There are different types of assessments that psychologists perform. At Steps Psychology, we offer the following assessments and will consult with you to determine the one best suited to addressing the questions or concerns you have:
This assessment is designed to gain a comprehensive understanding of a child or adolescent’s learning strengths and needs. It generally involves evaluation of:
intellectual functioning (i.e., thinking and reasoning or cognitive skills);
information processing skills (e.g., memory, oral language, phonological processing, visual-motor ability, attention, executive functioning); and, occasionally,
adaptive skills (age-appropriate behaviours necessary for people to live independently and to function safely and appropriately in daily life).
While a psychoeducational assessment would not generally explore a child or adolescent’s social-emotional functioning in great detail, brief screening measures are used to rule out any difficulties in these areas.
Psychoeducational assessments may help to identify or rule out learning disabilities, intellectual giftedness or delay, and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
This assessment is designed to gain a comprehensive understanding of a child or adolescent’s strengths and any issues that might be impacting on his/her social, emotional, or behavioural functioning.
Social-emotional assessments may help to identify or rule out anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and/or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
This assessment is designed to help evaluate whether a child or adolescent might meet criteria for intellectual giftedness, as determined by his/her school board or private school. (For more information, please read the question and answer regarding giftedness on our FAQs page.)
Occasionally, the findings from one assessment suggest another type of assessment may be warranted. If we feel this is the case, we will discuss our findings with you and will suggest ways to integrate multiple sources of data in order to gain the most comprehensive picture of your child.
General Information Regarding Assessments
Assessments usually involve 4-5 separate appointments. These include:
an initial intake meeting with parents to discuss current concerns and referral questions (usually 1-2 hours);
two or three individual assessment sessions* with the child (usually 2-3 hours each); and
a feedback meeting with parents to discuss assessment results and next steps (usually 2 hours).
Note - Gifted assessments involve shorter intake and feedback meetings and a single assessment session.
Feedback meetings with children/adolescents are encouraged. Furthermore, feedback can be provided to your child or adolescent’s school at your request to facilitate access to appropriate supports.
A written report detailing assessment findings and practical recommendations for home and school settings will be provided following the feedback meeting. Recommendations are tailored to your child’s strengths and needs and may include classroom learning strategies, treatment suggestions, and/or referrals to other professionals.
The entire assessment process typically takes 4-5 weeks to complete (less in the case of gifted assessments).
*Numerous sources of data are utilized in the course of an assessment. These may include: direct testing with your child; parent-, teacher- and/or child-completed questionnaires and rating scales; interviews; observations; and review of report cards and any other relevant documents (e.g., previous medical or psychological assessment reports).