Why Children May Need an Educational Assessment

When it comes to education, all children have difficulties at school from time to time. It’s normal for an otherwise bright child to, for example, struggle with math. It’s also normal for children to have difficult weeks or months socially and behaviourally.

However, if your child continues to struggle greatly and consistently in certain areas despite classroom accommodations, it would likely be valuable to seek out a professional educational assessment.

Additionally, some signs that your child would probably benefit from such an assessment include:

  • A progressively worsening attitude toward school
  • Persistently disruptive behaviour in class
  • A failure to learn basic intellectual, social, or behavioural skills

It’s important to note that a child who is exhibiting disruptive behaviour at school but not at home is likely suffering from a learning disability rather than a behavioural issue.

A child suffering from an undiagnosed LD will often act out due to confusion, frustration, or simply the desire to create a distraction (either to avoid doing work he cannot easily complete or to avoid looking vulnerable in front of his peers).

What are Educational Assessments?

Children are often referred to Educational Psychologists when they have behavioural, academic, or emotional difficulties. An educational assessment aims to measure intellectual, cognitive, academic, and emotional development to assist in understanding your child’s overall functioning.

This is necessary to identify specific strengths and weaknesses, with the aim of optimizing potential through appropriate support and intervention. The earlier barriers to learning are identified, the better. Timely intervention increases the likelihood of improvement and progress.

A psycho-educational assessment is the first step to identifying correct interventions to assist in overcoming challenges your child may be experiencing in the classroom or at home.

How Does an Assessment Work?

An educational assessment typically begins with an interview with the parents. This is an important part of the process, as the child psychologist uses this opportunity to understand your child’s history and background. It is necessary to gain a clear picture of the reason for the assessment, as this will determine the types of tests used.

After the initial interview, the assessment sessions take place. This can be a lengthy process. The psychologist will spend time with your child, administering a selection of psychometric assessments.

Following the completion of these sessions, the psychologist will write the report according to the results of the psychometric tests. The report is usually explained to the parents during a feedback session, and they may be provided with resources to support where needed.

For more information about the educational assessments or to book a consultation, contact Anel Annandale at 021 423 0739 or via email at  anel@childpsych.co.za.

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