Testing can be very tiring, and we are trying to assess the potential of the individual and therefore we need them to be alert and fresh. For this reason, we do not pack all the testing into one session.
Yes we do. As Educational/Developmental Psychologists we have training in cognitive/emotional assessment across the ages. Typically, Adults are seeking formal assessment for Dyslexia and ADHD, which perhaps has gone undiagnosed throughout their whole lives, but they are facing answers. We are equipped to handle such assessments.
Many children may wonder why they are having these tests and if there is something wrong with them. Listen to your child’s concerns and feelings about the evaluation and answer your child’s questions as straightforwardly as possible. It is helpful to be reassuring to your child.
Most importantly, the goal in preparation is to help your child be as comfortable, relaxed and motivated as possible the day of testing. In explaining to your child why he/she is being tested:
- Emphasize that the testing is not because the child has been bad.
- Offer reassurance that the information gathered from the evaluation will help you and other people better understand his/her experiences, what kinds of things he/she has been having trouble with and what types of things he or she is really good or not so good at doing.
- Explain that psychological testing is not unusual and lots of other children have participated in testing, too.
Proper preparation will help your child do his/her best, allow for a pleasant testing experience and help the examiner gather the most reliable results possible.
If you have any concerns about whether or not a cognitive assessment is appropriate please call the Enki Centre to discuss it.
Psychological testing is a positive step toward understanding learning differences, cognitive or emotional disorders. And, studies show that early detection of underlying issues can lead to better outcomes in terms of intervention and treatment. However, the idea of getting your child psychologically tested can produce anxiety for many parents. Rest assured that you are in good hands at the Enki centre. We use evaluations tailored to fit each client’s specific needs. Our team works to ensure that our clients receive thorough preparation and individualized recommendations that will best suit their needs.
Also called a psychological evaluation, the tests we use allow us to assess a client’s abilities and overall functioning, including areas that need special attention and areas of great potential. The evaluation actually consists of multiple tests, designed to gather information to plan for developmental, educational, vocational, social or emotional needs, and to assess a client’s overall functioning and make recommendations.
This answer comes from Kevin McGrew’s blog. Kevin McGrew is a leading academic in the cognitive assessment field.
“IQ tests ….. are the most scientifically sound and empirically researched tools that have emerged from the field of psychology. I am fond of saying that “if you give a monkey a Stradivarius violin and you get bad music, you don’t blame the violin!” The biggest problem is when people (lay people, the media and psychologists themselves) believe too much in the power of IQ tests. The result can be statements or predictions that imply the tests can drill a shaft into a person’s head, locate the magical IQ for that person, and then make precise statements and predictions. IQ tests are fallible measures of a person’s general intelligence of intellectual functioning at a specific point in time. There are many specific misuses I could mention, but they all tend to fall under this one category—misuse by someone who does not recognize both the strengths and limitations of the tools. IQ tests are dumb tools—they are only as good as the clinician who is using them, much like medical tools are dumb tools and are only good if interpreted by a skilled doctor. Make sure you choose a psychologist who is trained in advanced up to date psychological assessment methods.” The pschologists at the ENKI centre have training in advanced cognitive assessement methods and offer the most up to date and scientific assessements available.
There are many reasons why a psycho-educational assessment is sought, here are some of the more common reasons:
- Why is my child having difficulty learning?
- Does my child have a learning disability?
- What is the best way my child learns?
- What can my child’s school/teacher do to support their learning?
- What can I do as a parent to support my child’s learning?
- Is my child gifted?
- Is my child eligible for Specific-Learning-Disability (SLD) funding?
- Does my child have a diagnosable psychological condition?
- Is my child experiencing any social-emotional-behavioural difficulties that could be impacting on their learning? or developing friendships?
- Would my child benefit from counselling or therapy?
- Should I keep my child from going up to the next year level?
- Is my pre-schooler child ready to go to school next year?
Never underestimate that you are the expert on you and/or your child. While the examiner will focus on providing the best possible assessment, the information that you provide is equally important. You can best participate in the testing process by offering insight, honesty and your best effort throughout. Outlining specific concerns prior to testing will aid in the assessment process.
- If the person getting the assessment takes medication, make sure that it has been taken according to instructions on the day of testing. If the medicine has not been taken as prescribed, please tell us.
- If your (or your child’s) physical condition or emotional state is somehow compromised on the day of testing, please inform the examiner. For example: feeling under the weather; taking medication that would make one drowsy; a poor night’s sleep prior; a death in the family, etc. These types of things can affect performance on some of the tests used for psychological evaluations.
- Get a good night’s sleep prior to testing. Being sleepy during testing can affect overall concentration on timed tasks in particular.
- Eat well before testing. It is also fine to bring a snack if testing is going to last for a prolonged period of time.
Research suggests that between 10 – 16% of children and students have difficulties in academic skills which go beyond those normally addressed by the classroom teacher. There are various reasons why a student may be having learning difficulties, which Enki’s skilled psychological assessments can piece together, including such things as:
- Developmental delay, (e.g., speech and language difficulties)
- Emotional difficulties
- Poor co-ordination (e.g., fine and gross motor skills)
- Limited environmental experiences
- Lack of appropriate educational opportunities
- Interrupted schooling
- Health issues
A ‘Learning Disability’ is a term generally used for learners with average or above intelligence who have developmental and academic skills that are significantly below expectation for their age and general ability. The Australian Learning Disability Association considers learning disabilities to be life-long conditions that result from nervous system dysfunction which can cause inaccurate processing of some types of information. Research suggests that approximately 2 – 4% of students have a learning disability. Learning disabilities are harder to remediate than learning difficulties.
Why is Social-Emotional-Behavioural functioning assessed in a cognitive assessment at the Enki centre?
Social-emotional-behavioural (SEB) assessment is aimed at identifying the severity of any social, emotional or behavioural issues that a child/adolescent may have. This may include information about the persons adaptability, leadership qualities, study skills and interpersonal relationship skills. Not all psychologists include routine tests of SEB as part of a psychological assessment. Our philosophy at the Enki centre is that it is a vital part of any assessment and intervention planning that should not be ignored. Social-emotional-behavioural assessment can:
- provide screening for common problems of childhood which can interfere with learning. This can include internalising disorders such as Anxiety and Depression, and externalising disorders such as ADHD and conduct disorder.
- identify areas of strength that may be useful for helping the child reach their full potential and may be used to compensate for any identified weaknesses.
To measure SEB, parents and teachers (if appropriate) fill out questionnaires. SEB testing is conducted with no additional cost as part of a comprehensive psycho-educational assessment.