What are the purposes of an evaluation?
A Psycho-educational Evaluation is often conducted in order to determine whether a specific learning or other disability (e.g., ADHD) may be significantly impacting a student's academic performance. For instance, a learning disability, an attention deficit disorder, or emotional disorder can result in a great deal of academic frustration and inability for a student to perform at his/her level of potential. It is estimated that 15 to 20% of students are identified as learning disabled. A learning disability is diagnosed when assessment results reveal a significant discrepancy between a student's scores on achievement tests (in reading, mathematics, and/or written language) and his/her intellectual ability (based upon age norms). In addition to determining whether a student has a specific disability that impacts upon learning, a psycho-educational evaluation gives a good indication of how a student learns best (e.g., verbally or nonverbally). Once the teacher, parent, and student are empowered with this knowledge, they can make adjustments in order to maximize the student's learning potential. When students understand their individual strengths and weaknesses they may be able to reduce feelings of academic frustration, while improving self-esteem.
When would or should a Psycho-educational Evaluation be recommended?
A Psycho-educational Evaluation would be appropriate in situations where a student continues to experience academic difficulties after various interventions have been utilized (e.g., parent/teacher conferences, tutoring, extended time, assignment modification, preferential seating, etc.). Additionally, when parents and/or teachers observe major discrepancies over time (or between subject areas) in a student’s academic performance, an evaluation should be recommended.
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