Educational Evaluation – When to Start One

Knowing when the right time to receive an education evaluation can be tricky. Your child may be showing early signs of a learning challenge, but you’re waiting to see if it’s just laziness, disorganization, or both. Perhaps your child has struggled with academics since early elementary school, but you aren’t sure where to start to get help. Other parents are concerned with the stigmatization of their child being labeled with a disability and the impact that may have on their child’s self-esteem. These are all valid points to consider when considering an educational evaluation.

The purpose of an educational evaluation is trifold.

  • Primarily, an educational evaluation is to clarify the child’s strengths and weaknesses. When a child finds academic material challenging, it is beneficial to understand their cognitive processes that contribute to their learning styles. For example, is your child more visual or tactile in their learning approach. How do they problem solve and use vocabulary to understand their world?
  • Secondarily, educational evaluations recognize whether or not they have a learning difference or disability. Whether or not your share the evaluation results of the evaluation with the school district, learning challenges are neurologically based that cannot be overcome with medication or learning one skills. It will likely impact them as they enter college and the workforce and they may need to learn strategies for success.
  • Lastly, educational evaluations can provide a child with a sense of relief. They may work hard to remember and practice material they have learned in school with little achievement. When kids learn that they can overcome learning challenges with strategies, this can significantly boost their confidence.

The process of the educational evaluation is straightforward. Here are the steps:

  1. Meet with a specialist, such as a clinical psychologist, to discuss your concerns and to establish a pace and schedule for testing.
  2. The psychologist may want to interview your child’s teacher or complete a classroom observation.
  3. Your child then meets with the psychologist one-to-one for IQ testing and academic achievement testing. This is completed over the course of one to three two-hour testing sessions.
  4. The psychologist completes write-us of your child’s skills observed in testing and in observations with their teacher. The evaluator will include diagnostic impressions and recommendations in a report.
  5. Meet with the psychologist for feedback session of the educational report.

Paradox Psych Services is a child and teen therapy center with two Carlsbad locations: Bressi Ranch and Aviara Parkway. Our teen therapists at Bressi Ranch are also near San Marcos. We offer an action and goal-oriented approach to child and teen therapy. To learn more about our services, contact us today for a free phone consultation.

About Susan Gehrig, PhD

Susan Gehrig, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and co-founder of Paradox Psychological Services located in Carlsbad. She has a passion for supporting the wellbeing of children and teens. Her professional training and expertise is in child mindfulness and self-compassion, cognitive behavioral therapy, and child development. Dr. Gehrig provides psychological testing and child therapy to help build an ultimate plan for success. Paradox services families of San Diego North County and greater areas.

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