Office Desk

Overview of Assessment Services

What is an assessment?

An assessment provides a comprehensive examination of the strengths and weaknesses of the client. Dependent on the type of assessment completed, you will be able to gain a better understanding of the client's cognitive functioning, academic performance, social-emotional functioning, and/or adaptive functioning. Psychometric testing is conducted in a one-on-one setting with the clinician and the client. Testing sessions are for approximately one to two hours at a time, dependent upon the activities that are being conducted during the session. 

 

The assessment process involves: 

  • Intake interview: gathering background information about the student and discussing the reason for referral. During the interview process, the clinician will discuss the cost of the assessment and how many hours they will charge for. 

  • Psychometric Testing (1-3 sessions): completion of cognitive and academic testing  

  • Social-Emotional functioning (rating scales): gaining qualitative information from various perspectives (e.g., parent, teacher) to better understand the student  

  • Report: An in-depth analysis is completed of all the data gathered and written within a report. Information from testing, the rating scales, and clinical observations are all included. Additionally, individualized recommendations are provided for each assessment. 

  • Feedback: Discussing the results of the assessment, reviewing recommendations, and answering questions

Form on Clipboard

What do assessments provide?

  • A deeper understanding of one’s strengths and challenges related to learning, information processing, and academic skills.

  • Formal diagnosis of mental health disorders

    • Examples: ADHD, specific learning disorders (reading, writing, math), depression, anxiety, autism spectrum disorder, PTSD, OCD,

  • Recommendations for accommodations to seek in schools and other settings.

  • Information needed for school admission (gifted)

What kind of assessments do we offer?

Psychological Assessment (General)

  • Psychoeducational Assessment

  • Automobile Accident Assessment

  • Clinical Assessment

  • Gifted Assessment

  • Mental Health Assessment

  • Autism Screening

Depending on the type of assessment you are seeking, the length of time needed to complete one varies but typically involves multiple sessions with a psychologist. A psychologist can provide you with a formal report of the assessment results.

How do you prepare for an assessment?

  • Studying for psychological tests is highly discouraged as it can negatively impact an individual’s performance.

  • Get a good night’s rest and eat before the assessment.

  • If you can, schedule in some time to take it easy afterwards, assessments can require a considerable amount of emotional and cognitive effort.

  • Come with any questions or concerns you have.

  • Ask about cost. Psychoeducational assessments/psychological testing can be expensive without insurance coverage.

Frequently asked questions

What is an Individualized Program Plan and can a psychologist complete this?


Also known as an IPP, Individualized Program Plans are a plan designed by the school to address the needs of a student. It includes strengths, areas of need, and supports that may benefit your child’s learning. This is a working document that both the school environment and caregivers review together. A psychologists role is to focus on completing the psychological assessment. Once provided the report, the caregiver can choose if they would like to share the results with the school. If you choose to share the report with the school, then the school can help formulate and implement an IPP if the client meets the criteria for a diagnosis




Will my health insurance cover assessment services?


We recommend contacting your insurance provider who can verify whether assessment services will be covered. In our experience, most insurance providers cover some or all parts of counselling and assessment services.




How do I explain to my child that they will be participating in an assessment?


Ultimately, it's up to you how you would like to discuss this with your child! We recommend not using the word ‘testing’ as this word can sometimes increase feelings of nervousness or anxiety. Often when an assessor introduces themself to a client, we will preface by saying ‘we will be working with blocks and pictures. Some things may seem easy and some may be a little more difficult. I don’t expect you to know every answer. Just try your best for me!’ Your child might also ask why they are completing an assessment! We recommend explaining that we are finding out how they learn best and how their brain works!




How are assessments being completed during COVID-19?


Psychological services have continued in-person as services are deemed essential. With that said, any components of an assessment that do not need to be conducted in person will be completed via telepsychology (i.e., intake, feedback). Psychometric testing will be completed in-person as it complies with standardization and allows the clinician to create an accurate representation of the client.




What are the benefits of completing an assessment?


Benefits of an assessment include gaining an in-depth understanding of the client’s ability whether that be in learning, cognition, or social-emotional functioning. Additionally, a clinician can identify strengths, age-appropriate skills, and areas that may need improvement. From that evaluation, the clinician can provide individualized recommendations and strategies to help the client’s overall functioning.