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When your Child Cannot Learn Well: Psychoeducational Testing at Home

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After a recent Sylvan Learning Center assessment, we were encouraged to get psychoeducational testing for one of our children.  However, the cost was $2000, way beyond our budget.  (Note that this is a service provided by independent psychologists who specialize in education, not by Sylvan.)

When I discussed that with the Sylvan lady, she said, “You can get her tested now and give her the tools she needs to succeed, or you can wait until she feels really bad about herself and then give her the tools she needs to succeed.”

Fair enough, and probably true enough, but that did not change the reality of the huge $2000 price tag.

So first of all, what is psychoeducational testing?  One official answer is “the psychological tests used to analyze the mental processes underlying your child’s educational performance.”  It typically involves many hours of assessment of many different factors–physical, psychological, emotional, and relational–that can affect schoolwork.  If a child is having difficulty learning, such testing can often give very useful information.

But what can a family do if a child obviously has learning difficulties but a professional psychoeducational assessment is not financially possible?

One education expert suggested that we would be able to get some idea of the issues involved by searching for the tests online and doing them ourselves.  Now, this is tricky of course.  We are in no way equipped to administer and understand the many fine nuances of these assessments.  On the other hand, if we do a test for ADD and it says our child has all the signs (or none of them), we have learned something important.

In that spirit, I have compiled a list of assessments of conditions that may impact learning.  I am grateful that our family does not need them all and hope that some of you will find something helpful in this list.

ADHD—parent’s point of view

ADHD—teacher’s point of view (since we are both parents and teachers, we can fill out both for extra clarity)


Autism Spectrum 

Autism in Toddlers


Life Skills

Strengths Check List  

Small Child’s Daily Strengths

Family Strengths

Depression (with self-help guide)

Depression Screening Tests (for adults, but still helpful for teens)

Obsessive Compulsive Screening

Anxiety Assessment and Hints

Bipolar Disorder 

Sleep Apnea

Chronic Fatigue

Nonverbal Learning Disorders

Communication Development (K-grade 5)

Speaking and Listening (birth to 5 years old)

Play Observation Checklist

Determining which Reinforcements may Motivate your Child (ages 2-6; ages 6-12; ages 6-13; ages 13-18)

Color Vision (preschool; school age)

How Stressed are You? 

Pedriatic Symptom Checklist (children; youth)

Important note:  As I mentioned before, do-it-yourself psychoeducational assessments can be exceedingly helpful, but you must remember that in certain circumstances you will need to get a professional involved in the assessment and somehow pay the enormous cost of finding out why your child cannot learn well.  Also, don’t jump to a diagnosis on the basis of just one of these tests.

Remember:  If you do these tests certain results should, of course, send you to seek professional help for your child, while other results may give you ideas of things you can do at home.  May God bless you with wisdom as you make these decisions for your family.

Related Articles:

If the symptoms begin after a concussion, you may be able to get some of these tests for free through your medical providers. Here is a list of brain-healing supplements that may help you as they have helped us.

When your teen or child used to be able to focus but is no longer able to, here are somethings to consider.

Review of Smart but Scattered Teens; a similar book has been written about children.

Many of the above free assessment tools are listed here along with information about a wide variety of other assessments.  Other examples of such tests are also available.  Legal disclaimer:  I can assume no responsibility for how your family interacts with these assessments and remind you that professional help may be necessary.

For more encouragement and helpful information, visit Finishing Strong, Trivium Tuesdays, Raising Homemakers, Titus 2 Tuesday, Tell it to Me Tuesday, Monday’s Musings, R&R Wednesdays.

Disclosure:  I am not compensated in any way for mentioning any of these resources.

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