The Foreign Service Journal - December 2013 - page 72

72
DECEMBER 2013
|
THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
EDUCATION SUPPLEMENT
A PARENT’S GUIDE TO
PSYCHOEDUCATIONAL
EVALUATIONS
The goal of a psychoeducational
evaluation is to enhance a child’s ability
to be as successful as possible.
BY CHAD C . NE LSON
Chad C. Nelson is a licensed psychologist in private practice in the Lutherville, Md., area.
He specializes in the evaluation of learning, attention and emotional disorders in children,
adolescents and young adults. Dr. Nelson can be reached at
A
s parents, we strive
to help our children
as much as possible.
Despite our best
efforts, however, we
may see them strug-
gling in some areas.
These struggles may occur early in a
child’s development, manifested as dif-
ficulty understanding directions, learning
to read or managing social interactions.
For others, the challenge may arise as a
child progresses in age, whether it involves
reading comprehension, completing tests
in the allotted time period, attending to
tasks or organizing tasks and materials.
Despite assistance, these struggles
may persist, leaving parents, children and
teachers feeling frustrated or helpless.
Under those circumstances, a psychoed-
ucational evaluation may open the door
to greater understanding of the child by
everyone involved and help point the
way toward solutions.
For Foreign Service families, in partic-
ular, such evaluations may help identify
academic intervention and accommoda-
tions that may be necessary for children
entering or continuing on in American
and international schools around the
world, as well as transitioning from one
school to the other.
For FS children who are beginning to
make the transition to college, evaluation
can help identify accommodations that
may be necessary in college. It can also
help students prepare for higher educa-
tion by identifying the ways in which they
learn most efficiently.
What Is It?
Psychoeducational evaluation is a
process by which a trained professional
works with those involved in a child’s
learning or development to identify the
child’s strengths and weaknesses. Its
goal is to enhance everyone’s ability to
help the child be as successful as pos-
sible.
People involved in the process often
include you, your child, your child’s
teachers and, possibly, even your child’s
pediatrician.
Such an evaluation can answer many
questions. For instance:
■ What kind of learner is my child?
■ Why is my child struggling in one
subject, but not others?
■ Why does my child cry at the
thought of school or doing homework?
■ Why have my child’s grades
declined?
■ Why do I have to repeat myself over
and over to get my child to do some-
thing?
■ Why is my child struggling to make
friends?
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