What types of students do school psychologists assess?
Do school psychologists diagnoses ADHD?
What do the scores in the psychoeducational report mean?
Do school psychologists provide counseling services in the schools?
How do I refer my child for testing?
Where can I obtain additional information regarding my child's disability?
WHAT TYPES OF STUDENTS DO SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS ASSESS?
psychologists evaluate children between the of ages 2 through 21 years
of age for potential special education services in the areas of autism,
deaf-blindness, developmental delay, emotional disturbance, hearing
impairment/deafness, learning disability, mental retardation, multiple
disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, severe
disabilities, traumatic brain injury, and visual impairment. In order to
qualify for special education services, an Eligibility Committee must
determine that a student has an educational disability AND that the
disability impairs school functioning.Back to top
DO SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS DIAGNOSE ADHD?
observe behaviors and collect data from parents and teachers that may
suggest ADHD symptomotology. School psychologists DO NOT diagnose ADHD.
Portsmouth Public Schools requires a medical diagnosis of ADHD in order
to consider classification. You may wish to contact your family
physician to obtain additional information regarding ADHD diagnosis .Back to top
WHAT DO SCORES IN THE PSYCHOEDUCATIONAL REPORT MEAN?
Most of the instruments
used by school psychologists are norm-referenced. That means that an
individuals' performance is compared to that of his or her peers. Scores
on norm-referenced tests indicate the student’s ranking relative to a
national group of same-age peers. Typical scores used with
norm-referenced tests include:
Standard Scores - Standard
scores indicate how far above or below the average an individual score
falls. Standard scores can be used to compare individuals from different
grades or age groups because all scores are converted to the same
numerical scale. Standard scores typically have a mean (average) of 100
and a standard deviation of 15. Therefore, most individuals score
within the range of 85 to 115 (A T-score is a standard score that has
an average of 50 and a standard deviation of ten. A Scaled score is a
standard score that has an average of 10 and a standard deviation of
3). Most intelligence tests and many achievement tests use some type of
In summary, Standard
Scores between 85 and 115 are considered Average, T-Scores between 40
and 60 are considered Average and Scaled Scores between 7 and 13 are
Percentiles - A
percentile is a score that indicates the rank of the student compared
to others (same age or same grade), using a hypothetical group of 100
students. A percentile of 50, for example, indicates that a student’s
test performance equals or exceeds 50 out of 100 students on the same
measure. A percentile rank of 50 can also be described as a child scoring equal to or better than 50% of his peers. Percentile ranks are not the same as percentages. In fact, a percentile rank of 50 is considered average.
Age/Grade Equivalents - Age
and grade equivalents indicate that the student has attained the same
score (NOT skill level) as an average student of that age or grade. For
example, if a student obtained a grade equivalent of 3.8 on a reading
comprehension test, this means that he/she obtained the same score as
the typical student in the eighth month of the third grade. The student
may or may not have acquired the same skills as a typical third grader.
For example, Student A may obtain 15 correct responses on a subtest but
get only lower skill items correct. Student B may obtain 15 correct
responses on a subtest but may have answered 5 of those items on a more
difficult level. However, both students would receive the same grade
equivalent. Therefore, the grade equivalent does not tell us about the
level of difficulty of the items. It would be unfair to say that both
Student A and Student B were achieving equally because Student B
obtained correct answers on more difficult items and Student A did
not. Because they mean different things on different tests and because
they often exaggerate small differences in performance, age and grade
equivalents are easily misunderstood. Back to top
DO SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS PROVIDE COUNSELING SERVICES IN THE SCHOOLS?
services may be provided by a variety of sources within the school
system. School Psychologists are only one of those sources. School
counseling services are provided to both general education and special
education students, on a short-term basis, with the goal of helping
children meet the demands of the learning environment. Some School
Psychologists conduct counseling groups in areas such as divorce,
bereavement, anger management, and social skills. School psychologists
may also provide individual counseling to students requiring assistance
in their special education placement. School Psychologists can also
provide information regarding resources in the community if your child
requires more intensive therapy. Back to top
HOW DO I REFER MY CHILD FOR TESTING?
Contact the Child
Study Chairperson at the school your child attends. A meeting regarding
your child’s strengths and weaknesses may be conducted to discuss issues
pertaining to your child’s education. The goal of Child Study is to
determine additional interventions that will help your child succeed in
the general education classroom so that he/she can have equal access to
the general education curriculum. If however, a disability is suspected
and regular interventions are not successful, the Committee will refer
your child for testing to determine if he/she is eligible for Special
Education Services. Back to top
WHERE CAN I OBTAIN ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDING MY CHILD'S DISABILITY?
I nformation was taken from the Gloucester County Public Schools, Psychological Services webpage. Additional information was added by the Page Manager.