Many parents and students may not be aware that most colleges require students with learning disabilities, ADD and ADHD to have updated psychoeducational testing to register as a student with a disability in order to receive accommodations in college. Typically, IEPs and Section 504 Plans that students may have had in high school are not sufficient to document students’ educational needs in college. It is recommended that testing occur no later than the summer prior to entering college because the process can take several weeks to complete. It can be very upsetting for a student to find out in the middle of his/her first semester that he/she needs to have testing completed before accommodations can be considered. Planning ahead is very important to maximize student success in college and reduce stress. Contact the DSS at your college prior to the first semester to inquire whether you need updated testing to qualify for services and accommodations in college.
EFFICIENT STUDY STRATEGIES FOR HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE STUDENTS
1. Plan the amount of time you will need to study for each exam. It is more effective to spread your study time out rather than cram the night before an exam. This will allow you enough time to ask teachers/professors if you have any questions that arise when studying. Avoid procrastination by rewarding yourself for completing each study session and your goals.
2. Make up your own test based upon what you think will be on the test. Quiz yourself by using flashcards. The more active you are when studying the more effective your study session will be.
3. When studying, try to process concepts at a deeper cognitive level by comparing and contrasting the material. This may help you to internalize and apply the concepts. Find out from your teacher the test format (e.g., multiple choice, essay, true/false) and practice when reviewing for exams in that format.
4. Get organized when studying (especially for mid-terms and finals). Mentally
organize concepts that are related. Put in chronological order lecture notes and study materials. Use study guides – that are often arranged in chronological order and coincide with exam questions.
5. If you are struggling with the course material, arrange a time to meet with your teacher each week. If you continue to struggle, talk to your parents or school counselor about getting a tutor. For some students, concepts are better understood when reviewed individually based upon your learning style. Seek help whenever you begin to struggle and develop self-advocacy skills. Speak up and do not allow yourself to fall behind throughout the semester.
Have great confidence and good luck!!!
1. Cooking. Children love to cooking with their parents. This is a fun activity for children and involves learning about measurement, step-by-step instructions, reading, counting, and self-monitoring.
2. Help plan the family vacation. By having your child help plan the family vacation he/she can learn about budgeting, using maps, planning and compromising on the selected activities. Once the destination is agreed upon, the internet and vacation pamphlets can be read to research the area, activities and history.
3. Create a summer scrapbook. Your child may enjoy creating a scrapbook of his/her favorite summer activities. Photos, drawing, thoughts and memories could be written to practice writing skills.
4. Join a local library program. Many local libraries provide programs for summer reading that include suggested books along with goals and rewards for book completion(s). This gives children additional incentives for reading and makes it a fun and rewarding summer activity.
5. Plan a summer field trip. Have your child plan a summer field trip with friends and/or neighbors to a museum, zoo, or nature center. This can help your child develop skills for organization, time management, communication and research.
Have a great summer and remember that learning can always be fun!!!!!
A psychoeducational evaluation would be appropriate in situations where a student continues to experience academic difficulties after various interventions have been attempted (e.g., parent/school conferences, tutoring, study skills, behavior modification, etc.). Another situation would be when parents and/or teachers observe major discrepancies over time in academic performance (e.g., from day to day or between subject areas). A psychoeducational evaluation is usually required for college when a student needs documentation for educational accommodations for learning disabilities and ADHD.
A psychoeducational evaluation is often conducted in order to determine whether a specific learning or other disability (e.g., ADHD) may be impacting significantly on a student’s academic performance. . For instance, the presence of a learning disability, attention deficit disorder, or emotional disorder can result in a great deal of academic frustration and inability for a student to perform at his/her level of innate potential. For example, it has been estimated that 1 5 to 20% of students are learning disabled. A learning disability is diagnosed when assessment results reveal a significant discrepancy (difference) between a student’s scores on achievement tests (in reading, mathematics and/or written language) and his/her educational expectancy range (based upon age, educational background and intelligence).
In addition to determining whether a student has a specific disability that impacts upon learning, plainly stated a psychoeducational evaluation gives a good indication of how a student learns best (i.e., his/her learning style (profile). Once the teacher, parent and student are empowered with this knowledge they can make adjustments in order to maximize the student’s learning potential. Often when students can learn to understand their strengths and weaknesses as opposed to global assessments they may have internalized regarding their learning abilities (e.g., dumb, smart, average) they can be able to reduce feelings of academic frustration, while improving self-esteem.
A psychoeducational evaluation is a comprehension assessment of a student’s functioning in three primary areas that impact learning and academic functioning. These areas, which include: 1) learning aptitude; 2) basic academic skill development; and 3) personality/adjustment factors, will be described below.
1. Tests of Learning Aptitude – (also called intelligence (IQ) tests, cognitive processing tests) investigate a student’s abilities on measures of verbal linguistic skills (long-term memory, abstract reasoning, vocabulary development, comprehension, and auditory short-term memory) as well as non verbal skills (visual organization and memory, nonverbal reasoning, planning ability, visual motor coordination, spatial visualization ability, and short-term visual memory). Supplemental cognitive (aptitude) tests are given to further investigate any problem areas based on in-take information and observations (e.g., attention, organization, visual-auditory associative memory, processing speed, auditory (phonological processing), long-term retrieval, visuo-spatial memory and fluid reasoning, etc.).
2. Tests of Academic Skill Development – investigate a student’ s skills in the areas of reading, written language and mathematics. Within each of these academic domains, the student is tested on measures of basic skills development and higher level application and reasoning skills. For example, reading tests assess word decoding, phonetic skills, word identification, fluency/rate and comprehension.
3. Test of Personality/Adjustment Factors – investigate a student’s functioning with regard to the development of his/her academic coping strategies. One’s functioning in this regard is sometimes affected by self-esteem, anxiety, internal pressure, motivational levels, etc. that are assessed during the psychoeducational evaluation. Students are also screened for emotional distress (e.g., anxiety, depression) during this portion of the test.
Dr. Myra Burgee founded Applied Counseling & Psychoeducational Services in 1997 after working in both the private and public school settings and realizing the need for more indvidualized and applied psychoeducational services. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland at College Park in 1995. Dr. Burgee completed her pre-doctoral internships at the Milton Hershey School in Hershey, Pennsylvania and in the Montgomery County Public School System. During her post-doctoral experience, she provided psychological services at the McLean School of Maryland and consultation services within Montgomery County Public School System.