Psychoeducational testing is a type of evaluation given to individuals who struggle academically. The prior article entitled “How to tell if psychoeducational testing is right for your kid” provides a checklist to determine if this type of evaluation would be helpful for your child. While there are many benefits to having psychoeducational testing completed, the main three benefits that stand out among the rest include: 1) To identify the cause of an academic problem, 2) To identify strengths and weakness across academic areas, and 3) To set realistic goals.
Firstly, psychoeducation testing helps to identify the cause of an academic problem by recognizing the potential barriers that hinder their academic success and pin-pointing the possible reason(s) they may not be reaching their full potential. Some barriers may include: inattention, poor memory, impulsivity, high levels of anxiety, interpersonal problems (e.g., bullying), slow processing speed, motor difficulties, family conflict, and difficulty adjusting to changes. For example, a child may have great difficulty completing an assignment and may either give up or randomly select responses because they feel like they don’t have enough time to complete the task.
One reason for this difficulty may be due to a lower processing speed, and therefore they may require more time to complete the work. Another reason could be related to anxiety, where the individual becomes so worried about the correct response that they overthink the question or inadequately interpret the question. Without identifying the cause of the problem, you may be unintentionally causing them more harm and not truly resolving the problem.
Secondly, psychoeducation testing helps to identify strengths and weaknesses across academic areas. When there are many academic issues, it is sometimes difficult to tell whether there are any strengths or weaknesses in certain subjects or aspects of that subject due to frustration, fatigue, and sometimes hopelessness with school. Psychoeducational testing evaluates several aspects of academic subjects (i.e., reading, writing, and mathematics), memory, processing speed, verbal comprehension, non-verbal problem-solving, and other areas to evaluate the child’s potential. For example, if a child has a strength in non-verbal tasks, problem-solving, and visual memory, you can reinforce this strength by teaching them targeted study strategies, test taking strategies, and prompts (i.e., add more visual instruction or guidelines).
Thirdly, psychoeducation testing helps to set realistic goals. Once you are able to identify the cause of an academic problem, as well as strengths and weakness, you can then set realistic expectations for that child. Setting realistic goals is not only helpful for parents and teachers, but also helpful for students who may be getting frustrated with their progress.
When expectations match what the child can achieve, parents and teachers are able to set more accurate goals and objectives. You can imagine it is very frustrating for a child to feel like they can never achieve their goal and to think they are constantly working so hard for nothing. By modifying goals and objectives, unrealistic pressure is reduced and you can then begin to see progress at a level they can achieve.
Overall, psychoeducational testing has many benefits and can assist with increasing your child’s success. Improved progress academically can also enhance a child’s emotional wellbeing and hopefulness in life.
Dr. Brenna Grant Squires – Psychologist || Author
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Your family may need help in more than one way. At Sheltering Oaks Counseling, we want to meet the mental health needs of every member of your family. Therefore, we offer a number of mental health services at our Wesley Chapel, FL based therapy clinic. For example, our therapists offer Christian counseling, counseling for young adults, therapy for cancer survivors and trauma therapy. We also have marriage counseling, family therapy, play therapy, and counseling for ministers. Not only can we help you in our Tampa area counseling offices, but we can also work with you anywhere in the state with online therapy in Florida.
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