Many ask me what is an educational evaluation and what is included in the process. Below is a general description of what should be included in all legitimate evaluations.
- Diagnostic Interview – The interview includes any record of prior accommodations or auxiliary aides, including any information about specific conditions under which the accommodations were used. It also includes an extensive review of historical grades, academic issues, and standardized test scores.
- Aptitude Test – A complete intellectual assessment with all subtests and standard core scores are reported. These assessments would include either of the most recent and age appropriate versions of the Wechsler Intelligence Test (preferred) and/or the Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery-Revised Tests of Cognitive Ability.
- Academic Achievement – A comprehensive academic achievement assessment with all required subtests and standard core subtests are reported. The battery includes current levels of academic functioning in relevant areas such as reading (decoding and comprehension), mathematics, oral language, and written language. These assessments are either the most recent and age appropriate version of the Woodcock Johnson Psycho Educational Batter-Revised Tests of Achievement (preferred) or the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test. Additional formal tests such as the most recent and age appropriate version of the Grey Oral Reading Test, Test of Written Language, or other academic assessments are often integrated with the above assessment to assist in determining the presence of a learning disability and differentiating from co-existing disorders.
- Information Processing – Specific areas of information processing (e.g., short- and long-term memory, sequential memory, auditory and visual perception/processing, processing speed, executive function, and motor ability) may be assessed. There are a variety of potential assessments that can be used for this such as the Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery-Revised Tests of Cognitive Ability, Connors Continuous Processing Test, etc.
- Behavioral Assessment – A measurement of mental health issues as well as the appropriate behavioral scales might be included for a differential diagnoses to rule out any other conditions. (This is not for diagnostic purposes of psychological issues.)
- Specific Diagnosis – Direct language in the diagnosis and documentation of a learning disability is provided if applicable.
- Clinical Summary – A well-written diagnostic summary based on the comprehensive evaluation is included in the report to determine the presence of a specific learning disability or ADHD as it relates to the educational setting.