Child and Adolescent Assessments

At Thriving Minds Psychology, we are fortunate to have a large test library with a range of different assessment measures available. This allows our psychologists to tailor each assessment to the individual child and the specific concerns presented.

Can you relate to these statements?

  • Why is it so difficult for my child to learn at school?
  • We are trying everything…. However, my child’s academic results are not improving.
  • My child has difficulty with comprehension.
  • It takes a really long time for my child to read a simple storybook.
  • My child has no “sense of maths” —as though he/she doesn’t understand how numbers work.
  • My child is very creative, but he/she seems to have difficulty putting ideas on paper.
  • School and learning are stressing my child out.
  • My child is very sensitive.
  • My child seems to be either have difficulty staying still, is overly noisy, and/or seems distracted, a “daydreamer” and needs constant redirection……
  • My child seems anxious and has difficulty with separation

Types of assessments:

Cognitive & Memory Assessments

Educational & Learning Assessments

ADHD
Assessments

Social, Emotional & Behavioural Assessments

Child and Adolescent Assessments are Recommended for Children Who:

  • NAre not making expected progress at school or performing below their potential
  • NAppear to have barriers preventing progress
  • NStruggling with reading, maths, learning new things, or concentration and focus

Suspected learning disorders, for example:

  • NDyslexia: Difficulties in reading, comprehension, writing and spelling (language-based)
  • NDyscalculia: Difficulties in understanding numbers, math concepts and solving maths problems
  • NDysgraphia: Difficulties in written expression including handwriting, spelling and composition

And/ or suspected Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

  • NHave trouble staying focus in tasks or play
  • NAppear not to listen, even when spoken to directly
  • NDaydreaming
  • NTrouble organising tasks and activities
  • NEasily distracted
  • NFidgeting, squirming, or otherwise having trouble sitting still
  • NEngaging in activities loudly or disruptively
  • NExcess talking and interrupting other people

How Can Child and Adolescent Assessments Help?

The results of the assessment show areas of strength and weakness which can help a person to maximize their learning, enhance areas of strength, and compensate or develop areas of weakness.

What Parents Often Say About Child and Adolescent Assessments

Parents often say assessment helps them to advocate for their child at school and to work with schools to maximize learning. It might help by showing that:

  • {Your child isn’t naughty or disinterested but is just struggling to keep up and needs more help
  • {Your child isn’t slow to learn but just has difficulty with a specific aspect of learning (such as problems with reading or paying attention)
  • {Your child needs additional support or a different way of teaching because of a specific area of weakness (such as problems with verbal explanations and language skills)
  • {Your child’s cognitive skills are developing appropriately and issues might be related to problems with mood or social skills

The Assessment Process:

i

Parent Only Intake Session

Following best practice guidelines, all of our assessment options start with a parent-only intake session. In this session, the clinician will ask you questions around your child’s abilities, challenges, and developmental history. You may also be asked to complete some questionnaires. This session will allow you to learn more about the assessment procedure and ensure that we tailor the assessment sessions specifically to your child’s individual needs. PLEASE bring copies of any recent reports to this first session (e.g. School reports, Speech therapy reports, Occupational therapy reports, and Hearing and Vision reports).

Child and Adolescent Assessment Sessions

Depending on the assessment package, your child will then be required to attend a separate testing session which is undertaken in a quiet room, free from distractions without the parent in the room. We ask that you do not leave your child unattended and either wait in the waiting room or go for a walk to a nearby cafe/shop where you can be contacted to return to collect your child should they complete the assessment in less than 2-hours allocated. The number and length of child assessment sessions required will depend on the purpose of the assessment (e.g, ADHD, cognitive or learning testing).

Assessments are completed in 1 or 2-hour sessions depending on the assessment measure and age of the child. It is often necessary to complete several assessment measures, and these may be scheduled over several weeks. Assessment sessions are almost always scheduled in the morning, when children are at their brightest and most alert.

PLEASE make sure that children have a good night’s sleep and hearty breakfast prior to assessment sessions. On the day of the assessment, please bring a drink and small snack for the child, in the event they require a short break during the assessment. Also bring any completed checklists or copies of reports, if requested by the psychologist during the initial interview.

After the Assessment – Report and Feedback

After the assessments have been completed, all results are compiled, reviewed and interpreted by the psychologist. It is important to note that further assessments may be recommended based on the results of the completed assessments. The psychologist will let you know if this necessary.

Following completion of all assessments, results are compiled in a comprehensive report. In this session, the clinician will talk you through the assessment results, recommendations, strategies.

You will also be able to ask questions about ‘What next?’ to make sure you are on the right path after the assessment. You may also wish to schedule an additional Feedback session with your child’s school – please contact reception for more information on costs and availability.

Funding:

Medicare:

There are currently no rebates for psychological assessments available from medicare.

Private Health:

Some private health providers may provide potential rebates for psychological assessments – please enquire with your personal fund.

NDIS:

For those who are self-managed or plan-managed NDIS clients – please check with your support coordinator or plan manager regarding utilising your NDIS funds for psychological assessment.

Online E-Course:

Coming Soon:

Join the waiting list by sending an email: admin@tmpclinic.com.au

FAQs

 

Do I need a referral?

