The purpose of a Psychological Assessment is to determine if a particular area of concern is affecting a child’s functioning in some way. Each assessment is individualized to fit an individual’s unique needs.
Process of Psychological Testing
Psychological testing is used to determine areas of observable and measurable skills and deficits to conclude a diagnosis and subsequent treatment. The process generally begins with a comprehensive background interview with the parent and/or guardian, followed by an interview with the child, if appropriate. Rating scales and self-reports (when age-appropriate) are utilized to measure social, emotional, adaptive, and/or behavioral functioning in various settings. An evaluation may consist of but is not limited to measures of cognitive functioning (verbal reasoning, nonverbal reasoning, memory, and processing speed), developmental progress, and measures of executive functioning. Other testing may be more specific to the areas of concern. For example, when Autism is suspected, the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule™, Second Edition (ADOS-2) will likely be administered. There are a variety of direct and indirect measures that can determine whether a diagnosis is warranted. It is important that all information regarding the referral is communicated directly to the staff and psychologist, so they can determine the appropriate course of action.
Some possible reasons for Psychological Testing
- Diagnostic testing (DSM-V-TR)
- ADHD testing
- Autism spectrum disorder testing
- Emotional & Interpersonal Issues
Assessments to Determine Special Education Eligibility
Assessments to determine special education eligibility in public schools e.g., Autism, Learning Disabilities, Emotional Disturbance, Intellectual Disability assessments can be administered.
These assessments can be used to determine if your child needs special education services, or they can be used as a second opinion following the completion of a school assessment.
IQ/cognitive testing can be used to determine problem-solving and reasoning abilities.
This is the most basic type of testing, as it will be a brief assessment of only cognitive abilities. IQ testing may be used to determine gifted eligibility.
Assessments to Determine Necessity of College Accommodations
Assessments can also be used to determine whether college accommodations are necessary for students.
If you are a college-aged student and experiencing difficulties in school, you may require extra accommodations. These accommodations could include testing in a smaller setting or testing in a designated quiet area. These assessments will determine what is preventing a student from having success and will provide written accommodations that can be submitted to the Office of Accommodations at the student’s college.
Assessments to Determine Learning Differences
Assessments are designed to determine learning differences and provide reports that outline effective strategies based on individual learning needs.
These evaluations will consist of standardized tests of cognition and academic achievement, as well as, any social/emotional/behavioral/adaptive functioning rating scales. A full report will be provided that includes recommendations to improve performance in education.
Each assessment is individually tailored to the specific needs of our clients and their families.
The instruments used are determined by these specific needs and may include:
- cognitive or intelligence testing (e.g., WISC-V, WAIS-IV)
- academic achievement testing (e.g., WIAT-III)
- rating scales (e.g., BASC-3, ABAS-3, ASRS)
- any other form of data collection needed to determine an individual’s needs
Observations are also used as part of the evaluation process, and comprehensive recommendations are included with each report.
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