Steps in a Psychological or Psychoeducational Evaluation

The steps in a psychological or psychoeducational evaluation will vary in order depending on the needs of the child, but in general, this is what to expect when your child is undergoing a psychological or psychoeducational evaluation:

  • Intake interview: the psychologist gathers information regarding the current concerns, background information, and developmental history
  • Parents and teachers complete forms provided by the psychologist
  • Other professionals are consulted if applicable and with parent consent; for example, the child’s physician, counselor, or psychiatrist
  • The child is observed in the office and other locations such as the school, with the written consent of the parent
  • The child participates in evaluation, which will vary by age. Very young children may engage in play, while older children and adolescents are interviewed, will complete checklists, drawings, and other tasks
  • The psychologist might administer additional tests to evaluate cognition, memory, and academics. Typically, these are standardized tests, which means they are conducted the same way for everyone, although specific tasks may vary. Often they involve solving problems, manipulating objects, and answering questions
  • After all the information is gathered, the psychologist will score all the assessment data and compile the findings in a report
  • The final step is to provide feedback to the family, reviewing the report, findings, and most importantly, recommendations

As noted previously, the steps in a psychological or psychoeducational evaluation may vary and not all will be included every time. For example, if a parent does not wish for the psychologist to have contact with the child’s school, observations will not be conducted there and teachers will not be contacted either. It is important for the psychologist to work with the parent to design a thorough evaluation and help parents feel comfortable asking questions.