A cognitive assessment can promote greater understanding of academic performance and achievement. As well, a cognitive assessment can identify the underlying issues that may be preventing a person from achieving his or her academic potential. Similarly, a person who is excelling at school may require support and enrichment within the classroom. Learning disabilities, intellectual deficits, social problems and giftedness can be identified during a cognitive assessment.
A cognitive assessment consists of a Wechsler Intelligence Scale, which will give information on strengths and weaknesses in four different domains : Verbal Comprehension, Perceptual Reasoning, Working Memory and Processing Speed. From the information gained during testing a comprehensive profile of your childs abilities can be gained. This can show underlying potential and may assist in understanding a complete picture of your childs educational and social needs. A full set of recommendations is provided with your report. This practical list of strategies is directly related to the profile of your child gleaned from testing, and contains tasks that may be beneficial for school success and also home-based tasks which you as a parent can add into your childs routines at home.
Where possible, a full scale IQ score may also be derived from this information. IQ scores range from 40 -160 with an average mark of 100. As an individual score this is usually a poor way of interpreting your childs abilities and is unlikely to capture all of your childs intellectual skills, abilities, capabilities and potentials. Occasionally scores in the four domains above differ so dramatically from each other that reporting a full scale IQ score would be particularly misleading. Careful interpretation and reporting of scores is essential to understanding your childs potential. Your written report will contain a full break-down of scores and a detailed interpretation of your childs intellectual profile. It is important to remember that an assessment gives a snapshot of your childs abilities in the testing situation. Many things can effect test performance and subsequent testing may show a different pattern of results due to these variables.
This assessment does not require your child to read or write anything, although some tasks require the use of a pencil. The tasks themselves are often described as fun by the participants, and do not resemble ‘school work’. A high quality of information is gained through this assessment and leads to a full set of recommendations from which future planning can be derived.
An assessment requires a face-to-face interview with a parent or caregiver usually lasting between 30 and 45 minutes prior to your child’s assessment. During this interview you will be asked a number of questions relating to your child’s development and may also be required to fill out a questionnaire related to your child’s particular needs. You will have the chance to have any questions regarding the assessment answered at this time. Assessment with your child is done on a one-to-one basis with the psychologist. Depending on the type of assessment required you will need to allow between 90 minutes and 2 ½ hours for the actual testing.
All standardised assessments come with a comprehensive written report which will include recommendations for further intervention for your child. These home and school-based interventions can be shared with your child’s teachers and school professionals to assist with educational planning for your child’s future.
Should you require a more specific focus such as ADHD assessment, dyslexia screening, or aspergers or autism spectrum disorder assessment, PsychSolutions can tailor an assessment package suited to your particular requirements.