Children & Youth

Assessments

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Assessments are conducted by trained professionals and are an important first step in understanding and diagnosing a child’s learning, social and wellbeing needs. At Learning Links, our psychologists, speech therapists and occupational therapists provide a wide range of diagnostic assessment services at our centres across Sydney to determine children’s learning styles, strengths and needs. By evaluating and understanding where a child has challenges, we can provide tailored recommendations, interventions and therapies, positive coping strategies, reduce the child’s stress and enrich their competence and wellbeing.

Each child is different so it is best to discuss your concerns with Learning Links to determine the appropriate assessment option for your child.

After every assessment, a comprehensive written report will be provided and discussed with you, outlining the results and recommendations to best help your child. You can share results and recommendations with your child’s teachers and other professionals so that appropriate strategies can be used to support your child to thrive.

Psychological Assessments

Psychological assessments use an accredited combination of tests, interviews, observation and specific testing tools to help understand your child’s behaviours, emotions, strengths, needs and development. This comprehensive evaluation helps psychologists to provide diagnosis of specific conditions, set goals to support your child’s specific needs and identify appropriate treatments. 

Learning Links offers a wide range of psychology assessments including:

A cognitive test, also known as an IQ or psychometric assessment, helps to identify a child’s potential for learning and their preferred learning style. The results of a cognitive test help psychologists to determine a child’s strengths and weaknesses in a number of cognitive skill areas including verbal comprehension, visuospatial skills, fluid reasoning, working memory and processing speed.

Cognitive assessments can be performed to help with the following:

  • Aiding the diagnosis of learning difficulties or disabilities in children to develop a tailored learning plan and provide recommendations for classroom accommodations
  • Determining the severity and impact of intellectual disability on a child’s learning and provide practical strategies to support them in the classroom
  • Providing information to assist with school or government funding applications, teaching support and special provisions 
  • Identifying intellectual giftedness

An academic assessment measures how a child is performing in a range of academic skill areas and how this compares with their peers and grade expectations. 

The results of an academic test help psychologists to identify a child’s strengths and skill levels in the areas of reading, writing, mathematics and oral language. 

Academic assessments can be conducted to help with the following: 

  • Identifying a child’s level of academic skill in specific areas 
  • Diagnosis of a specific learning disorder such as Dyslexia or Dyscalculia
  • Developing strategies and classroom accommodations to support specific learning strengths and difficulties 
  • Informing the development of an Individualised Learning Plan 

Learning Links’ psychologists use a range of assessment tools to evaluate a child’s strengths and needs. The most common tools used in academic assessments include: 

  • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT)

An ADHD assessment is a comprehensive evaluation using multiple methods and instruments to identify whether a child may present with Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The ADHD psychological assessment involves interviews, direct observation in various settings, psychometric testing and feedback from teachers, carers and others who regularly interact with the child. ADHD assessments aim to evaluate problem behaviour in children and adolescents, particularly in the areas of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity.

Learning Links’ psychologists analyse the results to determine whether a child’s behaviour meets the diagnostic criteria for ADHD outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

The diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) requires a comprehensive psychological assessment using a range of methods and tools. Learning Links uses an accredited play-based assessment tool to assess children’s play, communication and social interaction. A structured interview is also completed with parents. This assessment is completed over two sessions.

Assessments for Autism Spectrum Disorder can help with:

  • Identifying a child’s unique behaviours, interests and social and communication difficulties
  • Developing a tailored management and learning support plan with recommendations for appropriate interventions and accommodations
  • Assisting with applications for school and government funding and access to a specialised support teacher

Helps you understand the behaviours and emotions of children and adolescents e.g. aggression, anxiety, social skills, self-esteem etc.

Helps you understand strengths and weaknesses in your child’s memory including visual and verbal memory as well as short and long term memory.

Identifies whether a child may present with a specific learning difficulty in the area of reading.

Identifies whether a child may present with a specific learning difficulty in the area of numeracy.

Other assessments:

Speech and Language Assessment

A comprehensive review of a child’s communication skills including: – receptive and expressive language, pragmatic skills, articulation, phonological awareness, stuttering and voice.

Occupational Therapy Assessment

A comprehensive review of a child’s fine and gross motor skills, visual perception, hand preference, handwriting, scissor skills and sensory processing.

Special Provisions Assessments

For children completing their Higher School Certificate who are seeking suitable accommodations such as extended time or a reader or writer for exams. A report is provided that schools can submit to the Board of Studies for consideration.

After your child is assessed, the Learning Links professionals will make specific recommendations. Learning Links offers speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, educational support and psychological therapy services to support your child.

Download our Assessments brochure >

Frequently Asked Questions

Children can be referred for a psychology assessment for a variety of reasons. Among other things, they may be struggling academically, have attention or behaviour problems at home or in school, be depressed or anxious or have a learning disorder. Often when kids are struggling in school or seem to be behind their peers developmentally, a teacher or a counsellor will suggest the child undergo a psychological assessment.

By evaluating and understanding where the child has challenges, psychologists can provide positive coping strategies, reduce the child’s stress and enrich their competence and well-being.

Assessments are conducted by trained psychologists or provisional psychologists who are experts at what they do. The psychologist evaluates the child’s strengths and weaknesses, then recommends strategies for parents and teachers to help the child progress.

During an assessment, the psychologist will:

  • Interview (talk with) the child and their parents to learn more about their early development, learning at school, strengths and weaknesses as well as their emotional and behavioural skills. In some cases, they may also talk to the child’s teacher/s or others who know the child well.
  • Observe the child during the evaluation and may gather information from teachers.
  • Have the child complete a standardised assessment. These tests have been taken by many people and will allow the child psychologist to compare your child’s results with those of others in order to assess a range of abilities. They want to know how the child functions in areas such as behaviour or movement (dexterity) and in subjects like reading, writing and maths.
  • If necessary, evaluate medical records, school records, other professional records to learn more about the child.

Depending on the type of assessment, the process takes up to 2-3 hours to complete and will sometimes involve more than one session. By putting all the information together, the psychologist comes to an understanding of where a child needs assistance and can develop strategies to help the child reach their full potential.

Assessment reports are completed within 2 weeks of the session, providing all the requested paperwork has been returned to the psychologist. In the event that the assessment report will take longer, you will be advised when booking.

When the testing is complete and the report has been written, the psychologist will go over the results with you over the phone and then mail the full assessment to you. Keep in mind that the outcomes do not reveal all of your child’s potential, abilities or skills. Rather, the evaluation is used as a way to learn about the child’s “present functioning level”, in their school and home environments, how they learn, and their strengths and weaknesses.

The psychologist will discuss what your child does well and offer suggestions to help them improve in areas that need to be addressed. If your child is diagnosed with a learning disability, or a behavioural or emotional issue, recommendations will be made for ways you can help your child manage that specific concern or problem.

How to Access our Assessment Services

Locations: Assessments can be offered at our Learning Centres in Alexandria, Bella Vista, Gledswood Hills, Liverpool and Peakhurst.

Days of Operation:  Monday to Saturday

Call us on 1300 003 900 or click on the button below to enquire.