Psychoeducational Testing is for Adults too

Sherri Frohlick, M.A.
Wishing Star Associate

You have probably heard us speak before about the many benefits of psychoeducational testing for preschoolers, school-age children and adolescents. However, adults can also benefit from these types of assessments . For instance, it is often useful for adolescents who are transitioning into post-secondary study at a technical school, college or university to have a sense of what their learning style is and if they have any learning exceptionalities that would qualify them for extra supports for coursework and exams. Often children who have received an assessment in high school receive an updated evaluation to keep understanding of their needs current. But it is also helpful for mature learners without a previous assessment who have a feeling that something “just isn’t right” with their learning or if they are struggling with certain learning tasks. Obtaining a comprehensive cognitive and academic assessment will ensure that they receive the appropriate supports in their learning institution. Adults designated as having a learning exceptionality in British Columbia are legally obligated to receive “accommodations” set out by the BC Ministry of Advanced Education (if their college falls under their mandate). Depending on the learning exceptionality, these might be things like: extended time on tests, use of a scribe or note-taker, electronic completion of exams, use of a calculator during exams, distraction-reduced testing environment, and exemption from foreign language. These are only a few of the possible accommodations adults may receive.

Having said this, even those who are not planning on attending a post-secondary institution may benefit from a psychoeducational assessment for vocational planning or for employment benefits or accommodations. Having a better sense of one’s cognitive style (i.e., how you think and reason) might help some people to choose careers that they will enjoy and succeed at rather than struggle and feel frustrated about. For instance, for those adults who may not excel at remembering chunks of information and doing something with them would likely find that they enjoy tasks and activities which do not require them to overload their short-term memory. Those who are good at paying attention to detail would likely excel in jobs requiring this skill (e.g., accountant, engineer, scientist). Although we do not offer vocational counselling at The Wishing Star, we would be able to provide appropriate referrals following a formal learning assessment. An employer may also require an assessment if someone needs changes in their work environment to do their job to their best ability. Oftentimes, small things like allowing frequent break or extending existing breaks or a quiet office can help employees complete their work and be more satisfied with their job. Although this may not always be necessary, some employers may require it.

The take-home message here is that psychoeducational assessment can benefit everyone, not just children and adolescents. Those who feel like they might benefit from knowing more about their thinking and reasoning skills and/or that think they might have challenges with any type of learning should certainly look into getting this type of testing completed. Fortunately, many clinicians at The Wishing Star assess both children and adults. If you think we can help, give us a call!

This blog posting is not a form of psychological counselling, advice, therapy, or assessment and should not be used as such by any individual. This blog posting is provided only as an article intended to encourage thought and discourse. For specific psychology related services, please contact an appropriate healthcare provider.