Assessments for preschool and primary school Children

Helping your child to be understood often starts here.

Educational and neurodevelopmental assessments for children can be the first step towards understanding your child’s strengths, differences and challenges. They also identify the most suitable interventions and required adjustments and supports at home and school. When appropriate, the assessments at Raise the Bar Psychology support applications for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and inclusive education funding in schools, and inform the development of individualised education plans.

Assessments for children can identify developmental delays, school readiness, giftedness and mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression. They can also determine whether neurodevelopmental or learning differences are present including Autism, ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia.

 

For Victorian residents,

students may be eligible for reasonable adjustments and special provisions during classroom learning and exams  if they are adversely affected in a significant way by an impairment or disability, including learning disorders. This is available to individual students who may need special provisions in their learning program to achieve the learning outcomes and in assessment to demonstrate their learning and achievement. It includes special provisions such as use of assistive technology, access to rest breaks, and use of a separate room. The Cognitive and Learning assessments provided at Raise the Bar Psychology can be used to support applications for special provisions when appropriate.

Types of assessments

Our psychologists provide person-centred, trauma informed and neuro-affirming educational and neurodevelopmental assessments for preschool and primary school aged children. We see children from 2 years of age and up with various presenting concerns and individualised needs. 

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Autism Assessments for Children

Children as young as two can undergo an assessment for autism. An autism assessment for your child can involve administering several standardised assessment tools, interacting with the child in the clinic, observing them at school, and interviews with parents, teachers and other professionals such as paediatricians, speech pathologists or occupational therapists. 

An autism assessment often includes a cognitive assessment if not previously completed as this helps to inform needed adjustments and supports. If learning concerns are present, an autism assessment for your child can also include an assessment of learning and academic achievement.  

ADHD/ADD Assessments for Children

An Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) assessment can be completed for your child and typically involves

  • Interviews with parents, teachers, and other relevant professionals
  • Interaction within the clinic setting
  • Observation at daycare, preschool or school
  • Administration of standardised assessment tools
  • Questionnaires being completed by parents and teachers

At Raise the Bar Psychology, we utilise both behaviour rating scales and clinical interview to gain insight into your child’s degree of attentional and behavioural control, as well as their planning and organisational skills. A comprehensive and individualised report with personalised recommendations is provided at the conclusion of the assessment.

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Developmental Assessment | Raise the Bar Psychology

Early Childhood Developmental Assessment

An Early Childhood Developmental Assessment is for children who have not yet started school and can evaluate various aspects of their learning and development, including 

  • cognitive development
  • language development
  • Gross and fine motor development
  • Emotional and behavioural regulation
  • Social development
  • Adaptive functioning skills 
  • Pre-literacy and -numeracy skills

An early childhood developmental assessment helps to identify areas of developmental delay, guide individualised intervention programs, and facilitate access to funding such as the NDIS. They can also assit with the transiton to primary school by considering the different educational settings available to your child.

The early childhood developmental assessment process typically includes a developmental history interview with parents/caregivers, and consultations with parents and teaching staff. A cognitive assessment often forms part of an early childhood developmental assessment which occurs in the clinic and allows for your psychologist to interact with and observe your child. 

The comprehensive and individualised report provided at the conclusion of the assessment will identify areas of  developmental need and required evidence-based interventions so that supports can be put in place early.

Cognitive or Intellectual Assessments for Children

A Cognitive Assessment provides insight into your child’s thinking and reasoning abilities by assessing various abilities that support learning, including language and comprehension, reasoning and problem-solving, memory, and speed of processing. By providing your child with a serious of tasks and activities to complete, insight into their unique profile of cognitive strengths and challenges is provided. 

Cognitive assessments (sometimes referred to as intellectual ability or IQ tests) assist with determining the reasons behind learning concerns and support the development of individualised and effective learning plans to support overall development and well-being. Cognitive assessments are also used to identify the presence of various neurodevelopmental and learning differences such as intellectual delays, giftedness, dyslexia, autism, and ADHD.

When appropriate, the results of a cognitive assessment can be used to support the provision of reasonable adjustments at school and in the workplace, special provisions applications for end of school exams in Victoria, and inclusive education and NDIS funding applications.

The particular cognitive assessment battery used will depend on your child’s age and their individual needs, with options such as the Bayley-4 for up to 3.5 years, the WPPSI-IV for ages 4 to 7, the WISC-V for ages 6 to 16, and the UNIT-2 for children with language delays, hearing impairment or English as a second language.

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Learning Assessment | Raise the Bar Psychology

Learning Assessment

Using a comprehensive set of both cognitive and achievement assessments can help parents and educators gain insight into a child’s learning and academic abilities. Students often present with areas of learning strength and challenge and understanding your child’s unique profile enables the identification of specific and evidence-based interventions, educational adjustments and supports. 

