Psychological Assessment should be undertaken from a developmental perspective (e.g. comparing your child's current functioning to expected functioning for his/her age and developmental level; comparing your child's previous functioning with current functioning). It should include information from various sources and contexts (eg. parents, teachers, the child, and others who may know the child well). Psychological assessments often include the administration of a test (such as those listed below), in addition to direct observation of your child in a natural environment, and interviews with parent, child, and teachers or other adults in the child's life.
If a child is struggling substantially in school, a psychoeducational assessment can help establish specific needs and programming goals. This can involve cognitive, achievement, social/emotional/behavioural, and personality assessments. A comprehensive report will be produced that includes a discussion of cognitive strengths and weaknesses, any learning disabilities that may be present, possible mental health diagnoses, and recommendations for the most effective academic programming, including the possibility of special education coding and provisions. Specific tests used include the WPPSI-IV (for children 5 and under) or the WISC-V (6 and up), as well as the BASC-3 or other tests designed to assess for specific areas of concern (eg. if the child has ADHD or ASD). This type of assessment typically takes between 6 and 10 psychologist hours to intake, administer, score, interpret, report, and debrief.
Pediatricians and family doctors will sometimes become concerned that the child may have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, but are often unable to take the time to conduct a comprehensive assessment. A comprehensive assessment for ADHD, includes standardized forms, observation, interviews with child and parents, and a thorough investigation of possible complicating factors. The primary test used for this diagnosis/assessment is the Conners-3, as well as any other tests which may take into consideration other complex factors, such as central auditory processing or anxiety. This assessment typically takes between 3 and 5 hours to intake, administer, score, interpret, report, and debrief.
This Formal Assessment is provided for parents who would like to determine if their child is suffering from anxiety, conduct, depressive, or other emotional or behavioural disorders. The standard test used is the BASC-3. This assessment typically takes between 3 and 5 hours to intake, administer, score, interpret, report, and debrief.
Adaptive Functioning Assessments
On their own, or as part of a comprehensive assessment package, adaptive assessments can be helpful is assessing children with autistic or pervasive developmental syndromes or disorders. These assessments help to look for areas of strength or weakness in daily living tasks, abilities to function in social, communicative, domestic, and community domains. Depending on the specific assessment needs, the instrument used is typically the ABAS-3, and will usually include observation and interviews. This assessment can take between 5 and 10 hours to intake, administer, score, interpret, report, and debrief.
A thorough assessment of the way your child's brain functions, learns, and processes information can help you cater your child's learning experiences to his or her specific needs and strengths. These can include specific executive functioning tests. The WPPSI-4 or WISC-V will commonly be used for general cognitive assessments, and the D-KEFS is used to assess specific executive functioning strengths and weaknesses (such as decision-making, planning, and stop-and-start behaviours). A thorough cognitive assessment will take between 4 and 8 hours to intake, administer, score, interpret, report, and debrief.
Specific Tools Used:
Some of the assessment instruments I use are:
ABAS-3 (Adaptive Behaviour Assessment System, 3rd Edition)
ADI-R (Autism Diagnostic Interview - Revised)
BASC-3 (Behaviour Assessment System for Children, 3rd edition)
D-KEFS (Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System)
PAI (Personality Assessment Inventory)
PSI (Parenting Stress Index)
WISC-V (Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children, 5th edition)
WNV (Weschler Nonverbal Scale of Intelligence)
WPPSI-IV (Weschler Primary and Preschool Scale of Intelligence, 4th edition)
MASC-2 (Multi-Axial Anxiety Scale for Children, 2nd edition)
CDI (Child Depression Inventory)