Once a booking for an assessment is made at the Enki centre, you will be emailed an intake and consent form to complete. The first session (50 min) at the centre will involve the parents (and sometimes the child), preferably both parents, to get a detailed history and background to the child’s issues. Parents are strongly encouraged to email back the intake and consent form before the first session to save precious time in the first session. Parents will also be asked to complete psychological questionnaires, as necessary. If appropriate the teacher will also be asked to complete a questionnaire, which will only be done with permission from the parent. The information from these forms and the initial appointment helps us to firstly decide which set of tests are most appropriate to your child’s individual needs and secondly to build a picture of what factors may be contributing to your child’s issues. This first session is also a chance for you to make a no-obligation informed decision about whether to continue with the Enki centre.
The child will then be booked in for their assessment sessions. How many sessions are needed depends on what the referral concern is (typically 2 x 2 hour sessions for a cognitive and educational assessment). The next two paragraphs describe what is involved with cognitive and academic assessments.
Cognitive (intelligence) tests measure how well a person can process different types of information in their brain, such as how quickly your brain processing information, how well it can retrieve information from memory and so on. These tests are done 1-1 with the child, who completes a number of different tasks and activities. For example, they may use some blocks to make an image they see in a book, they might look at a group of pictures and have to pick out what is missing, or they might have earphones on and have to listen to sounds and say what word is being said. These tasks are always easy at the start and get progressively harder. The psychologists at the Enki Centre have advanced training in not only administering the tests but also observing the behaviours of the child during the test. These observations can be very helpful for providing further understanding of the child’s problems and give clues to what may be useful for assisting with the problem.
The Academic achievement tests are much the same as the cognitive tests, but they assess the level of knowledge and skills that are taught formally at school, such as reading, writing and maths. Academic achievement tests can also measure levels of oral language skills and the ability to orally express themselves. It is important to note that the cognitive and academic tests are ‘standardized’ and ‘normed’ which means your child’s abilities can be compared to other children at the same age and/or grade level.
Once the formal assessment has been completed, parents (and sometimes the child/adolescent) attend the last session to discuss the assessment results and recommendations. The last session is usually three weeks after the last assessment session with the child, which gives us time to analyse the results and prepare the report. In this last session the parents are given the psychological report and provided an opportunity to ask any questions.