What Are Psychological Assessments?
A Psychological Assessment is an assessment of how a person thinks, learns, feels and behaves. It is made up of a set of tests and procedures that are administered and interpreted to form a comprehensive impression of a person’s functioning.
A Psychoeducational Assessment usually is designed to help with studying or school achievement, focusing mostly on intelligence (intellectual ability) and academic skills (achievement) testing.
Psychological assessment instruments or tests are professionally designed to measure different abilities, skills and personality traits or characteristics. The most commonly used psychological tests are intellectual ability (or intelligence) tests, academic skills (or achievement) tests, in-depth tests of specific cognitive functions such as memory, focus and attention, and visual-motor coordination, online neurocognitive tests, personality tests and/or Brain Dominance questionnaires. Based on the client’s needs, the psychologist will suggest a battery (or selection) of tests to answer questions the client may have.
In order to fully understand client concerns, a comprehensive assessment of a client's strengths and needs is important. Together, with the input from the client, any parents/caregivers, and information from their school or workplace, we can conduct detailed assessments that will help to identify key issues and provide useful recommendations to enable you or your child to succeed at school or at home.
What Happens during a Psychological Assessment?
Both types of assessments may include clinical interviews, observation, formal testing with psychometric test kits, parent & teacher questionnaires and consultation with other professionals involved in a person’s life. The formal testing includes verbal questions, pencil and paper tasks, puzzles, drawing, social interactions, and recesses when needed. When the person tested is a child, parents and teachers are asked to complete questionnaires addressing study skills, day-to-day functioning, behaviour, emotional status, social skills, and developmental issues.
After the Psychological Assessment is completed, the tests are marked or scored, interpreted, and the findings are explained to the client and/or, in the case of children with the parent(s). During the feedback or debrief session, the pros and the cons of requesting a written report will be discussed with the client, and, if needed, a suggestion for a specific type and length of report will be made. The relevant report writing time and cost will be clearly explained and an agreement for the report writing fee will be made.
Why Should I Consider a Psychological Assessment?
Typical reasons for a referral have been:
- Learning Disabilities
- Intellectual Giftedness
- Developmental Delays
- Attachment Difficulties
- Mood or Emotional Concerns
- Behavioural Challenges
- Social Difficulties
- Parenting Concerns
- Early Intervention
Typical questions that can be answered by psychological testing:
- Do I (or my child) meet the criteria for a mental health diagnosis?
- Does my child need an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for school or do I need modifications for work?
- What kind of work/study situation is ideal for me to be successful?
It has been widely documented that early intervention is important for young children to achieve their fullest potential. We are able to assess developmental issues across the age range of childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. Preschool developmental assessments can provide a useful overview of the primary areas of strength and need in order to develop useful and relevant supports.
Please note that services are not covered under OHIP, but may be covered by insurance or extended health care benefits.