Psychologists use special measures (tests) to find out how people learn and whether they are working to their potential.

A psycho-educational assessment identifies an individual's strengths and needs in:

  • Reading (phonological awareness and phonics, word identification, fluency and comprehension)
  • Written Language (spelling, grammar, word usage, organization, and printing/writing skills)
  • Math (basic facts, calculation skills and math reasoning)
  • Attention, activity level and impulse control
  • Self-regulation, executive functioning
  • Cognitive abilities including language skills, nonverbal learning, working memory, and processing speed
  • Any behavioural, social, or emotional factors that may be interfering with learning or achievement.

The term learning disability means that people are intelligent, but ordinary school methods prevent them from fully showing their abilities. It is a recognized disability under the Canadian Code of Human Rights, as affirmed by the 2012 Supreme Court decision Moore v. North Vancouver. This means schools and employers must provide accommodations so the student can access the curriculum and the employee can perform their job.

Understanding more about assessments

Dyslexia checklist

Where can I seek a psycho-educational assessment?

If a child, adolescent or adult is struggling to learn, first talk to school personnel. If difficulties persist despite the help provided, an assessment can be requested. If an assessment cannot be completed in a timely manner, it can be completed by a psychologist in private practice.

The Psychologists’ Association of Alberta has a referral service:

Alternatively, you can Google “Your City Name psychoeducational assessment” to find psychologists who specialize in this kind of assessment.

Additional resources in Calgary:

Additional resources in Edmonton: