The School Psychology Clinic
@ Midtown Psychological Services
Dr. Donna Reist PhD., C.Psych.
Registered Clinical & School Psychologist
A psychoeducational assessment is conducted by a registered psychologist and is required by most school boards, colleges, universities, and professional licensing examination boards in the determination of student needs for accommodation.
A psychoeducational assessment is a standardized evaluation of a student’s cognitive ability, academic achievement, and ability to learn new information and retrieve it from memory. It may also involve an evaluation of executive functioning, emotional regulation, social skills and problem behaviours.
Diagnosis of Neurodevelopmental Disorders
A psychoeducational assessment provides information about an individual’s unique learning strengths and weaknesses and can often be used to make diagnoses and recommendations. In our School Psychology Clinic we provide psychoeducational assessments of neurodevelopmental disorders and we can provide you with a diagnosis (if applicable). You will also receive a comprehensive report to ensure you have the documentation and recommendations you need to obtain the support you require.
Students with average to above average intellectual ability may struggle academically despite solid cognitive skills. To determine whether or not a learning disability is the cause of academic delays, it is first established that the student has the cognitive abilities that are expected, given his/her age. Second, we look at academic progress to determine if it is significantly lower than expected. Diagnostic assessment tools are then used to investigate information processing deficits (e.g., memory, language processing, visual/sensory/motor processing, executive functioning, etc.) that may underlie difficulties in learning, retaining or retrieving what is learned.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurocognitive disorder that is identifiable before the age of 12. There are three types of ADHD:
- ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Presentation
- ADHD, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation
- ADHD, Combined Presentation
ADHD is characterized by having difficulty regulating one’s activity level, inhibiting behavior and difficulty focusing on the task at hand. Assessment of ADHD begins with a psychoeducational assessment of cognitive ability and information processing. In addition to assessment tools and rating scales, the assessment will also include a clinical interview with you, your parents and, if possible, your teachers.
Assessment of a possible mild intellectual disability or developmental delay involves an examination of intellectual functioning which, in intellectual disabilities, is very much below average. An examination of daily living skills is also carried out to determine whether or not there are limitations in at least two adaptive functioning skill areas: communication, self-care, home living, social/interpersonal skills, use of community resources, self-direction, functional academic skills, work, leisure, health, and safety.
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Over 17% of Ontario students require special education support.
The Assessment Process
All assessments will be planned in collaboration with you and will include an estimate prior to getting started. It is important to keep in mind that, when making a diagnosis, it may be important to rule out other conditions (e.g., ADHD vs. an Anxiety Disorder) and to identify co-morbid conditions (e.g., the coexistence of a Learning Disability and ADHD).
All assessments will include a detailed report which describes areas of strength and needs, diagnosis (if applicable) and recommendations. For grade school students, reports are written to facilitate teacher implementation of Individual Education Plans (IEP) and, if needed, formal identification through the Identification, Placement and Review Committee (IPRC) process. For older students, a psychological report may be used to support an application for academic accommodations at university or college, or for accommodations during admissions or professional licensing exams.