Psycho-Educational Assessment Process
What can psycho-educational assessments do?
Psycho-educational assessments usually consist of 1-3 sessions with the psychologist working with the child. What is done and how much is needed depends on the age of the child, the purposes of the assessment and the kinds of strengths and weaknesses the child has. The aim is to start with the concerns about learning or behaviour expressed by parents, teachers or sometimes the child and to try to provide sympathetic but objective information about the child's background abilities and current academic skills, and then evaluate whether there are serious difficulties and how great are the problems for the child, the patents and any teachers and tutors involved. Psychologists try to provide advice about the best curriculum options (if there are any) and then about how teachers, tutors, parents and the child themself can help the child most effectively. Usually this is a "snapshot" at a particular time, but the psychologist will learn more about the history of help to the child from parents and teachers, and in some cases future goals can be set (for tutors, for example) which can then be monitored to see if progress is at the expected rate.
What are the main steps in the process?
- Talk to people who know your child (teachers, tutors).
- Informal discussion by phone with us (a more extensive discussion can be arranged but we may need to charge for this).
- Fill in a referral form.
- Bring the child for the session(s) with the psychologist.
- Agree a date to receive feedback ("concluding").
- Receive a report.
- Further action at school if appropriate (by agreement).
How long will the assessment take?
The assessment might take only 2 hours - for a young child who is able to concentrate satisfactorily. The parents could (after discussion) watch it take place and share their observations on the process later.
Usually it takes about 3-4 hours, and can be completed in one session, but there are some advantages in extending to 2 or more sessions, where there are more concerns, or where the child won’t concentrate so well during a single session, even with breaks.
Follow-up after a time (usually a year but not more than 3 years) is nearly always advisable and helpful - parents and teachers get to see whether what they have done has led to good progress using the same measures used originally. But this is a separate process. The first assessment is concluded after discussion and when a report is finalized, or when there is a meeting with the school to discuss what the assessment has shown.
How long is the waiting time for DAS International assessments?
The waiting time is around 2-3 weeks from receipt of a referral form. Prior discussion is always welcome.
How long does it take to receive a final report?
We are committed to producing reports as quickly as possible. If you need something very urgently and we will try to prioritize. Usually we arrange a concluding session, to explain the findings and discuss their implications with parents, a week after the assessment, and a report follows within another week. One of our psychologists offers draft reports at the concluding meeting and asks parents for feedback and comments to ensure they are happy with how it is worded. This can take a few days longer, at parents discretion.
What will the psychologist do with the child?
The psychologist will do the most appropriate set of tests to make clear what background skills and abilities the child is bringing to their learning. They will also do a range of tests and activities to measure and analyze the literacy skills of the child. They can also look at maths skills. Oral language, drawing and writing, motor skills and the skills involved in planning, organizing and keeping going with tasks may all also be involved if they are relevant, but may take longer.
The psychologist expects the child to be a little nervous at first, but usually they become confident about showing what they can do quite quickly. The pace and order of activities can be adjusted to help the child become comfortable, always aiming to see the child's best. The psychologist is new to the child but has seen many others of the same age and notes how they react to the different tests and instructions. The psychologist hopes to encourage the child to talk about themselves at some stage and perhaps complete one or more questionnaires designed to show attitudes and beliefs about their learning and behaviour.
Occasionally the psychologist may use "trial teaching", a mini-trial of a teaching approach that may help to show what will work best with the child. This might take place between 2 sessions at home, and has sometimes given parents and teachers very encouraging surprises about the child's skills and aptitudes.
Age range for assessment
Children can be assessed from a very young age, as low as 2 especially if there are significant speech and language or social communication issues. Much more informal approaches will be needed and a home visit might be considered. In general, the younger the child, the more possibilities there are for early preventative intervention; but formal diagnosis is much less likely.
From 6 (or once formal teaching has begun) children's educational needs can be more thoroughly assessed and diagnoses given. From 8 almost all difficulties can be identified, with the exception of a handful of conditions that usually only emerge in the early teens. Emotional and behavioural difficulties can occur at any age, and can be approached in different ways. We suggest prior discussion about such concerns.
We can also work with young adults undertaking further education up to age 26. Usually we see the young person as the main stakeholder, although we are happy to meet parents, too.
When are Multi-professional assessments necessary?
For some concerns, more than one professional can give essential assessment information and advice. Often this is a Speech and Language Therapist or an Occupational Therapist. In many situations, a specialist doctor is already involved (a Paediatrician or Psychiatrist). If your concerns seem to us to require multi-professional assessment we can help arrange this with our own DAS professionals or those from other agencies.
Interventions, Therapy & Specialist tutoring:
Assessments by the DAS International team can call upon a wide range of therapists (speech and language, occupational, educational). Many children who are dyslexic join our main DAS classes or receive 1:1 help from specialist tutors. Others who are not dyslexic can join maths or study skills classes. More individualized arrangements can be made with high intensity (bridging programmes) or lower (weekly 1:1) teaching. We can also provide play and family therapy and behaviour support plans. We prefer to work in 10 week blocks with a written Individual Education Plan (IEP) agreed with you and review at the end of each block.
DAS International provides assessments and other services outside of Singapore. If you are interested in our services, please contact us at
Assessments and programmes/services within Singapore are now provided by
Specialised Educational Services (SES), a division of the Dyslexia Association of Singapore.
Please click here to go to the SES website.