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 BLOG | 01 JUL 2021

What Psychological Assessment might my child or I need? 

At Shoalhaven Psychology Services we conduct a range of assessments that assist in providing you with diagnosis, recommendations and information about a number of issues such as Specific Learning Disorders, Intellectual Disability, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder. We can also assess for Giftedness in school-aged children.

Specific Learning Disorders

A Specific Learning Disorder is characterised by difficulties with learning that effect academic achievement. 

There are three types of Specific Learning Disorders:

  Specific Learning Disorder with impairment in reading (previously known as Dyslexia)

  Specific Learning Disorder with impairment in written expression (previously known as Dysgraphia)

  Specific Learning Disorder with impairment in mathematics (previously known as Dyscalculia)

 

To diagnose a Specific Learning Disorder the following assessments are conducted:

 

Child

Adult

Cognitive assessment

Cognitive assessment

Achievement assessment

Achievement assessment

 

Intellectual Disability

An Intellectual Disability is characterised by impairment in intellectual and adaptive functioning. An impairment in intellectual functioning is represented by difficulties with learning, problem solving, and judgement. An impairment in adaptive functioning is represented by difficulties with completing day to day activities such as independent living and communication. 

To diagnose an Intellectual Disability the following assessments are conducted:

 

Child

Adult

Cognitive assessment

Cognitive assessment

Adaptive behaviour assessment

Adaptive behaviour assessment

 

Giftedness

Giftedness is characterised by an individual having natural abilities well above average range for their age. Giftedness can occur in a specific area of ability or in more than one area. Signs that your child might be gifted include such characteristics as:

  Advanced development

  Intellectual curiosity

  Independence in work and study

  Creativeness and inventiveness

  Great memory

  Prefer talking to older children or adults

 

To diagnose Giftedness the following assessments are conducted:

 

Child

Cognitive assessment

Achievement assessment

Assessment of social-emotional skills

 

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is characterised by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity/impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development. Whilst ADHD is commonly diagnosed during childhood, sometimes ADHD goes undiagnosed and in adulthood issues persist causing difficulties in daily functioning. 

There are three subtypes of ADHD:

  Inattentive Subtype

  Hyperactive/Impulsive Subtype

  Combined (Inattentive and Hyperactive/Impulsive) Subtype

 

Some of the common signs of ADHD include:

  Difficulty sustaining attention

  Easily distracted

  Forgetfulness

  Poor organisation

  Restlessness

  Appearing “on-the-go”

  Difficulty waiting turn

 

To diagnose ADHD the following assessments/interviews are conducted:

 

Child

Adult

Cognitive assessment

Cognitive assessment

Screener/Rating Scale

Screener/Rating Scale

Interview with parent and teacher

Interview

 

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

ASD is characterised by persistent challenges in social communication and interaction, and restrictive/repetitive patterns of behaviour.  

Some social communication and interaction characteristics related to ASD can include:

  Avoidance of eye contact

  A dislike or difficulty with small talk, sarcasm or understanding jokes

  Not using or understanding gestures like pointing

  Using sounds, signs, gestures or pictures to communicate instead of spoken words

  Might prefer to play alone or next to others more than with them

  Does not share interests with others

Some restrictive/repetitive patterns of behaviour related to ASD can include:

  Lines up toys or other objects and gets upset when order is changed

  Repeats words or phrases over and over

  Gets upset by minor changes

  Flaps hands, rocks body, or spins self in circles

  Has unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel

 

An individual with ASD may also present with the following characteristics:

  Unusual mood or emotional reactions

  Anxiety, stress, or excessive worry

  Lack of fear or more fear than expected

  Delayed cognitive or learning skills

  Delayed language skills

  Delayed movement skills

 

To diagnose ASD the following assessments/interviews are conducted:

 

Child

Adult

Autism Assessment (ADOS)

Autism Assessment (ADOS)

Adaptive behaviour assessment

Adaptive behaviour assessment

Screener/Rating Scale

Screener/Rating Scale

Interview with parent and teacher

Interview

*May require cognitive assessment

*May require cognitive assessment

School observation

 

  

If you or child present with and/or struggle with any of the above, an assessment might be warranted to clarify possible diagnosis and recommendations for ongoing support.

 

For further information regarding the types of psychological assessments performed at Shoalhaven Psychology Services, you can visit the following page on our website:

https://shoalhavenpsychology.com.au/service/psychological-assessments/

 

To enquire about a psychological assessment, please call our lovely admin team on (02) 4464 3626 or email them via admin@shoalhavenpsychology.com.au

 

Also, you can always ask your psychologist any questions during your next session!

 

By Kaelan Jones 

Psychologist

 

 

 

 

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