Thursday, March 28, 2013

Assessment 101: Types of Evaluations

originally posted on Wrightslaw
Types of Evaluations
by Aida Khan, Ph.D.

Assessments Provide a Roadmap
Assessment professionals try to understand how your child thinks, reasons, and processes information. A formal evaluation should give you a clearer understanding of your child. An evaluation should also offer strategies for addressing your child’s needs. A good evaluation creates a road map about what to anticipate as your son or daughter gets older and expectations increase at school and elsewhere.

Assessment or testing are other terms for evaluations. In an assessment, the evaluator works with a student using paper and pencil tasks and other activities to figure out your child’s skill levels in different areas. The evaluator’s observations of a child’s behavior and problem solving style also provide information about individual difficulties and strengths.
The larger goal of the assessment process is to provide a big picture view of your child’s vulnerabilities—and resources. This information helps guide your decisions about education, behavior, and other areas.

Neuropsychological Assessments
Neuropsychological evaluation is the most time-consuming and comprehensive of the assessment options. A neuropsychological assessment will provide a snapshot of your child’s functioning and developmental profile today.

This evaluation describes your child’s strengths and weaknesses as a thinker and learner. It tells you how your child’s skill levels compare to his peers.

Neuropsychologists are specialized psychologists with a doctoral degree in psychology or a related field. You may see Ph.D., Ed.D., or Psy.D. listed after their names. They usually have done a postdoctoral fellowship in clinical neuropsychology after getting their doctoral degree.
What do neuropsychologists do? They try to understand how a child’s underlying temperament interacts with life and school experience. These experiences shape a young person’s learning style, personality, and overall functioning.
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If you live in Illinois and have questions about assessments or you need help getting your child assessed, please call our office at 866-436-7842!

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