Cognitive / Educational
Child and Adolescent Assessments
A classroom teacher, school psychologist or a key educational figure may suggest that a child be referred for assessment for a variety of reasons, including assessing academic giftedness, identifying academic strengths and weakness, learning difficulties and disabilities. In such cases, a comprehensive academic assessment is carried out to assist in understanding your child’s intellectual ability and academic achievement to best support your child’s educational needs.
At Treat Yourself Well Sydney we understand that for the child or adolescent the assessment may seem daunting, and it can be a stressful experience. Our assessment clinicians take the time to emotionally support your child and build rapport prior to testing, to ensure they perform in a warm and supportive environment.
What to expect:
An initial 90-minute session is carried out with the child/adolescent’s main caregiver/s in our assessment rooms, where you will have the opportunity to meet with our clinicians. This is an opportunity to discuss the reason for the referral, and any questions or concerns. This session allows our clinicians to understand your child’s educational, emotional, and behavioural development and gather a comprehensive information history to support the assessment process.
Our clinicians will carefully review the information provided in the interview, along with the referral question, to determine the most appropriate and relevant assessments.
Following this we will provide a report and arrange a feedback session to discuss the outcome and recommendations from the assessment.
A cognitive assessment is an individually administered intelligence test that is designed to measure general cognitive ability (IQ) and to provide a profile of individual strengths and weaknesses in cognitive functioning. Our Psychologists are highly trained in the administration and scoring of intelligence tests and in providing comprehensive reports.
A cognitive assessment measures a child’s Intelligence Quotient or “IQ”, and is measured using The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fifth Edition (WISC-V). The cognitive assessment serves as a useful diagnostic aid to evaluate cognitive deficits and strengths in children, to assist in the tailoring of intervention programs and recommendations. The WISC-V measures a child’s overall level of intellectual functioning, as well as five specific domains.
- A child’s vocabulary range and verbal comprehension skills
- Their ability to think visually and manipulate images, using logic and reasoning to solve novel problemsn your goals and interests
- Examines the child’s efficacy in organise visual information into meaningful patterns and comprehend how this visual information is broken down
- A child’s ability to register, maintain, and manipulate visual and auditory information in their conscious awareness
and formulate a response using this information
- Assesses their ability to sequence or discriminate information and transform that information under timed conditions
An achievement test is an individually administered assessment that is designed to measure an individual’s academic skills and problem-solving abilities. An achievement assessment is recommended when there is a suspected learning difficulty or specific learning disability.
The WIAT-III is used to assess a child’s level of academic abilities and functioning. The assessment measures a child’s level of academic ability in areas such as reading, spelling, mathematics, written expression, and comprehension. An academic achievement assessment can identify academic strengths and weaknesses and provide information to assist with diagnosis of specific learning disorder or eligibility for educational service and can provide information to assist with classroom planning interventions.
Comprehensive Academic Assessment
To gain an understanding of an child’s educational strengths and weakness, an comprehensive academic assessment is conducted to examine the component skills and processes required for academic attainment to provide insight into the causes of the academic difficulties and provide direction for targeted support and / or intervention.
The educational assessment incorporates the following:
Intake interview to gather the child's history
Cognitive Assessment (WISC V)
Achievement Assessment (WIAT III)
If identified as appropriate or required - an additional assessment / screener tool that is tailored to the child's needs based on interview and the intended purpose of the assessment
Feedback session with the child, parent and / or carer
Comprehensive strength focused and tailored report that details the assessment outcome with targeted recommendations that serve to support the child and the intended purpose of the assessment
The comprehensive educational assessment serves to provide an in-depth examination to ascertain the nature and cause of your child’s academic struggles, while also examining their strengths and capabilities, to provide a holistic picture of their their academic ability. A full comprehensive academic assessment also allows the clinician to understand the how varying factors are impacting your child’s performance and presentation in the classroom and at school.
A Full Educational Assessment involves conducting an initial cognitive assessment (WISC-V or WAIS-IV as described above) to identify a person’s cognitive ability/potential, followed by conducting an achievement test (WIAT-III). The achievement test investigates whether or not the person is able to complete tasks to the level we would expect, given their cognitive potential. If the predicted score is much higher than the actual score in an achievement area, there is often a problem associated with these skills, which then can lead to the identification of specific learning disabilities or difficulties in a certain area. Educational assessments are most commonly administered with children.
Reports & Feedback
Following any assessment, your Psychologist will provide a comprehensive report explaining all tests used and all results, along with a comprehensive summary and list of recommendations for home, place of learning and/or work.
A 30 minute to 1 hour feedback session is then held with the client or parent/s to explain the results, go through the report and answer any additional questions. This session can also be used for planning of any further assessment or intervention that an individual may need or a parent may want to engage their child in.