Pros & Cons The School Based vs. Independent Psychological Evaluation
The School Based via the Private/Independent Psychological Evaluation
If you are seeking an independent psychological evaluation, that means that you are hiring a Clinical Psychologist privately to provide you with an evaluation and report. The Clinical Psychologist has the ability to administer additional tests in order to answer questions you may have as a parent, or to gain more specific information about your child’s intellectual and academic skills.
Being a School and Clinical Psychologist, when I perform a private psychological evaluation, I also like to administer an achievement test and examine visual motor skills in order to gain a big picture view of the student. This helps to determine if there is a learning disability, that is suspected or has gone undetected, as well as other areas that may be impeding or negatively impacting a child’s ability to perform academically.
This report is comprehensive and offers information about learning style that the School Psychologist’s report does not contain. That is, is your child a visual spatial learner?; an auditory learner?; a hands on learner? With this information in mind, the recommendations in the report can then be geared towards the best way to teach new information to the student that is in line with the way he naturally takes it in.
Pros & Cons
So what are some of the major pros and cons of a Child Study Team generated psychological evaluation vs. a private/independent one?
- The psychological evaluation completed by your School Psychologist will not incur any cost to you.
- The report is not as thorough and informative
- Testing is not as extensive
- Information gained does not offer a big picture view of your child as a student.
Dr. Liz Matheis is a clinical psychologist and school psychologist in Parsippany, NJ who provides assessment, psychotherapy, consulting, and advocacy for children and families managing autism spectrum disorders, ADHD and learning disabilities. She is also a contributor to several popular press magazines.
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