What goes into an assessment?
First you will meet with your psychologist and will discuss your present concerns along with your childhood symptoms and academic history (if applicable). Your psychologist will typically give you questionnaires to complete by yourself, parents, and/or teachers that investigates your current concerns and symptoms. This helps collect information about your concerns from outside observers and across different settings. You may also be asked to provide documentation such as report cards, that your psychologist will review. Your psychologist will inform you if there is any documentation they would like to review.
What will I get out of this?
- An explanation for troubling behaviours or academic problems
- Recommendations specific to your unique learning profile, challenges, behaviours, and/or symptoms
- Support Resources
- Information to receive access to accommodations at school and work (if applicable) for present or future use
- Screening for other mental health concerns
- Self-advocacy skills
- A trusting relationship with someone who can provide you with ongoing counselling supports
- Useful information to share with doctors for medical intervention (if applicable)
- A comprehensive report with all of the information above
What is the difference between an ADHD assessment and Psychoeducational assessment?
investigate concerns about attention and/or hyperactivity and impulsivity in children and adults. It is important to know that ADHD can look different between people- some people appear to be daydreaming, others may feel the need for constant movement, and some feel both. That is why your psychologist will examine the multitude of characteristics linked with ADHD, including but not limited to forgetfulness, task organization, making careless mistakes, restlessness, interrupting others, and distractedness, in addition to the symptoms that are your biggest concern. An important part of this assessment is also examining how these symptoms are impacting your daily functioning across multiple settings (school, home, work, etc…). While academic functioning may be examined, it is not the focus of this assessment. Having this information is useful in understanding a person’s behaviour and determining whether medical intervention or academic/workplace accommodations are required. All of the information gathered from the assessment is put into a comprehensive report that can be used to access accommodations.
Please keep in mind that the purpose of this assessment is to determine whether ADHD is the best explanation of your symptoms. During this process, the psychologist may determine there is a better alternative explanation of your symptoms, in which case a diagnosis of ADHD is not warranted. No matter the result of the assessment, you will have important information to guide you in the right direction.
examine a person’s learning profile by looking at academic skills, thinking and reasoning abilities, and other factors that can impact learning, such as attentional difficulties. Examples of academic skills include reading, writing, math, listening comprehension, and language skills, among others. Example of thinking and reasoning abilities, or cognitive abilities, include working memory, visual spatial abilities and processing speed, among others.
This information is gathered through standardized testing that compares performance to same-aged peers to determine whether performance is above average, below average, or in the average range. This assessment takes a deep look into a person’s ability to learn and will provide detailed information about a person’s specific strengths are weaknesses relating to academic and cognitive abilities. The information obtained may reveal an intellectual disability, learning disability, specific learning disorder, or giftedness, among other information. Having knowledge of a person’s learning abilities is helpful in determining whether they require academic or workplace supports, and which specific ones are necessary (e.g. extra time on exams, cue sheets, assistive technology) to facilitate academic and/or workplace success. The information gathered is put into a comprehensive report that can be used to access accommodations. There is approximately 20+ hours of work put into each psychoeducational assessment.
If you are still unsure which assessment is right for you, please call us for more information or book an intake session with one of our psychologists who can help determine which assessment will best suit your needs (the cost will be absorbed into the full assessment cost if an assessment is booked).
Where else can I get an ADHD or Psychoeducational Assessment?
Your doctor may be able to provide you with a brief ADHD assessment to discuss medication options, if applicable. Alternatively, you may be able to receive a physician referral to a hospital-based program to receive an assessment if determined appropriate by your doctor. Many private practices offer ADHD assessments as well.
Children can receive psychoeducational assessments through their school board. We encourage families to contact their child’s school if they are having academic difficulties and inquire if they are on the waitlist for an assessment, when they can expect to be assessed, and/or whether they are eligible to be put on the waitlist. As the waitlists are often long, we suggest parents to speak with the school as soon as academic challenges are identified. If you are a post-secondary student or non-student adult, psychoeducational assessments are available in many private practices.
Tips for Students!
If you are a post-secondary student, you likely have insurance through your school that covers psychological services. We strongly recommend you checking with your school about your insurance coverage, many of which cover in part or whole the cost of assessments and counselling sessions. You may also be eligible to receive funds for services through you school’s accessibility services. Please check with your school to learn about their funding opportunities.