What is Important to Know About Psychological Testing

Psychological testing can provide many answers to a child’s way of solving problems. For instance, assessing the cognitive abilities of a child allows for a thorough understanding of different processing abilities (i.e., verbal, spatial, short-term memory, working memory, executive function, and processing speed to name a few). Such understanding helps identify different processing strengths and weakness used to develop and monitor tailored education plans.

Comprehensive Psychological Evaluations

These consist of various tests used to determine an individual’s psychological and behavioral functioning. The goal of this assessment is to provide a detailed evaluation of an individual’s cognitive, behavioral, emotional, and personality strengths and weaknesses. This evaluation can be used to create a detailed treatment or education plan. The process consists of interviewing the child, child’s caregivers, behavioral observations, cognitive testing, and self and caregiver rating scales. The interview consists of gathering information about development, the environment the child engages with, health, sleep and appetite patterns, all things that could have an impact on the child’s cognitive functioning or behaviors. Often it may require observing the child at home, school, and in the clinic in order to see what impact the environment has on the child’s functioning. Furthermore, the child and adults caregivers (parents, teachers, coaches, etc.)  are asked to complete rating scales to determine how the client’s perceived function in the area of interest compares to that of same-age peers.

Neuropsychological testing can be a component of a comprehensive psychological evaluation. It is used with individuals to assess the different cognitive processes that comprise the human cognitive system. Most tests are standardized, that is, the tests are administered in a certain way every time and scoring follows standard procedures every time. The results of the evaluations provide important information concerning a child’s memory, processing speed, attention, verbal ability, and executive functioning, at the very least. Neuropsychological Evaluations are able to determine if a child has a learning disability, ADHD, executive functioning problems and other deficits in the cognitive system.

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