Educational Assessments | Childhood Psychology
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Educational Assessments

Many parents are concerned that their child may be struggling in the classroom but are not sure what factors might be getting in the way of their learning. Learning difficulties are where a child experiences problems learning new information, which can significantly affect their achievement at school.

Common Difficulties

The most common learning difficulties are in reading, spelling and writing, often referred to as dyslexia but children can experience learning difficulties in other areas such as mathematical concepts (dyscalculia) too.

Vision and Hearing Checks

Before pursuing an assessment it is a good idea to have your child’s vision and hearing checked to ensure that these factors are not impacting on a child’s ability to function in the classroom. If vision and hearing tests are normal but learning is still a struggle for your child, a learning assessment can be useful to explore underlying issues.

Explaining the Process

We are very aware that children have often seen many professionals up to this point, so before commencing an assessment we always meet with parents and children to explain the process and talk about any concerns. The next step is to commence the assessment, and below are examples of the assessments we use depending on what is the primary reason for referral.

Before commencing an assessment we always meet with parents and children to explain the process and talk about any concerns.

Assessment Tools

Please click on the buttons below to find out more information about the different assessment tools we use:
Behaviour and emotional wellbeing questionnaire
 BASC-3 Behaviour and emotional wellbeing questionnaire

 

This is a questionnaire completed by both the parents and the teacher and it provides information about a child’s emotional wellbeing and behaviour. This is useful as can indicate whether factors such as anxiety or attention may be impacting on learning. It can also provide information which can assist the assessment process, for example, tailoring the process for a very anxious child.

Cognitive Assessment
WISC-V Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children Cognitive Assessment

 

This is a very comprehensive individually administered assessment for assessing general intelligence and reasoning. The information is provided across five indexes: Verbal Comprehension, Fluid Reasoning, Visual Spatial, Working Memory and Processing Speed.

 

Whilst there are shorter cognitive assessments available, the WISC-V comprises 10 core tests, which means there is more scope to explore a child’s abilities across a wider range of tasks. For children who are struggling at school it can be helpful to share with them strengths that are reflected in the assessment, which are not necessarily obvious in the classroom. For children under 7 we use the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI –IV) which provides similar information but is more engaging for younger children.

Reading Assessment
YARC York Assessment of Reading Reading Assessment

 

The YARC is particularly useful in the assessment of learning difficulties such as specific reading disorders (dyslexia). It provides useful information about the development of a child’s core skills in literacy and comprehension, which assists in the early identification of reading problems.

 

In 2012 an Australian standardised edition of the test was released where the skills assessed are in line with the Australian curriculum. For children under 7 there is an early years version of the test focusing on letter/sound knowledge and understanding.

Academic Achievement Assessment
Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT-II- Aust edition) – Academic Achievement Assessment

 

The WIAT-II is useful in the assessment of learning when there is evidence that the child has difficulty in other areas of the curriculum, such as mathematics. It provides useful information about a child’s basic academic skills in mathematics and spelling in addition to reading.

Other Assessments

In some instances the standard assessment may indicate that further assessment would be beneficial to explore whether other factors are contributing to, or are the primary reason for the learning difficulties. For example, further assessment may be indicated to assess for the presence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Language Disorder (LD) or Intellectual Impairment (II). This may require a referral to another professional such as a speech pathologist.

Standard Assessment Process

Generally an assessment will follow the process below but there is flexibility for adjustment on an individual basis. For example, some children may cope better with shorter assessment times carried out over more sessions

1

Initial meeting with parents

 

This meeting is to discuss concerns, strengths and challenges and includes information about the assessment process and completion of the consent form. (approx. 45 minutes).

2

Getting to Know Session with your child

 

In this session we will exploring their personal perceptions of their strengths and challenges. Discuss any concerns they may have and explain what will be happening during the assessment process. (approx. 45 minutes).

3

Consultation with School

 

Consultation with school either in person or by phone, completion of behaviour and emotional wellbeing teacher report form. (approximately 30 minutes)

4

Completion of Assessment

 

Completion of cognitive assessment and other assessments (approx. 2- 3 hours). This may be completed over either 2 or 3 sessions depending on the child and how they are feeling.

5

Analysis

 

Analysis of results and report write up and development of classroom strategies.

6

Feedback

 

Feedback of report to parents (approx. 30 minutes).

7

Discussion

 

Optional discussion of results and classroom strategies with school (approx. 30mins).

Book

Assessments

 

To book an Educational Assessment for your child or to discuss the available options, please contact Julie Steward.

Fees
How much does it cost?

 

Cost for an educational assessment and a comprehensive report with suggested classroom strategies: $1,100.

 

Fees are invoiced by instalments over the duration of the assessment, with the final payment due when the report is issued.

 

Some private health funds provide a rebate which can be used for psychological assessments.

 

More about fees…

Additional Testing
What if more tests required?

 

If further testing is recommended to assess for Language Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or Intellectual Impairment, these additional assessments and related costs will be discussed with you.

 

In some cases further assessment may require a referral to another professional, such as a speech pathologist and this will also be discussed with you.