What is a Psychoeducational Assessment ?

A comprehensive Psychoeducational Evaluation is a thorough examination of the various functions of the brain as it relates to learning disabilities and/or brain injury. The assessments focus on the underlying causes of difficulties in oral or written expression, listening or reading comprehension, and in mathematics, all of which may have a significant negative impact on a student’s social functioning, academics, and future career.

Evaluation requires 2-3 sessions, for about 2-3 hours each session. Many of the tests take on the appearance of games. For many patients, the evaluation is an enjoyable and positive experience. The assessment also requires an extensive review of academic records, psychological reports, and/or medical records. A Psychoeducational Evaluation will accomplish one of three goals:

1.  To Obtain Special Education Services (up to age 22)
Results of the psychoeducational assessment will determine the category under which a student can obtain Special
Education services in a high-school or university setting, as determined by the 2004 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), including:

Specific Learning Disability: The imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations, which can be caused by perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia (speech deficits).

Traumatic Brain Injury: An injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects educational performance, including impairments in cognition, language, memory, attention, reasoning, abstract thinking, judgment, problem-solving, along with deficits in sensory, perceptual, and motor abilities, psychosocial behavior, physical functions, information processing, and speech.

Other Health Impairment: Limitations in strength, vitality, or alertness due to chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, sickle cell anemia, and Tourette syndrome. Brain cancer, which is not considered traumatic brain injury, falls into this category.

Emotional Disturbance: A condition occurring over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects educational performance, including an inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers, inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances, a general pervasive mood of
unhappiness or depression, a tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems, or the presence of a psychiatric disorder such as schizophrenia.

Autism: A developmental disability that significantly affects verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, that adversely affects educational performance, including engaging in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences.

2. To Obtain Accommodations on Standardized Testing
A psychoeducational assessment is used to obtain accommodations (such as additional time) for high school and college students on standardized tests such as the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and ACT Test. Accommodations on adult assessments, such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Law School Admission Test (LSAT), Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), and the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), all require a comprehensive Psychoeducational Evaluation performed by an experienced and qualified professional like Dr. David Raffle. Dr. Raffle’s experience in both Neuropsychology and Special Education makes him especially qualified to perform such evaluations.

3.  To Obtain Disability Services in College
In colleges and universities, special classroom accommodations, including additional time on examinations, note-takers, and other services, must be provided by the college’s Disability Services office. These accommodations for adults are not covered by Special Education’s IDEA, but by Section 504 of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. If Special Education services are in place when a student graduates high school, these services can most often be transferred directly to the college; otherwise, a Comprehensive Psychoeducational Evaluation will necessary to qualify for Section 504 accommodations at a college or university.

For more information on Los Angeles accommodation testing specialist Dr. David Raffle and Raffle Brain Institute, please call (800) 450-9799 or contact us at info@rafflebraininstitute.com.