How Can Psychoeducational Assessment Reports Help Children and Young People, Their Parents, and Schools?
In the UAE, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) place a high degree of emphasis on the need to provide effective support to children and young people who are having problems with intellectual functioning in specific areas. This acts to maintain standards so that those pupils who are facing specific difficulties (e.g. with mathematical reasoning, comprehension, perceptual reasoning or memory) do not fall behind and that a tailored approach to their learning is undertaken.
It is important that a detailed understanding of intellectual strengths and weaknesses is obtained for each pupil. Where difficulties arise in learning, a comprehensive psychoeducational assessment report can help both the school and parents to collaboratively structure individualized education programs (IEPs) that best cater for the child or young person’s learning needs as well as for their social and emotional requirements.
“I have found that school counsellors value clear help and support surrounding how they can provide psychological support to children and young people with specific intellectual difficulties” commented Dr David Lee, Lead Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Camali Clinic. “Also, parents who come to see me value having clear recommendations both for themselves and for the school. Through psychoeducational assessment, we can detect where the problem areas lie so the school and the parents can help the child or young person without fear or misunderstanding.”
Psychoeducational assessments aim to provide an understanding of relative intellectual difficulties and strengths so that additional support and targeted interventions can be put in place at school. Academic achievement in the areas of reading, writing, mathematics, and oral/written language are assessed in addition to general cognitive ability across a variety of domains. The difference between cognitive ability and achievement is important to understand in a way that can help the pupil to work at their optimum level of ability with support and encouragement.
Central to developing an understanding of what can help the child or young person in learning is the consideration of their social and emotional needs. Many pupils perform below their level of ability purely due to issues of self-esteem, self-efficacy, and an undermining of his or her own potential.
- Psychoeducational assessments involve comprehensive tests of intellectual functioning via the Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children (WISC-IV) and of individual achievement via the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT-II) in addition to a comprehensive examination of the pupil’s learning history and, where required, school observations, review of school reports and meetings with the school.
- Further psychometric assessments can be undertaken if necessary where specific cognitive problems are found to be evident (e.g. attention and memory).
- A comprehensive report is produced which provides detail of performance, which examines psychological factors and which offers targeted recommendations for schools and parents in order to best support the child or young person.
For further information on psychoeducational assessments, please ask to speak with Dr David Lee, Lead Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Camali Clinic, UAE: firstname.lastname@example.org