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Assessments

Assessments | Cognitive & Autism Tests

Step by Step Psychology offer thorough assessment process in order to provide valuable information for you and your child. When assessing children, we place value in meeting with parents prior to the assessment session to gain a background history on the current concerns and child’s developmental history. We provide comprehensive reports detailing the outcomes of our assessments which include recommendations specific for your child and family.

Please see below for more information regarding the assessments we are currently offering.

Cognitive Assessments

Cognitive assessments (also known IQ assessments) are a formal, standardised test of a person’s thinking, problem solving and reasoning abilities.

Cognitive assessments are undertaken for a variety of reasons including:

  • determining a child’s strengths and weaknesses to be better able to support them in the education system
  • identifying areas for development
  • as part of an intellectual disability diagnosis
  • as part of an application for school support funding through the Program for Students with Disabilities.

At Step by Step Psychology, we value a thorough assessment process, to ensure that families are provided with detailed information to support their child. As such, our cognitive assessments consist of:

  • an initial intake with the child’s parents to gain a thorough developmental, medical and educational history
  • the assessment of the child
  • a written report with specific recommendations
  • a follow up session with the child’s parents to further discuss the assessment results

Step by Step Psychology use the Wechsler Preschool and Primary School Scales of Intelligence – 4th Edition (WPPSI-IV) and the Wechsler Intellectual Scale for Children – 5th edition (WISC-V) which are standardised assessments.

Academic Achievement/Educational Assessments

Step by Step Psychology use the standardised Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT) to assist in determining a child’s academic abilities.

These assessments are often undertaken if a child is underperforming or having difficulty at school. The outcomes of the assessment help to identify the academic strengths and weaknesses of a child and provide valuable information when assessing for learning difficulties.

The results of the WIAT-II are compared to the child’s cognitive abilities to determine any discrepancy between their cognitive abilities and actual academic performance.

To ensure that families are provided with detailed information to support their child, we undertake a thorough assessment process. Our academic assessments therefore include:

  • an initial intake with the child’s parents to gain a thorough developmental, medical and educational history
  • the assessment of the child
  • a written report with specific recommendations
  • a follow up session with the child’s parents to further discuss the assessment results (if required)

When administering the WIAT-II, it will be recommended that the child also undergo a cognitive assessment (if they have not already done so previously) so that comparisons can be made and the most useful information obtained.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnostic Assessments

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are diagnosed based on the criteria of the DSM-V and typically involve consultation between a paediatrician, psychologist and speech pathologist. You do not need a referral for an ASD assessment, but Medicare rebates may be available with a referral from a paediatrician.

The assessment process at Step by Step Psychology involves sessions with both the child and their parents, and consists of the following process:

  • Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale (ADOS-2) which involves an activity based session with the child to allow the psychologist opportunity to observe specific skills.
  • Autism Diagnostic Interview (ADI-R) which involves a comprehensive interview about the child’s development with the parents/caregivers.
  • Consultations with other professionals or staff involved with the child so that a wide range of information can be gathered to assist in the diagnostic decision.
  • A detailed written report outlining information regarding the assessment results and recommendations.
  • A parent feedback session whereby the psychologist can explain the results and provide an opportunity for any questions.

School Readiness/Early School Entry Assessments

Making a decision about whether or not your child is ready to start school can be difficult. While it is compulsory for children to start school in the year they turn 6, there are also guidelines in Victoria as to how early your child can start their schooling education.

In Victoria, children must turn 5 years of age by April 30th in order the start school that year. Some children however, may benefit from early school entry, and this can depend on their academic abilities, as well as their social and emotional maturity.

Typically, it is recommended that children do not start school earlier than the recommended ages, and for this reason the relevant education departments require comprehensive assessments by a psychologist to determine the readiness of your child to begin school.

At Step by Step Psychology, we provide school readiness assessments, both to support an application for early school entry as well as for parents having difficulty making a decision as to when to send their child to school, especially if their birthday falls on the cusp of the cut off dates.

You may be wondering about whether a school readiness assessment is the right thing for your child, and if so, we encourage you to make an initial consultation to come and speak with one of our psychologists who will gain some information about your child and guide you in the right direction.

Should you decide to proceed with the assessment process, our School Readiness Assessments involve the following:

  • A Bracken School Readiness Assessment and play session with your child.
  • A cognitive assessment (Wechsler Preschool and Primary School Scales of Intelligence: WPPSI-IV) with your child.
  • A comprehensive written report.
  • Feedback session with parents to discuss the outcomes of the assessments and determine the best options for your child.
  • Completion of required forms and letters to support an application for early school entry (when eligible).

If you have any further questions regarding our School Readiness Assessments, including the fees and any rebates available, please do not hesitate to contact us on 9893 4537 for more information.

Adaptive Behaviour Assessments

Adaptive behaviour assessments are a standardised way of assessing a person’s ability to succesfully navigate their day to day life, with focus on areas such as daily living skills, social interactions and independence. Adaptive behaviour assessments are most often used to assist with a diagnosis of intellectual disability, and to form part of an application for school funding for the Program for Students with Disabilities in Victorian schools.

Step by Step Psychology utilise the Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scales – second edition, which involves the following:

  • an initial intake with the child’s parents to gain a thorough developmental, medical and educational history
  • a questionnaire provided to the parents or teacher of the child
  • a written report with specific recommendations
  • a follow up session with the child’s parents to discuss the assessment results

Cognitive and adaptive behaviour assessments are often conducted together and in such instances, a comprehensive report including results from both assessments will be provided.

Should you have any questions regarding our assessment process or the associated fees, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Assessment of Specific Learning Difficulties

A psychoeducational assessment provides estimates of the client’s intellectual, or cognitive, abilities and educational achievement levels. It provides recommendations relevant for educational planning.  Psychoeducational assessments are designed to inform; whether the client has a learning difficulty, attentional problems, intellectual disability, the client’s academic and cognitive abilities, strengths, and weaknesses, appropriate educational recommendations and accommodations. While learning, not emotional problems, is the focus of psychoeducational assessment, behaviour/emotional and medical issues may need to be addressed during a psychoeducational assessment. Compiling, integrating, and analysing all assessment data provides educational and other relevant recommendations.

At Step by Step Psychology, we compile a combination of subtests from a variety of assessments in order to assess the specific concerns relative to each individual client.

Assessments used at Step by Step Psychology are:

  • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test – 2nd Ed (WIAT-II)
  • Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing – 2nd Ed (CTOPP-2)
  • Test of Orthographical Competence (TOC)
  • Behaviour Rating Inventory of Executive Function- 2nd Ed (BRIEF2)

Our assessment of learning difficulties include:

  • an initial intake with the child’s parents to gain a thorough developmental, medical and educational history
  • assessment of the child using the appropriate subtests as outlined above
  • a written report with specific recommendations
  • a follow up session with the child’s parents to further discuss the assessment results

When assessing learning difficulties, the child must have a cognitive assessment unless they have had one within the past two years. This enables for interpretation of the results and diagnosis as necessary.