Psychometric assessments are used to determine a child’s unique profile of strengths and weaknesses. Such assessments can identify core issues and assist with the development of individualised intervention and learning plans for children. Psychometric assessments require the administration of standardised psychometric tools by experienced and accredited psychologists, which are interpreted in combination with comprehensive background information and parent and teacher questionnaires.
Cognitive ability refers to skills such as verbal and non-verbal problem solving, the ability to complete tasks quickly and the ability to hold information in our minds. The skills form the basis of an individual’s learning profile. Tests used to assess cognitive ability include the Wechsler Preschool and Primary School Intelligence Test (WPPSI), Wescher Intelligence Test for Children (WISC) and the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS).
Intellectual Disability is a neurodevelopmental disorder that begins in childhood and is characterised by intellectual difficulties as well as difficulties in conceptual, social and practical areas of living. Intellectual Disability is assessed using cognitive ability tests and a measure of adaptive skills, examining the ability to carry out age appropriate daily activities.
Specific learning disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder that involves ongoing problems learning key academic skills, including reading, writing and maths. These academic skills are substantially below what is expected for the child’s age, and cause problems in school, work or daily living activities. Academic skills are assessed using the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT), and are interpreted in combination with tests of cognitive ability.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that involves persistent inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity difficulties that impact on social and academic activities. The assessment of ADHD includes cognitive ability tests, computerised tests of attention, and multi-informant screening questionnaires.
All assessments start with an initial parent-only interview in order to obtain a comprehensive history and information about a child’s current level of functioning. Parents are generally asked to bring copies of school reports and other assessment reports. With consent, teachers are often contacted directly to obtain further information and to complete screener questionnaires. At times a school observation may be indicated. Based on this information, an individualised assessment program is formulated..
Psychometric testing with the child then takes place over 1-2 sessions depending on the area of assessment and the functioning of the child. Results are scored and interpreted in a written psychometric report, which includes recommendations for support strategies in school and home settings.
A separate feedback session is then organised to discuss the results. This session often involves parents alone, but can sometimes include older children and adolescents. If requested, a further feedback session and follow up review meetings can also be arranged with the child’s school.
Dr Thea Longman is a Clinical Psychologist with a Bachelor of Psychology and combined Doctorate of Clinical Psychology/Master of Science from the University of Sydney. Thea has worked previously with children, adolescents and families in schools, clinic and hospital settings in Sydney, Australia.
Thea provides clinical assessment and treatment for emotional and behavioural problems in pre-schoolers, children, adolescents and young people, including anxiety, depression, life adjustment, emotion regulation, oppositional behaviour, school refusal and parent-child relational issues. She draws on therapeutic approaches including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), mindfulness based approaches, play therapy and parent-child therapy.
Thea also conducts psychometric assessments of school-aged children to assess cognitive ability, learning difficulties and attention issues.
Thea focuses on providing a supportive space for clients to understand presenting issues and develop their capacity to face life challenges. She approaches her work with compassion and creativity. Thea believes in working collaboratively with parents, teachers and allied health professionals to create supportive environments that promote the client’s general wellbeing.