No, families can self-refer to Thriving Minds Psychology for any assessment. Unfortunately there are no Medicare rebates available for cognitive assessments, though rebates may be available if applied directly through your private health fund.

What tests do we use?

The most common measure we use include:

  • WISC (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children) – measures IQ, cognitive functioning (6-16yrs)
  • WIAT (Wechsler Individual Achievement Test) – measures academic achievement, used for testing learning disabilities
  • Conners 3 – Measures child development across domains
  • VADPRS (Vanderbilt ADHD Diagnostic Parent Rating Scale) –  Measures and identifies inattentive, hyperactive/impulsive, or combined subtypes of ADHD, as well as oppositional defiance, conduct disorder and anxiety-depression (6-12)
  • ASRS (Autism Spectrum Rating Scales) – Measures child symptoms and behaviours associated with the autism spectrum.
  • RCADS (Revised Child Anxiety and Depression Scale) –  Measures symptoms of depression and anxiety in children and adolescents aged 8 -18.

What do I tell my child about the appointment?

Before the assessment, we recommend you tell your child that they are coming to see someone who is going to do different thinking games with them, and that most children find the different activities fun. Avoid describing the appointment as a test or assessment as this can make some children feel anxious.

How Do I Know If My Child Needs a Child and Adolescent Assessments

Child and Adolescent Assessments are Recommended for Children Who:

  • Are not making expected progress at school or performing below their potential
  • Appear to have barriers preventing progress
  • Struggling with reading, maths, learning new things, or concentration and focus
  • Suspected learning disorders, for example:
    • Dyslexia: Difficulties in reading, comprehension, writing and spelling (language-based)
    • Dyscalculia: Difficulties in understanding numbers, math concepts and solving maths problems
    • Dysgraphia: Difficulties in written expression including handwriting, spelling and composition
  • And/ or suspected Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
    • Have trouble staying focus in tasks or play
    • Appear not to listen, even when spoken to directly
    • Daydreaming
    • Trouble organising tasks and activities
    • Easily distracted
    • Fidgeting, squirming, or otherwise having trouble sitting still
    • Engaging in activities loudly or disruptively
    • Excess talking and interrupting other people

How Can Child and Adolescent Assessments Help?

The results of the assessment show areas of strength and weakness which can help a person to maximize their learning, enhance areas of strength, and compensate or develop areas of weakness.

What Parents Often Say About Child and Adolescent Assessments

Parents often say assessment helps them to advocate for their child at school and to work with schools to maximize learning. It might help by showing that:

  • your child isn’t naughty or disinterested but is just struggling to keep up and needs more help
  • your child isn’t slow to learn but just has difficulty with a specific aspect of learning (such as problems with reading or paying attention)
  • your child needs additional support or a different way of teaching because of a specific area of weakness (such as problems with verbal explanations and language skills)
  • your child’s cognitive skills are developing appropriately and issues might be related to problems with mood or social skills

Does my child need to attend the initial and feedback sessions?

Following best practice guidelines, all of our assessment options start with a parent-only intake session. In this session, the clinician will ask you questions around your child’s abilities, challenges, and developmental history. This session will allow you to learn more about the assessment procedure, and ensure that we tailor the assessment sessions specifically to your child’s individual needs.

Do both parents need to be at the initial session?

Where possible information from both parents is preferred (as they can have different experiences with the child), however it is appreciated that this is not always possible.

Why do we have to do multiple sessions?

It is not possible to complete the intake, assessment sessions and feedback altogether. Following the intake session, clinicians will determine which assessment tools will be most appropriate. Assessment slots are limited to a two-hour session to ensure children are not getting fatigued. Feedback sessions are required to be minimum three – four weeks following the last assessment session to allow time for clinicians to score and interpret the assessment and behavioural questionnaire results.

Should my child take their medication before the assessment?

This information needs to be discussed with the clinician during the parent intake session

Do I need to be there during the assessment?

No, unless specified by the clinician during the intake, parents are not required during the assessment session. ​Depending on the assessment package, your child will then be required to attend a separate testing session which is undertaken without the parent in the room. We ask that you do not leave your child unattended and either wait in the waiting room or go for a walk to a nearby cafe/shop where you can be contacted to return to collect your child should they complete the assessment in less than 2-hours allocated.

My child wears glasses, do they need to wear them?

Yes

How long will the report take?

In most circumstances the report is not given at the feedback session. Depending on the clinician’s schedule reports usually take 1 week to complete following the feedback session. This is because there is a high level of information to be included in the report and recommendations need to be tailored to each child’s individual needs.

Why do assessments costs so much?

Psychological assessments are very lengthy and in-depth processes that must be taken very seriously. In most instances we find that the assessment takes far more time than the quoted price. At Thriving Minds Psychology we always honour the price quoted regardless of how long it takes to deliver the final report. The fee for an assessment does not just cover the time spent in the consultation room. There is a great deal that goes into an assessment behind the scenes that contributes to the cost. This includes: Data entry and analysis, interpretation of tests, report writing, consultation with other stake holders and purchasing assessment and test material

Can my child continue to access therapy after the assessment?

Yes, our clinicians can provide interventions for children and adolescents experiencing a range of developmental, social, emotional, or conduct issues. These options range from behavioural modification and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to social skills training and emotion management. We also provide support for parents.