Psych-educational evaluation is a process that is used to detect specific learning disabilities (e.g., reading, math, written language) and elements of social-emotional functioning. A variety of instruments may be used in evaluations. IQ tests such as the Wechsler Scales, Woodcock-Johnson, and Wide Range Intelligence Test are useful for determining relatively weak and strong cognitive abilities that are correlated with academic struggles and successes. Achievement tests such as the Wide Range Achievement Test and Woodcock-Johnson provide samples of actual academic skills; analysis further reveals any shortcomings as well as strategies to address them. Measures of visual-motor abilities such as the VMI or Bender Gestalt Test, gross and fine motor coordination tasks, and measures of motivational and emotional factors augment the diagnostic picture. Personality tests such as the PAI, along with data provided by outside sources (previous testing, behavior rating scales), aid in diagnosis of a wide range of mental health as well as learning issues. Vocational interest surveys such as the Self-Directed Search assist career exploration. Although standardized and projective tests have flaws and limitations, they can lead to diagnosis and treatment strategies when combined with a detailed client history.
Testing need not be intimidating or anxiety-provoking. In fact, it can be interesting
and fun! These are tests for which no studying is needed or even possible. One
need not be overly self-conscious of performance because results will remain
confidential, shared only with others by written or verbal consent. The testing
process can, in itself, be therapeutic; clients think about problems and issues, and
commit some of their ideas and feelings to paper, in a way that aids self-exploration
and awareness. Correct test responses stimulate self-satisfaction and strength-based
pursuit of goals. Self-knowledge can be a springboard to progress.
Payment: Psycho-educational evaluations are offered on a fee-for-service basis.
Insurance companies will rarely finance a psychological evaluation to address
learning issues unless the assessment is preapproved and deemed “medically
necessary”. Hence, payment for evaluation is expected in full before I will release
my report. Upon request I will provide whatever documentation may be useful to
help the client apply for insurance reimbursement.
It is impossible in advance to specify a test battery. I choose test instruments based on the presenting problem(s), personal history, previous assessment, and intended use of the results. I believe in using the fewest tests (and diagnoses) needed to address the issue at hand. In general, an evaluation may be classified into three categories:
1) Basic=2 hours of testing + a brief report=$300.
2) Standard=3-4 hours of testing + lengthier report=$600.
3) Comprehensive=5-7 hours of testing + detailed report=$900.