is rarely a stand-alone diagnosis. It should be thought of as a symptom of underlying disorder rather than a diagnosis unto itself. When the underlying disorder is identified and treated, the ODD behaviors generally subside. Typically, psychoeducational evaluations yield dxes of ADHD, anxiety, depression, learning disabilities, Autistic Spectrum Disorders, etc.

    Did your evaluator ask you to fill out a history or any questionnaires prior to your first visit?
  4. JamieM

    JamieM New Member

    Thanks so much for the information. No, we have not been asked to fill out anything yet. He has asked that we obtain a letter describing how our son behaves at school and some teacher observations. He has also asked for us to provide with any info we can from the pediatrician who referred us to the assessment and also diagnosed him as ADHD. I feel that he may be relying on the history we have given to the dr that treats him for ADHD and any questionairres we filled out there in the past. I had heard that it would be several sessions, but didnt realize one would be 3 hrs. How can they keep the child's attention for that long especially and ADHD child? Since already has the dxs of ADHD, I guess they are looking for delays. We will also make a point of inquiring about the ODD if this is not explored. His pediatrician has said that it is a possiblity that he has it, and we should explore it further.

    Thanks for the info, I wanted to know wgat I may expect.
  5. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    This new evaluator should assess on his own for ADHD. He should NOT rely on a pediatrician's diagnosis. There are many childhood disorders whose symptoms mimic ADHD, and it's important to figure out if you're looking at true ADHD or something else entirely.

    For a three-hour testing session, there are many different activities for the child to do within that timeframe, plus there is generally a break with a snack halfway through. Furthermore, these evaluators are adept at dealing with children with various disorders, and know how to get them to attend to the task at hand. If the child can't attend, that is information in and of itself.
  6. JamieM

    JamieM New Member

    Ok. Thanks! I am eager to get started and get difficult child on a road to success. I am sure he is upset that he has such a difficult time and I know he would be happy just being able to get through without outbursts, and mainly just the constant tension that is there. I want to know how to better help him. I hope that this process wont take too long and we can start making any necessary changes this summer, so school will start off smoothly.
  7. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Hi Jamie

    Your child already has an IEP, therefore, you may call an IEP meeting at any time. You are a full member of the IEP team.

    In that your child is having behavior problems, you may want to consider calling an IEP meeting to address the behavior problems. A behavior plan can be included in the IEP. OR, you may want to consider requesting a Functional Behavior Assessment.

    A couple of links that may be helpful regarding behavior and FBAs:
    Re: FBAs, Behavior, IEP

    IDEA/IEP contains proactive measures that will help prevent discipline problems

    There's another FBA link in the Sp Ed Archives.

    Some links that may be helpful regarding evaluations:

    Preparation of a Psycho-educational Evaluation Report

    Evaluations (by school dist) and IEEs (Independent Ed evaluations)

    School district’s must evaluate in all areas of suspected disability