Among our many services, we provide assessments that assist children and adolescents with emotional, behavioural and learning difficulties.
Developmental Assessments of infants and preschoolers
Developmental assessment is important whenever there are concerns about a young child’s progress. The aim is to identify the child’s strengths and challenges so that specific intervention can focus on the child’s cognitive, social, emotional and physical development. Developmental assessment involves the use of The Griffiths Mental Development Scales – Extended Revised (GMDS-ER), which involves directly testing the child as well as asking the parents about the child’s skills and abilities. The GMDS -ER is a standardised test which examines the child’s mastery of a variety of skills (divided into five subscales: Locomotor, Personal-Social, Hearing and Speech, Eye and Hand Co-ordination, Performance and Practical Reasoning skills) that provide a yardstick for determining the child’s maturity. The process involves a developmental history interview with the parents, administration of the GMDS-ER, with consent a teacher/service provider interview, evaluation of results, provision of detailed written report and a consultation with the parents to discuss assessment outcomes identified needs and any recommended interventions.
Assessments for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
A diagnostic assessment for autism or related difficulties is appropriate when there are concerns about a child’s communication and social skills and behaviour. We use the two best diagnostic assessment tools available; The measures are the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule – Second Edition (ADOS-2). The process involves a developmental history interview with the parents, administration of the ADI-R and ADOS-2, with consent a teacher interview, evaluation of results, provision of detailed written report and a consultation with the parents to discuss assessment outcomes identified needs and any recommended interventions.
Assessments for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD)
This type of assessment is appropriate when there are concerns about a child’s concentration, attention and behaviour. The process involves an initial parent interview, administration of appropriate tests (computerised continuous performance tests, psychometric tests with particular focus on attention, working memory and processing speed and specific ADHD diagnostic questionnaires), with consent an interview with teacher/s and other health professionals, evaluation of results, provision of detailed written report and a consultation to with the parents to discuss assessment outcomes, identified needs and any recommended interventions.
School Readiness Assessment (Ages 3-6 years)This assessment should be undertaken the year before the child is due to start school and is used to determine if a child is intellectually and emotionally ready for primary school. A parent developmental history interview is taken along with psychometric testing, clinical observations, and with your consent, preschool teacher interviews. A detailed written report is provided along with an interpretative session to discuss the results and recommendations. We provide suggestions and help you decide whether to pursue school entry or to hold your child back and provide ways of improving readiness to allow for smooth transition to “big school”.
Giftedness refers to having exceptional intellectual abilities, as measured by standardised intelligence tests. Generally an Intelligence Quotient (IQ) of 130 and above is required to identify a gifted child. This equals to an intellectual ability that is better than 95% of children at the same age level. Early identification is important and nurturing and supporting giftedness means that children learn to apply and use their abilities. When gifted children fail to learn the skill of self-motivation, they can develop complacency, avoidance of challenges and may develop a negative attitude toward learning. Giftedness assessment involves evaluating a child’s intellectual ability and comparing his/her performance to the performance of other children of the same age. Apart from IQ, it is also necessary to observe a child’s behaviour. Equally important is the information provided by parents and teachers. During a feedback session to the parents, we provide detailed recommendations to help the child reach their full potential and thrive.
A full psycho-educational assessment is appropriate whenever there are concerns about a child’s learning ability or educational performance. Psycho-educational assessment involves the use of reliable measures that evaluate a child’s IQ (academic potential) and academic skills (such as reading, spelling, mathematics, written language, and oral language skills). A Psycho-educational assessment is comprised of at least two types of testing; psychometric and educational testing.
Commonly used Psychometric tests are Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence Australian (WPPSI III Australian), Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children-Fourth Edition, Australian (WISC-IV Australian).
Psychometric (IQ) tests measure cognitive abilities such as:
- Auditory and visual processing
- Language skills
- Eye-hand co-ordination
- Planning ability
- Verbal reasoning
- Perceptual and Spatial skills
Commonly used Educational tests are Wechsler Individual Achievement Test Second Edition – Australian (WIAT-II) or Wide Range Achievement Test-Fourth Edition (WRAT-4).
Educational tests measure academic skills such as:
- Written expression
- Academic fluency (speed of reading, writing and calculating)
- Listening comprehension
- Oral expressive skills
When there are concerns about individual’s intellectaul ability and/or ability to function in the general community, Adaptive Behaviour is also assessed. The Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS) are a set of scales that are designed to measure adaptive behaviour and assess abilities in four major domains:
- Communication skills (skills required for expressive, receptive and written language skills)
- Daily Living skills (practical skills needed to take care of oneself and contribute to a household)
- Social skills (skills needed to get along with others, regulate emotions and behaviour as well as skills involved in leisure activities such as play)
- Motor Skills (fine and gross motor skills)
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD)
- Psychometric testing to assess academic potential and achievement
- Intellectual Disabilities
- Learning Disorders and Difficulties (including Dyslexia)