Raise the Bar Psychology has a variety of academic assessment tools available to assess broad areas of reading, writing, mathematics, and oral language, as well as specific sub-skills in each, such as

  • Reading – word reading and recognition, decoding, word reading efficiency, reading fluency (accuracy and rate), reading comprehension and recall
  • Writing – spelling, writing fluency, sentence composition, essay composition, use of grammar and punctuation, editing 
  • Mathematics – maths calculation and fluency, applied problem-solving
  • Oral language – receptive and expressive language

Learning assessments at Raise the Bar Psychology often include assessment of a child’s cognitive ability if not previously completed. The learning assessment at Raise the Bar Psychology can identify if a underlying learning disorder is present including dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia. 

School Readiness Assessments

Being school-ready is about more than just intellectual development; it’s about whether a young child is ready socially, physically and emotionally, and if they have the communication and cognitive skills to manage school effectively. Children who start school when they are developmentally ready typically do better in school and later on in life.

Understanding a child’s developmental readiness is crucial, especially in Victoria if they might turn five between January and April of their preparatory year. A school readiness assessment can support parents with decision making regarding whether to start school early, at the typical time, or after an additional year of kindergarten. The school readiness assessments at Raise the Bar Psychology also identify if there are specific areas of development in need of targeted intervention and support so that your child can thrive optimally in their learning and general well-being in the school setting. 

A school readiness assessment can benefit children whose parents are considering whether to send their child to school early or provide them with an additional year of kindergarten before transitioning to school.  A school readiness assessment will provide insight into a child’s cognitive, language, pre-academic, social, emotional, and behavioural development. The assessment helps to identify areas of developmental delay or challenge and provides guidance regarding targeted and evidence-based intervention, and/or educational adjustments and supports required before or once a child has transitioned to school.

A school readiness assessment will typically start with a 1-hour intake session with your psychologist to gather background information regarding your child’s history of development, preschool experiences, any particular challenges or concerns currently present, and the history of any previous supports or interventions put in place. The intake session is commonly conducted with just the parents/caregivers. 

Following the intake session, there is typically between 2 to 3 hours of assessment, involving the completion of a Cognitive Assessment (such as the WPPSI-IV); this provides insight into your child’s overall level of intellectual ability and specific areas of cognitive strength and challenge. Assessing their early literacy and numeracy skills (such as knowledge of letter names and sounds, letter writing, counting and knowledge of shapes) will also provide insight into your child’s readiness for formal learning. It also identifies areas that may need to be targeted by intervention. Their social, emotional, and behavioural development will also be assessed and observed via play-based activities. 

Questionnaires are often sent out to parents and kindergarten teachers during the assessment to understand the child’s level of social, emotional and behavioural development. Phone calls with kindergarten teachers and other relevant support staff (such as speech pathologists and occupational therapists) can also form part of a comprehensive assessment.

Typically, four weeks after the final assessment, a feedback session is conducted with the parents to explain the assessment results, recommend supports and strategies going forward, and answer any questions. A comprehensive and individualised report is also provided at this time.

Psychological and Neurodevelopmental Assessments for Children | Raise the Bar Psychology

Assessment Process

Your child and family deserve a chance to flourish. An assessment can help to identify why your child is struggling and how you and others can support them to learn and grow as happy little people.

We’d love to support you; whether you have a few questions or concerns, want to know your options, or are looking for the best provider for you, book a call with us today.

Your questions answered

Medicare rebates are available if referred under items for ‘Complex Neurodevelopmental Disorders and eligible disabilities’ by a paediatrician or psychiatrist.

No, a referral is not necessary. Our team is available to help you evaluate whether an assessment would be beneficial depending on your needs and circumstances, and they can help determine which assessments would be most useful if an assessment is recommended.

Assessments can help identify your child’s strengths, differences and challenges, what makes them unique, how their brain learns best, and whether they might qualify for additional funding and support. At a minimum, an assessment can help you support them in overcoming barriers, working with their strengths, and identifying what government support might be available to them (if needed).

Most assessments include an initial intake session, one or more assessment sessions with the child (the length depends on the required assessment type), and a feedback session with comprehensive and individualised report four weeks after the final assessment session.

The length of an assessment will depend on the number and type of assessments required, and this will be determined on a case-by-case basis. All assessments include an intake session and feedback session with the report usually provided four weeks after the last assessment session. Depending on individual needs, the assessment process can vary from three to eight hours.

Educational and neurodevelopmental assessments can identify and support parents understanding of various presenting concerns and neurodevelopmental or learning differences including mental health challenges, learning difficulties, developmental delays in language, cognitive, motor or adaptive functioning skills, and autism and ADHD.