What is a psycho-educational assessment?
A psycho-educational assessment involves examining how an individual is developing in regards to the psychological processes that underlie learning (e.g., language processing, phonological processing, fine-motor/graphomotor processing, executive functioning, visual-spatial processing, processing speed, and working memory); their acquisition of academic skills in reading, writing and math; and their social/emotional and behavioural functioning (e.g., attention and concentration, depression, anxiety). These assessments are completed with children, adolescents, and adults to help identify underlying disabilities (e.g., Learning Disabilities, ADHD, associated disorders) which may be impacting their academic/work, social, and/or overall psychological well-being.
Who completes the assessments?
We are pleased to have a team of Registered Psychologists, Registered Provisional Psychologists and Masters and PhD level practicum and internship students specializing in Learning Disabilities working with us at Foothills Academy Community Services to conduct psycho-educational assessments, provide counselling and to facilitate small group programs. We are a teaching facility with all our students being supervised by a Registered Psychologist.
What is involved in a psycho-educational assessment?
Our agency offers full, comprehensive assessments, and thus they usually require about six to eight weeks to complete. The process typically includes:
– 1 hour intake session
– 2-3 testing sessions of approximately 2-3 hours each
– 1 hour debrief session to share findings
Information is gathered through interviews, review of documents (e.g., IPPs, report cards, previous assessment reports including speech-language and occupational therapy reports), formal testing, and completion of rating scales and questionnaires. At the end of the process, you will receive a completed report. Our reports, typically 20-30 pages in length, are highly regarded for their quality and level of comprehensiveness.
Why are psycho-educational assessments needed?
Information gathered during the assessment can often lead to diagnoses such as Learning Disabilities; attention and behaviour related disabilities such as ADHD; anxiety or depressive disorders; or pervasive developmental disorders. Whether a diagnosis is made or not, the information can be used to identify what the individual needs to reach their potential. Reports provide recommendations to address special services/resources required within the home and school environments (e.g., individualized programming, assistive technology, extra time, access to specialized services). Assessment reports are often required to access certain services funded by the province or school boards.
At Foothills Academy Society, our philosophical approach is to: Find Understanding, Build Confidence, and Maximize Potential. Through the psycho-educational assessment process, our team strives to assist individuals (and their families) in not only understanding their areas of need, but also their “islands of competence” (i.e., areas of strength, pride, and accomplishment). This understanding of their learning profile can provide the individual with the confidence to ask for what they need to support their learning. The ‘demystification process’ goes beyond a one-time debrief/feedback session. As such, included in our assessment cost is a ‘voucher’ that can be used within a 6-month period of the parent meeting for another hour-long meeting for follow-up questions. An alternative, which is encouraged, is to have the assigned clinician provide a debrief to the child (with parents involved for some or all of this meeting) explaining their learning profile in developmentally-appropriate language.
The assessment and counselling services are offered to children (age 5+), adolescents, and adults.
We currently offer assessments at a flat-rate of $1,900. This is broken down on the receipt with an hourly rate of $125 for 15.2 hours of work.
- Health Insurance Plans
Many private and employer benefit plans provide coverage for psychological services. It is recommended that parents/clients discuss their coverage with their insurer to determine whether our services will be covered. That is, it will be identified on the receipt who provided the service, including their position with us (e.g., intern, Registered Provisional Psychologist, psychometrist). All clinicians are supervised by a fully Registered Psychologist. The Manager of Psychological Services & Programs, also a fully Registered Psychologist in the province of Alberta, signs all receipts.
- Medical Expense
Any costs for such services provided by our Psychological Services & Programs department that are not reimbursed through insurance may be claimed as a medical expense upon completing your income tax.
- Fee Reduction
If you require financial assistance beyond this, you can apply for Fee Reduction through Foothills Academy Society.
How to access a psycho-educational assessment
No formal referral is required to begin the assessment process. If you would like to have an assessment done at Foothills Academy Society, fill out our intake form. You will be contacted to set up an initial intake session. Testing times will be scheduled during this initial intake session with your assigned clinician.