What are Cognitive Assessments? Does my child need one?
You may be the parent of a child and received a recommendation that a cognitive assessment or psychometric assessment be obtained. These assessments help identify a child’s mental capability and behavioural styles in how they best fit into everyday life and the academic system. It also allows families, teachers, and other professionals to gain an understanding of your child’s cognitive and learning difficulties, academic strengths and weaknesses, and school readiness.
Is this the same as an IQ test? What does IQ mean?
This is a common question asked by many parents of children who have been recommended by schools or others to identify how they can best fit into the everyday academic system. The IQ test, which stands for Intelligence Quotient, is only one part of a battery of test that helps identify a child’s mental capabilities and behavioural styles. The purpose of these tests is to identify the strength and weaknesses of your child which you can implement at home or start a conversation with your teachers and other professional on how best to support your child in the near future.
These assessments can identify:
- Cognitive and learning difficulties and how to help them,
- Diagnose intellectual difficulties and disabilities,
- Differentiate between emotional and cognitive difficulties, and
- Intellectual giftedness.
The psychologist will also provide recommendations after the evaluation on how to proceed with the outcome of the assessment
What is involved in these assessments?
These assessments can involve a short battery of tests conducted to suit a child’s general and academic functioning in the context of their everyday life. At Sydney Children’s Practice, our assessments are run by a Clinical Psychologist. Having a clinical psychologist allows for a multifaceted evaluation of factors that affect the child’s general and academic functioning including emotional, environmental, physical, and cognitive factors. Understanding these factors will lead to a comprehensive report that details the outcome of the assessment, how to apply the appraisal process day-to-day, and provide future general and academic goals for the child.
An assessment at Sydney’s Children Practice is usually structured across a few sessions:
- Interview session: A parent/caregiver-only session that involves answering questions relevant to the child’s psychological and medical background and relevant school history.
- Cognitive assessment: After the interview session, a standardised battery of tests involving both quantitative and qualitative measures can span across two-to-three sessions. Each assessment can last from up to 90 minutes, with adequate breaks and rests provided to the child tested.
- Feedback session: The feedback involves discussing the overview of the assessment and a future treatment recommendations or necessary referrals to help with the child’s ongoing functioning.
Some questionnaires may be given to the family to pass on to the school or other associated services related to the child to get a thorough and extensive reflection of the child’s capacity.
Who can be seen?
At Sydney Children’s Practice, anyone, including children 4 to 17 years of age, with known or suspected cognitive, attentional, or learning difficulties can be referred for assessment. We also see children to assess for giftedness. These assessments are run by clinical psychologist Dr Azhani Amiruddin who has experience and an interest in helping families and schools better understand and work with their children’s gifts and challenges.
If you have any more questions about cognitive assessments, we would be more than happy for you to call us to discuss your situation on (02) 9564 3758.