Examples of assessments used: Stanford Binet / WISC /
Raven's Progressive Matrices
Cognitive assessments or intelligence tests (IQ tests) are used to determine a child’s learning capability by identifying their cognitive strengths and weaknesses. When interpreted in combination with comprehensive background information and parent and teacher interviews, the results of cognitive tests can assist with the development of individualised intervention and learning plans for children.
Cognitive assessments with children assist in the examination of:
Intellectual giftedness: A cognitive assessment will help to determine whether a child can access gifted and talented programs . It can also guide teachers and parents in the provision of extension activities in the classroom setting.
Learning difficulties or disabilities: A cognitive assessment in conjunction with an educational assessment can assist in identifying the presence of a learning difficulty or disorder and help teachers make appropriate accommodations for students in the classroom. This information can be used to manage and minimise negative experiences at schools such as poor academic results, school avoidance and low self-esteem.
Intellectual difficulties or disabilities: An assessment will assist in identifying children with an intellectual disability, which is characterised by an IQ test score at least 2 standard deviations below the mean (this often equates to an IQ score of 70). Following an assessment, children and parents will have a better understanding of how an intellectual disability impacts the child's ability to learn.
It will also provide information to develop effective plans or accommodations in the classroom that are tailored to meet a child’s specific needs.
School readiness refers to whether a child is ready to make an easy and successful transition into primary school. School readiness encompasses several key dimensions, including language and literacy, thinking skills, self-confidence, self-control, physical skills and social-emotional skills.
Each of these capacities usually begin to emerge during the earliest years of a child’s life. They provide a good foundation for kindergarten readiness, and later academic success during the primary and secondary schooling years.
Many people assume that school readiness is primarily about academics, such as a child’s abilities in reading, writing, speaking, counting and comprehension. Whilst these are important, school readiness actually refers to a broader range of skills as mentioned above.
For example, students need to understand limits and how to appropriately communicate needs and wants (self-control/ regulation). They also need the concentration to sit still during lessons for long periods, and the social skills to interact with peers.
School readiness also relates to characteristics such as knowing how to share and take turns, listening and asking questions and being able to work well with others.
If your child has problems with school readiness, it may be due to a language/ developmental disorder or other causes. The characteristics exhibited will differ from child to child, but may include:
Weak expressive and/or receptive language skills.
Difficulties in reading and/or writing.
Limited play skills, and the inability to include new people or play items in their play.
Being unable to interact well with peers, both inside and outside the classroom.
Being unable to follow instructions when carrying out day-today activities.
Struggling to complete tasks in the same timespan as most of their peers.
Struggling to manage strong feelings such as disappointment and frustration without becoming aggressive or withdrawn.
Being disinterested in learning and participating in classroom activities.
A resistance to guidance and being taught new skills.
Example of assessment used: Connor's Rating Scale
While it is normal and common for children to occasionally forget their homework, daydream during class and act without thinking, ADHD is more than the occasional lapse. Persistent problems with inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity are also signs of ADHD which can affect a child’s ability to learn and socialise with others.
Symptoms of ADHD can include hyperactivity, impulsivity, aggression, difficulty sustaining attention, disruptions to learning and peer relations, among others.
We use the Conners Rating Scale, in addition to other data sources, to diagnose ADHD. The Conners Rating Scale is a reliable and dependable tool designed to measure a range of behaviours in children from 6 to 18 years of age.
Examples of assessments used: ADOS / GARS
Autism Spectrum Disorder is characterised by persistent and pervasive difficulties with social communication and interaction (e.g., difficulties making and maintaining friendships), combined with restricted and repetitive behaviours (e.g., distress at changes in routine). These difficulties are present across multiple contexts (e.g., both home and school) and negatively impact on the young person’s functioning.
Our autism assessment package has been specifically developed with your child and family at the centre of the process. Diagnostic assessments involve specialised assessment tools, detailed discussions about your family’s history and concerns, and expert understanding of your child’s strengths, difficulties and needs. We can make recommendations for post-assessment support as well.
2 of the specialised assessment tools used at GDI are the ADOS and GARS.
The ADOS is an assessment used for autism. The ADOS consists of structured and semi-structured subtests that involve different components of social interactions and communication. The assessment has five modules. The module is chosen based on the individual’s developmental level. The first module is used with children who use few or no speech. Children who use phrases in their speech but do not speak fluently go through the second module. Module three is for younger individuals who speak fluently while the fourth module is used for adolescents and adults whom are verbally fluent. The fifth module is used for toddlers.
The GARS assists in identifying the severity of autism in individuals whom are 3–22 years old. The scale queries on several dimensions include the stereotypical and characteristic behavior of those with autism, social interactions, and communication skill.
Examples of assessments used: TOWRE-2 / WIAT-4 /
WIST / CTOPP-2
Helping children to learn and to overcome the difficulties associated with Dyslexia depend on accurate diagnosis. There are several other disorders that may have similar symptoms as Dyslexia, such as anxiety, ADHD, childhood depression and undiagnosed visual problems, just to name a few.
Professional testing procedures can separate Dyslexia from other
difficulties, and if Dyslexia is diagnosed allows for the implementation of appropriate intervention strategies.
A diagnosis of Dyslexia explains why children find it difficult to learn to read, why they are disengaged in school, and often why they are misbehaving. In most cases, a diagnosis is a relief and a way forward. Inaccurate diagnosis of Dyslexia could lead to ignoring other problems that may be responsible for reading and general
academic difficulties. This would further hinder a child's progress. Testing is useful for children who find reading or acquiring reading skills persistently difficult. Dyslexia testing is predominantly offered for children from about 4.5 years of age. This is the age when reading begins and problems begin to surface.