What assessments are available for children and adolescents?
Healthwise offers assessments for children and adolescents in a range of developmental areas, including:
- Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Asperger’s Syndrome, and Social Communication Disorder (4+ years)
- Cognitive testing for learning difficulties, dyslexia, memory problems, IQ/intelligence, or cognitive functioning (6-16 years)
- Diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) (4+ years)
What does an assessment include?
Following best practice guidelines, all of our assessment options start with a parent-only intake session. In this session, the clinician will ask you questions around your child’s abilities, challenges, and developmental history, and ask you to complete some questionnaires. This session will allow you to learn more about the assessment procedure, and ensure that we tailor the assessment sessions specifically to your child’s individual needs.
Your child will then come in for their assessment sessions with the clinician. The number and length of child assessment sessions required will depend on the purpose of the assessment (e.g. ASD, ADHD, cognitive testing).
We also include a parent-only feedback session at the end of all diagnostic or cognitive assessments. In this session, the clinician will provide you with a copy of the written report and talk you through the assessment results and recommendations. You will also be able to ask questions about ‘What next?’ to make sure you are on the right path after the assessment.
ASD Assessments (4+ yrs)
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disorder commonly diagnosed in early childhood. All children with ASD are unique, although parents often notice that their child has challenges in how they communicate socially and has a narrow range of interests and repetitive behaviours.
The Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) is a comprehensive, standardised, and structured interview used for assessing children or adolescents suspected of having an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The ADI-R is considered the ‘gold standard’ in the assessment and diagnosis of children with ASD. The instrument appears to have a complementary effect in aiding diagnosis and confirm the importance of a multidisciplinary assessment process with access to information from different sources and settings.
An experienced Psychologist conducts a comprehensive, structured interview with the parents or carers of the child, who are familiar with the child’s developmental history and the child’s current behaviour.
The ADI-R focuses on 3 functional domains:
- Reciprocal Social Interactions
- Restricted, Repetitive and Stereotyped Behaviours and Interests
The ADI-R has proven very effective in differentiating autism from other developmental disorders for children over the age of 2 years old. Extensive use of the ADI-R in the international research community has provided strong evidence of the reliability and validity of its categorical results.
If you are worried that your child has ASD, we suggest families start by visiting their GP to talk through the service options. We also offer a single-session ASD Initial Screener to start you on the right track if you are unsure.
The Autism Diagnostic Observation Scheule, Second Edition (ADOS-2) is a semi-structured, standardized assessment instrument that includes a number of play-based activities designed to obtain information in the areas of communication, reciprocal social interactions, and restricted and repetitive behaviors associated with a diagnosis of ASD.
Children often enjoy this assessment because it is facilitated using a wide-range of play-based activities and interactive toys that allow the examiner to accurately assess and diagnose ASD across age, developmental level, and language skills.
Healthwise use BOTH the ADI-R and ADOS-2, in addition to comprehensive developmental enquiry, multi-informants and years of clincial expertise, to ensure your diagnosis is as accurate and reliable. Both these tests are also standard assessments for application to the National Disabiity Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Cognitive Assessments (6-16 years)
Is your child not making expected progress at school or performing below their potential? Do you feel like there are barriers stopping your child from making progress, or that they struggle with reading, maths, learning new things, or concentration and focus? Are you worried that your child is struggling to fit in because they may be gifted?
A cognitive assessment can help you to understand your child’s thinking skills and their potential, maximize the way they use their cognitive abilities, develop strategies to overcome areas of weakness, and assess learning disorders (e.g. dyslexia, maths disorder) or attention problems (e.g. ADHD).
We understand that cognitive assessments can be overwhelming for many families. To make the journey easier, we provide assessments in a relaxed environment and a with straight-forward assessment process. Your clinician will step you through the assessment options and explain which assessments are required to meet your individual needs.
ADHD Assessments (4+ yrs)
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a developmental condition that can make it challenging for children and adolescents to pay attention, focus and complete tasks, organise themselves, control impulsive behaviours, and even sit still.
Parents often notice that their child is struggling to complete schoolwork, never seems to listen, is not reaching their potential, or seems to be unable to control their behaviour at home or school.
If you are worried that your child has ADHD, we suggest families start by visiting their GP or paediatrician to talk through the service options. Otherwise you can give us a call on (07) 4198 3143 and book in for an initial appointment to discuss how we can help you with the process.