Below I will try to answer some frequently asked questions about orthodidactic assessments as done by an educational psychologist.
What are orthodidactic assessments?
An orthodidactic assessment is both a formal and informal assessment, done by a qualified person, (usually an educational psychologist), to understand the child's general academic and cognitive level of competence.
How are orthodidactic assessments done?
The orthodidactic assessments usually starts with an initial interview with the parents and/or teachers. Other significant reports or inputs (i.e. reports from occupational or speech therapists, GP's or specialists) are also incorporated. Depending on which school system and language of the learner, either the SSAIS - R (Senior South African Individual Scale - Revised) or the WISC IV (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children) is used. Further tests include reading, spelling, visual- and auditory discrimination.
How long will orthodidactic assessments take?
The orthodidactic assessments will take approximately 3 - 5 hours, depending on the child's concentration ability. The assessment is usually done in the morning.
What kind of feedback can I expect from the educational psychologist after the orthodidactic assessment?
Parents will receive a written report, but also detailed verbal feedback on the various aspects of the academic and cognitive functioning of their child. The report will highlight possible areas of concern and recommend actions to rectify this. Should serious hearing / visual / motor skills or concentration issues seems to be present, the child will be referred to either a paediatric neurologist, psychiatrist who specialises in ADHD, audiologist or speech / occupational therapist.
The educational psychologist will compile a custom made individual support program to support the child with the identified learning gaps in reading / spelling / perception, coordination etc.