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A psycho-educational (also called a ‘psych-ed’) assessment focuses on how your child learns best. By
clearly identifying their strengths within their learning profile, we find the best way to help them maximize their tremendous potential, and how to support any areas of learning needs. This type of assessment typically includes thinking / reasoning abilities (ie. cognitive assessment or “IQ test”), academic achievement performance, and other areas as needed. The practical and comprehensive written report provides personalized, detailed information about your child’s learning profile (highlighting their areas of strengths and needs), as well as many specific suggestions and strategies to support their development and progress. Parents can feel they understand their child at a deeper level, and can feel better prepared to continue to be a meaningful advocate for their kids. Teachers can feel more informed about specific teaching methods and effective strategies for their student.


A psych-ed assessment is an important part of helping teachers and school administrators determine if a student may be eligible for additional learning supports / accommodations, and if they could qualify for an Alberta Education coding designation with an Individual Program Plan (IPP).

Psycho-Educational Assessments

Giftedness can be misunderstood, such as expecting a gifted student to always be high-achieving with top grades in all subjects and always well-behaved. It's a complex area with many subtleties that need to be understood. Gifted children often exhibit asynchronous development, which means there might be differences between a gifted child’s advanced intellectual (cognitive) development and their emotional, social, or physical development. Their development may not be happening uniformly and they may seem like they are many ages — all at once. For example, your child may intellectually understand advanced concepts like a 10-year-old, yet they are trying to handle it while equipped with their age-appropriate 5-year- old emotions. Or your child might be functioning intellectually at a level close to twice their age, yet demonstrating social skills (or friendship skills) at a level that matches their chronological age or in some situations, even younger. This complexity can leave parents feeling like their child is simultaneously very mature and very immature. Gifted kids are often described as “intense”, such as being intensely curious, having an intense thirst for knowledge, being intensely imaginative or creative, needing intense stimulation, or having intense emotions or sensitivities.

A gifted assessment focuses on identifying your child’s advanced thinking and reasoning abilities (i.e.,
cognitive assessment or ‘IQ test’, such as the WPPSI-IV(CDN) or WISC-V(CDN)) and their academic achievement performance. If appropriate, it may also include formal or informal assessment of your child’s emotional well-being, such as perfectionism or anxiety, stress caused by self-imposed high standards, social perspective taking skills that may affect friendships, etc.


The written report provides detailed information about their unique cognitive abilities and academic talents, and includes many specific suggestions for enriched educational programming, instructional content strategies, and strategies to maintain or strengthen emotional well-being. If your child meets the Alberta Education criteria to be identified as a gifted learner, they should be eligible for an Alberta Education coding designation with an Individual Program Plan (IPP). Enrichment and advanced learning opportunities, as well as differentiated educational programming can be provided at your child’s community school or in a more specialized setting.

A gifted assessment is often required to determine eligibility for admission to a congregated program for
gifted learners, such as the Calgary Board of Education’s Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) or
Westmount Charter School.

Gifted Assessments

Your child might get easily sidetracked in their morning routine before school, have difficulty being ready on time and then be surprised at how much time has passed. They might lose or misplace their belongings and be stressed while spending a lot of time searching for things. They can seem unsure of what their parents said after finishing a conversation or need questions repeated. They can find it hard to keep focused and seem like they’re daydreaming or just seem like their mind is elsewhere. They might make careless mistakes in school, like answering only part of a question or leaving the reverse side of test unanswered. At home, they might procrastinate boring homework or difficult assignments due to the concentration that would be required.


Or you might feel like your child is always ‘on the go’ and people comment about how ‘busy’ they were when they were younger. It might be hard to get them to stay seated at the dinner table instead of constantly getting up between bites. They might talk too much, interrupt others, or blurt out answers before questions were finished being asked. Parents might need to remind them to lower their voice in certain situations and they might not be aware of their peers’ cues when they insert themselves into games or activities without asking. They might rush through their schoolwork and seem like they’re doing the minimum required. Waiting their turn can be hard and they can become impatient or irritable.


ADHD can also affect your child’s ability to regulate their emotions. You might see your child having strong over-reactions to seemingly minor events, suddenly or unexpectedly becoming very angry, or finding it hard to calm down on their own after becoming upset. As parents, this can be frustrating and might even feel like you’re walking on eggshells, just waiting for the next explosion. With support through an ADHD assessment, your child can learn personalized strategies to help understand and manage their big feelings. Parents can learn new ideas, and refine their existing strategies, to help their child more effectively communicate their emotions.

Kids and teens with attention difficulties are consistently inconsistent, meaning they do really well in some situations but not in others. An ADHD assessment can provide clarity about your child’s attention abilities and executive functioning skills, such as planning / prioritizing, time management, organization, initiating tasks, etc. A deeper understanding of their own attention profile can help your child learn to the use the right strategy at the right time. Skill development and acquisition can be made easier once you have the information about how to most effectively support your child. Personalized strategies and practical suggestions are provided in a written report. Many families find that consistently using these strategies leads to a calmer, more harmonious household. Teachers can find a new understanding of their student and what teaching methods / accommodations may be most effective.

ADHD Assessments

Senior high school can be a big change from middle school. Parents might see their hardworking teen
struggling to complete assignments, needing more support than expected to stay organized, getting
overwhelmed with the complexity or volume of reading material, or feeling challenged to keep up with the faster pace of assignments in senior high school.

It’s not unusual for teens to have a learning exceptionality identified for the first time in high school. Your
child may have had to work extremely hard along the way, diligently participated in tutoring throughout
middle school, and found their own ways to compensate for areas of difficulty. The academic demands in
high school can highlight the need for a psycho-educational assessment, which can support your child in
that setting and into post-secondary studies. Many students are actually relieved to find out more about their learning profile, learn why some subjects have felt harder along the way, and what specific strategies they can use to leverage their strengths to support their academic performance. Parents can feel more confident about sending their child off to post-secondary, knowing there is a plan in place. If your child was previously identified with a learning exceptionality and already has an Individual Program Plan with supports in place, it is valuable to update their psycho-educational assessment before they finish high school.

Your child might be able to access valuable accommodations and supports when they transition to university or college. Most post-secondary institutions will require a current psycho-ed assessment to help determine your child’s eligibility for accommodations, which vary between institutions but could include
accommodations such as: Extensions on assignments, extra time in exams, limiting exams to maximum 1
per day, restricting exams to certain times of day, allowing cue sheets / formula sheets to serve as a memory aid in evaluations and exams, accessing a learning strategist or advisor, being granted priority to on-campus housing, etc. Parents are advised to contact the university or college of their choice directly in order to determine any deadlines for applications for accommodations. Many institutions require the psycho-educational assessment to be current within the past 12-18 months at the time of application and require specific assessments to be completed (eg. WAIS-IV(CDN) and WIAT-III(CDN) ).

Assessments for Post-Secondary
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