All You Need to Know About Child Psychological Assessments
Updated: Jul 19, 2020
Why Does My Child Need a Psychological Assessment?
A psychological assessment allows a therapist/psychologist to understand the scope and impact of behavioural symptoms, establish possible triggers and set intervention goals accordingly.
Parents may encounter their child facing difficulties, such as not learning well in school.
Inadvertently, there can be many possibilities that lead to this. Could the child have a reading problem, such as dyslexia? Or could it be an attention problem or difficulty with impulse control related to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder?
By assessing a child’s behaviour with the use of psychological assessment tools, a psychologist can figure out the most reliable trigger(s) to address the presented issue.
At MindChamps Allied Care, we conduct psychological assessment and testing for the following conditions:
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Central Auditory Processing Disorder
Developmental Co-ordination Disorder
Developmental Delay (GDD)
Dyslexia and other learning disabilities
Pervasive developmental disorders
Sensory Integration Disorder
Slow learners, Cognitive Delay
Social and Emotional/ Behavioural Assessment
Specific Language Impairment
We also conduct the following assessments:
School Readiness Assessments This is often required for K2 children who need further support due to learning delays, to assess the need for school deferment and to delay primary school entry or to facilitate alternative placement if needed.
Cognitive and Achievement Assessments This is necessary for special school application and requests for school accommodations within the mainstream, such as exemption from Mother Tongue examination or extra time for those who require it due to learning difficulties.
READ MORE ON: Child Psychology
What to Expect in a Child Psychological Assessment?
There is no such thing as a ‘one-size-fits-all’ psychological assessment. A psychologist has to carefully select the assessments and criteria according to the child’s development and skills.
The assessment process often involves multiple separate psychological tests, which when looked at in combination, allows the psychologist to obtain a full representation of the child’s strengths and limitations. Only after the tests/assessments have been done, can a diagnosis be given, and an appropriate intervention be subsequently implemented.
The Psychological Assessment process would normally include:
An informal initial assessment and discussion with parents/caregivers. This is done with the aim of gaining a broad understanding of the child’s family history, developmental history, academics, his or her social and emotional strengths and weaknesses.
An assessment of the child’s emotional functioning. This is normally done in a one-to-one session between the child and psychologist through discussion, drawings or stories. The child’s interactions, mannerisms and behaviour allow the psychologist to explore the challenges that the child is currently facing. Should there be a need, a school visit can be conducted to observe the child in the school setting.
A standardised cognitive assessment. This test provides the psychologist with a standardised measure of a child’s verbal ability, perceptual skills, working memory, attention, concentration and processing speed. This assessment is also called an IQ test and provides a Full-Scale IQ score.
A standardised assessment of classroom learning, including language, literacy, and numeric skills. This test includes areas such as:
Reading & Reading Speed
Reading & Listening Comprehension
Spelling & Writing Skills
Numerical Operations (completing sums)
Mathematical Reasoning (applying mathematics in real-world situations)
At the end of the psychological assessment, a clear and comprehensive report explaining the assessment results is given to parents. Following this, a diagnosis of learning, behavioural or social difficulty can be given, if it is applicable. In addition to a written report, a psychologist often also holds a follow-up session with the parents to discuss its contents in detailed depth.
The final product of the process of psychological assessment is to be able to construct a comprehensive set of specific recommendations to further support the child. Such recommendations may include strategies to support learning and motivation, strategies to manage emotions and/or behaviour both in and outside the classroom, and at home.
Lastly, any additional support a child might need in school or exams is identified.