As many of you know, we work with students with various learning issues. As students begin to prepare to matriculate at college, it is really important to make sure their neuropsychological or psychoeducational testing is updated. Big words that really just mean, testing that is completed to help diagnose students with learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, ADHD, and autism spectrum disorders.
When getting a reassessment, here are some important factors to address.
- Make sure the assessment is done with adult normed scoring. There are assessments that are used for children and others of adults. When students are 16 or older, it is important to ask for adult normed testing.
- Make sure you time it correctly! Private assessments are costly so timing can lead to saving money. In order to get accommodations for the ACT/SAT you want current testing. Colleges want testing within three years of college entrance. Ideally, this means you should update testing between the second semester sophomore year and the start of junior year.
- Your high school is legally required to provide this at no cost. Many of our families try to get assessments by the high schools but find it can be difficult. There is usually a waiting list and not enough time to get it done for standardized tests. If schools are able to do the assessment, be sure to ask them for a full battery, including an IQ test and achievement testing. You don’t want a partial assessment. More on this later.
- Plan ahead! Just like high schools, some private neuropsychologists and psychologists have waiting lists. Schedule testing months in advance to make sure that you will have your student’s assessment at the appropriate time.
- Partial assessments are problematic. When we see partial testing, it usually shows the student’s weaknesses, not their strengths. Subsequently, their learning profile is incomplete and doesn’t allow educators to understand how to utilize a student’s strengths to support their weaknesses. Many colleges with structured learning support programs will not accept these assessments which means your child won’t be considered for their programs. A full battery, as previously mentioned, includes a full-scale IQ test and achievement testing in reading, writing, and math. Some students also would benefit from social-emotional assessments.
- Know what colleges require this testing as part of their application process. The majority of colleges don’t require this testing for acceptance to the college itself. If they have a structured learning support program with an added application, this assessment is usually a required piece of the application. Be sure to check if the disability support application is supposed to be completed in conjunction with the college application or if you apply after acceptance.