You may have been told your child needs one of the following types of testing: Neuropsychological, Psychoeducational, Academic, Developmental, Neurodevelopmental, or Psychological. It may be unclear what, exactly, these words describe. At their core, assessments are a method of using structured and standardized testing tools to gather information about a child’s strengths, challenges, and needs. Here is a brief description of each of these terms and what they usually mean.
Neuropsychological testing is a series of structured and standardized assessment tools designed to measure different types of cognitive functioning. This might include intelligence, memory, attention, organization, and planning. Neuropsychological testing involves the use of structured tests to understand various aspects of cognition, emotions, social skills, development, and behavior. Information from testing is interpreted within the context a child’s history and current overall functioning. See this article in Psychology Today for more information about Neuropsychological Testing.
Psychoeducational & Academic
Psychoeducational testing is similar to neuropsychological testing, but typically focuses on cognitive or social-emotional skills that might interfere with a child’s academic progress. Academic testing is a measure or learned knowledge, such as math facts or vocabulary definitions. The combination of Psychoeducational and Academic testing is often used to develop appropriate accommodations and curriculum adjustments for students.
Developmental or Neurodevelopmental
Developmental and Neurodevelopmental testing examine a child’s progress in meeting expected developmental milestones and abilities. These might include language, motor skills, cognition, social skills, and behavioral patters.
Psychological testing usually involves gathering information about a person’s emotional processes, social functioning, and personality development.