Assessments at Reach
To better understand struggles with learning, families may be seeking an assessment with their child. Different assessments help families, educators and professionals understand if there is a problem, and in many cases why that problem may be occurring. Assessments to not “label” a child, but rather are documents which can be used to better understand how to support a child either in school, at home, or with interventions.
REACH OG Learning Centre is able to conduct assessments or refer to a variety of different assessors to help families understand the areas of literacy or math with which their child may be struggling. Commonly, families may be seeking either an academic skills-based assessment (sometimes called “Level B” assessments), a speech-language assessment, a psycho-educational or a neuropsychological assessment. The differences in these assessments include the training of the assessor varying from Level B credentials and post-graduate level coursework, to Masters degrees, PhDs and PhDs with neuropsych coursework.
A Psycho-Educational or Neuropsychological Assessment
These types of assessments will help a family better understand their child's struggles with learning. If conclusions can be drawn as to why the problems are occurring, a diagnosis may be made. Some schools may be able to forward a child’s name to the school-based resource team to request an assessment. This waitlist for a school-funded assessment is often lengthy (a year or more) and is used to determine if a child meets the education ministry designation for services, which is different from a medical diagnosis. A private assessment from an educational psychologist may result in a medical diagnosis, which must meet certain criteria laid out by the DSM-5. A private assessment can be held at the discretion of the family, may be forwarded to the school for their application to a ministry designation, and may also help families seeking to advocate for supports or accommodations with their schools, or to access tax credits through CRA such as the disability tax credit. Since these kinds of assessments must include academic and cognitive assessment measures, they must be conducted by a registered psychologist.
Some extended health plans cover some or all of the costs of a private assessment, so it’s helpful for families to check for their provision of services with their extended health benefits provider. We are happy to refer families to educational psychologists in our community. In addition to referrals to psychologists in our community, there is a registry of BC Psychologists found here. Fees for private assessments in BC range from $1800 to over $3000.
We are pleased to support psych-ed assessment services offered with Dr. Gavin Reid at our North Vancouver office.
Academic assessments, or “Level B” assessments, are conducted using standardized assessment tools and can help pinpoint gaps in reading, writing or math development in relation to age-based standardized norms. These assessments allow families to clearly understand if their child has gaps in their academic achievement, to monitor progress, or to determine if there is a need for further assessment with an educational psychologist. These are available upon request at our North Vancouver office with Corey Zylstra, M.Ed. Contact us for more information about academic assessments at REACH.
Informal assessments, such as the traditional "Orton-Gillingham Diagnostic" informal assessment, or curriculum-based measures, guides intervention provided at REACH and helps to monitor student progress. At REACH OG Learning Centres, every student is provided an academic or skills-based informal assessment when they first register for ongoing 1:1 intervention lessons.
A speech-language assessment may test children for oral motor skills, articulation, expressive and receptive language, and general speech development. A speech-language pathologist can provide different assessments for young children (age 3 and under) or for any child where a family suspects a problem. Reports for these assessments help parents understand how their child is progressing in speech development and may help guide others as to the kind of supports needed to help the child develop these skills further. REACH is pleased to support speech-language assessments and services provided by Kate Dixon, BSc, MSpPath at our North Vancouver office.
Dr. Gavin Reid
Dr. Gavin Reid is an international independent educational psychologist with active consultancies in seven countries. Dr. Reid conducts full psychological assessments in many countries and currently carries out regular independent assessments for schools and centres in Switzerland, Vancouver, Yukon, Cairo, Kuwait, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Oman, Casablanca, Spain and throughout the UK.
Dr. Gavin Reid provides assessments to children from pre-school to upper secondary, college students and adults in the workplace and is considerably experienced in the areas of giftedness, dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, ASD and ADHD.
For more information about Dr. Reid, please visit www.drgavinreid.com