Psychological testing is a comprehensive, diagnostic evaluation process to help clarify appropriate diagnoses (ie. Autism, Developmental Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, ADHD, OCD, Anxiety, Depression) and understand the neurocognitive profile (i.e., strengths and weaknesses) of a child. Testing helps provide a better understanding of the child’s learning and behavior. With this enhanced understanding of the child, effective interventions and techniques to better support the child can also be identified.
Parents may be aware that their child is struggling, but not know exactly what is affecting the child. At the initial appointment, your psychologist will determine what type of testing may be needed based on parents’ concerns, what parents’ goals are for the evaluation, what questions parents hope to have answered.
Testing involves gathering information from multiple persons and through a variety of sources including observations, interviews, and direct testing with the use of valid and reliable, standardized measures. Depending on evaluation goals and questions (determined collaboratively with the family), a typical evaluation can last from 4 hours – 12 hours. Evaluations are usually completed over the course of one or two days (depending on time needed and the child’s ability to sustain participation and focus). Frequent breaks are provided during testing.
The following components are usually involved be in testing:
1. Diagnostic interview with parents/caregivers that includes developmental history and current concerns.
2. Records review.
3. Behavioral observations.
4. Direct assessment with the child, which may include assessing some of the following areas depending on concerns:
- Academic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics
- Executive functions
- Motor and perceptual functioning
- Visuospatial function
- Learning and Memory
- Social-emotional and behavioral functioning
5. Parent/caregiver completed social, emotional, and behavioral functioning questionnaires.
6. Teacher and/or related service provider completed social, emotional, and behavioral functioning questionnaires.
7. Interviews with teacher and/or related service providers, as needed.
Once all information is gathered, your psychologist will write a comprehensive report detailing all the findings and results. The psychologist will meet with parents for a feedback session to go over all evaluation results and recommendations, and to answer any questions you may have. Parents will also be provided with a copy of the comprehensive report after this meeting.