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Skipper L Harvey, PsyD
December 10, 2014

Psychological Evaluation and Testing

Psychological/Psyoeducational Evaluations

Hearing that your child may need a psychological evaluation can cause a great deal of anxiety for any parent or guardian. It’s difficult to hear that your child may have a disability, mental health disorder, or behavior problem. If you find yourself in this situation, try to look at an evaluation as a way to lessen anxiety and difficulty as it will aid you in understanding and addressing the specific needs of your child in order to positively affect their family life and/or academic functioning.

What is a Psychological Evaluation?

A psychological evaluation is a process of testing that uses a variety of techniques and measures in order to better understand how a child or teen functions in the areas of learning, behavior, and mental health. Other terms that may be used to describe this type of testing include psychological assessment, psychological testing, or psychological battery. A psychological evaluation may be performed by either a licensed psychologist or a psychology trainee supervised by a licensed psychologist. The main components of this type of evaluation most often include norm-referenced tests, interviews, observations, and informal assessments. Psychological evaluations are typically designed to gather information related to the referral question; therefore, each evaluation should be individually tailored in regard to chosen measures in order to meet the needs of a specific child. A comprehensive evaluation may cover many skills areas such as general intellectual level, language, memory and learning, problem solving, planning and organization, and academic skills (reading, math, spelling, and writing) in addition to an examination of behavior and emotions. The evaluation process typically involves administration, scoring, and interpretation of tests with a written report of test results and recommendations. Depending on the reason for the evaluation, you may gain information about the following:

Child’s level of intelligence
Academic achievement levels with strengths and weaknesses
Processing skills
Working memory skills
Level of attention/focus
Behavioral and emotional functioning
Social functioning

What is a Psychoeducational Evaluation?

A psychoeducational evaluation is a form of psychological testing that is typically recommended when a child or teen is experiencing significant educational difficulties that are negatively impacting his/her ability to perform in the school environment. This type of evaluation can also help determine if a child is intellectually advanced and may need to be placed in a more challenging setting such as a gifted program. A psychoeducational evaluation may be performed by either a credentialed school psychologist, licensed psychologist, or a psychology trainee supervised by a licensed psychologist. While the main goal of a psychoeducational evaluation is to address issues related to learning, it is beneficial to review other aspects of a child’s functioning in order to suggest additional recommendations if necessary. This kind of evaluation can provide answers to the following questions:

What is my child’s present ability to learn?
What is my child’s probable potential?
Is my child achieving at appropriate levels?
Can my child’s ability to learn and be successful improve with specialized treatment?
Does my child have a true attentional problem or is there a different issue that is impacting their ability to pay attention? 

Websites for Additiuonal Anformation

About Dr. Skipper

Dr. Skipper is a Florida Licensed Clinical Psychologist who works extensively with children, adolescents, and families to provide therapy and psychoeducational assessment services.

She received her doctorate degree from the Florida School of Professional Psychology.  Dr. Skipper has worked with children, adolescents, and families in a variety of settings which include mental health clinics, residential settings, drug treatment facilities, and schools.

Through the integration of a variety of empirically-based treatment approaches, Dr. Skipper assists her clients by providing new skills and empowering strategies to build distress tolerance, enhance awareness and communication, facilitate insight, and challenge maladaptive relationship and thinking patterns. She employs an active therapeutic stance to facilitate long-lasting, positive change. 

Dr. Skipper’s background also includes a B.A. in Elementary Education with 11 years of experience in primary education. 


Disclaimer: The above information is not intended to provide professional advice or diagnostic service. If you have any concerns about Psychological/Psychoeducational Evaluations or other health issues, please consult a qualified health care professional in your community.