Child & Adolescent Assessment
Some children and teens struggle to meet typical expectations for learning and behaviour. Some have trouble coping with stress, managing their feelings, or establishing positive relationships with others. It can be difficult for parents, teachers, or children and youth themselves, to figure out the reasons why or understand how to make things better. A comprehensive psychological assessment can help to answer these questions.
Our team of experienced clinicians use standardized tests, questionnaires, interviews, and other assessment tools to gather information about a individual and their life circumstances. This allows us to develop a full picture of your child, including their strengths as well as the challenges that they are presently facing.
We interpret the information collected in order to develop an understanding of the child, or youth, and to make a diagnosis where appropriate. Most importantly, this knowledge can be used to develop a treatment plan, support programming at school, and/or gain access to appropriate community services.
Psychological Assessments for Children & Adolescents
Our clinicians have a wealth of experience to provide children, adolescents, and their parents with comprehensive psychological assessments that are tailored to answer specific questions. Listed below are descriptions of the different types of assessments we provide at Insight Psychology. Your clinician will discuss with you the type of assessment and range of areas that need to be covered to best address your concerns.
Comprehensive Psychological Assessment
Students in elementary, high school, or college/university may be referred for a psychological assessment (also known as a psychoeducational assessment) when they are experiencing academic difficulties.
The goal of this type of evaluation is to determine a student’s learning aptitude, understand their learning style, and identify factors that impede a student from meeting their potential. A screening of social and emotional functioning is typically included as it relates to these factors.
A comprehensive psychological assessment can determine whether a person has a Specific Learning Disability (SLD), Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), or other mental health or neurodevelopmental diagnoses.
Children and adolescents may be referred for a socioemotional assessment when they are progressing well in academics and the key concerns are related to mental health.
The objective of this type of assessment is to understand the variety of factors that contribute to a child’s distress, change in attitude, or behaviour problems. This understanding may lead to a mental health diagnosis, for a condition like anxiety or depression, or it may uncover stressors, ways of thinking, or other circumstances that have resulted in maladaptive patterns of behaviour. In both cases, the information collected in the assessment will provide you and your child with recommendations for treatment and support.
Some children and teens may be referred for a developmental assessment because they appear to have challenges in different areas of development, such as language, motor skills, problem solving, and social abilities. This knowledge can help parents, school personnel, and other professionals develop an appropriate educational plan and/or identify potential life skills placements that optimize a child’s functioning.
The purpose of this type of assessment is to determine a level of cognitive functioning as well as the ability to manage everyday expectations independently. This knowledge can help parents, school personnel, and other professionals develop an appropriate educational plan and/or placement that optimizes a child’s functioning. A specific diagnosis of intellectual disability may be required to access specialized services.
Students can be referred for a gifted assessment to determine whether they meet the educational criteria for intellectual giftedness. Parents should know that each school board in Ontario has specific cut-off scores based on test data that must be met to obtain the official Gifted designation and gain access to enhanced programming or specialized class placement.
Common Psychological Problems
A number of possible diagnoses or problems can be identified, as a result of an assessment, including:
- Adjustment and stress-related problems
- Anxiety and mood disorders
- Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
- Disruptive disorders
- Intellectual Disability (ID) and developmental delays
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- School avoidance & refusal
- Self-Regulation and Executive Function Deficits
- Specific Learning Disability (SLD)
- Tourette Syndrome (TS)
Child & Adolescent Psychological Services
Sports Psychology and Performance Enhancement Training
Children and youth who take part in competitive sports and other high-performance activities may benefit from working with a sports psychologist. This can help them to achieve their potential and maximize their enjoyment in their activities.
Consultations with parents or coaches can also be helpful when they wish to help their young athletes and performers manage the demands of these activities.
Sometimes it is helpful for youth who are high performers and also struggling psychologically to work with a psychologist using this frame of reference. By improving mental skills and confidence in their sport/performance domain, they can then use these skills to improve their mental health in general.
Uncover the reasons behind your child’s struggles and develop a treatment plan.