Wondering what the psychoeducational assessment process is like? You've come to the right place!
Before the Test
You'll want to track your symptoms before you arrange a meeting with your psychologist. In a notes app such as Google Docs, start a list with the symptoms you can remember.
As you experience more symptoms throughout the day, record them in the same document for later reference. Bring them to your test — this is particularly helpful if your psychologist wants to discuss your symptoms with you!
Fill Information Sheet
To make the most accurate diagnosis possible, your psychologist will usually need more information from you before they begin testing. Prior to the arranged session, they will send out an information sheet for you and/or your parents to fill in.
Generally, this will consist of:
your previous schools/grade/age
symptoms you're experiencing
family history of LD/ADHD/ASD
reason for testing referral
Eat a good breakfast!
Testing can be incredibly tiring! The full session takes 6+ hours to complete. If you're testing in one day, make sure to bring a lunch and eat a filling breakfast. If you're testing throughout multiple days, make sure you're well-nourished beforehand!
During the Test
1. The psychologist will usually meet with your parents to discuss the testing procedure and receive parental permission. This will take about 15-20 minutes.
2. After your parents leave, you'll start the testing procedure with the psychologist! First up is an IQ test, which consists of various visual-spatial, mathematic, language, memory recall, and auditory components. This IQ test is used as a baseline to determine disparities between your performance and actual cognitive ability.
3. After the IQ test, you'll start the LD/ADHD testing procedure! This psychoeducational assessment comprises a battery of tests and activities that measure your cognitive tendencies (e.g. memory profile, reading, mathematics literacy, phonetic-word interference, etc.) Don't worry if you're confused during the assessments—you won't know what you're being testing for at all. That's what maintains testing validity!
Psychoeducational assessments generally include an anxiety/depression screening test, which you will fill in yourself. Other than this anxiety/depression screening procedure, you won't get any self-fill-in tests; the rest of assessment is proctored and facilitated by the psychologist. This is why it's important to seek a comprehensive psychoeducational assessment when you're worried about the possibility of ADHD/LD—because you can't take these tests yourself!
4. You'll get frequent breaks throughout this test so you don't exhaust yourself too much. You can also opt to test over multiple days. And don't worry—the psychologist (usually) doesn't bite! ;)
After the Test
First off, congrats—you've finished your psychoeducational assessment! As this test screens for a variety of learning disparities, you're one step closer to finally getting the answers you've been looking for.
When will the answers come?
In about one to two weeks! During this time, your psychologist will score your test and write a comprehensive report on your results for each of the tests. After they are done with the report, they'll schedule another meeting with you and your parents to discuss your diagnosis(es) and their findings. They will also email you a copy of the report to give to your school/physician for accommodations, therapies, and/or medication!
The comprehensive psychoeducational report is usually anywhere from 15-20 pages long and summarizes a profile of your symptoms/responses from the information sheet you filled in. It also includes the results from your IQ test, which is compared to your performance on the battery tests. It also includes each test result, analyses and percentiles, diagnoses, in-school and testing accommodations, and recommendations to assist with your symptoms.
After you receive the results, you'll want to give the report to your school counselor or learning specialist, who will then set up another meeting with you to review your accommodations (as suggested by the learning specialist), and accommodation procedures. Generally, you'll have to notify your teachers 24-48 hours in advance to remind them of your accommodations, such as extended time or testing in a reduced-distraction environment.
Your school counselor or learning specialist will usually record your accommodations in an Accommodations Form and place them in a file. Procedures vary from school to school, but mine asked me to take a picture and send it to all my teachers to keep them on the same page.
Your learning specialist or school counselor will then check in with you once or twice a month to see how accommodations are going, assist with organization management, study for tests, help with learning strategies, and set up the next meeting!