I'd like to know more about Learning Assessments
What should I bring to the appointment?
Please bring any relevant reports from school, or other professionals such as speech therapists, OT, etc. Alternatively, you can email these reports in advance.
It is best to bring a snack in case your child becomes hungry. Please remember to bring your child's glasses. It is also a good idea to cut fingernails short, since we do most of the assessment on iPads, although this is not essential.
The assessment is designed to elicit the child's best performance. The content is generally engaging, and we can take breaks if needed. However, ideally the child should be feeling like their usual self on the day. If they are too unwell to sit at a desk for 1-2 hours focusing on challenging tasks, then definitely postpone. If it is an ongoing issue like hayfever, poor sleep, low iron, that the child ordinarily manages to cope with, let's keep the appointment and we can stop it if it seems like they are not up to it on the day.
It is strongly preferred that parents are not in the room while the testing is happening. The assessments are designed to be administered one-on-one, and for the vast majority of children, having an extra pair of eyes and ears in the room may impact their performance. You are welcome to bring something to do in the waiting room, or even to leave and return if you prefer.
In cases where separation anxiety prevents a child from performing their best, a parent may stay in the room. In this case, please sit out of the child's line of sight, bring something to read, and do not say anything even if you think the child needs some encouragement. This is necessary to preserve the standardised conditions of the test.
Most of the assessments are administered on iPads, which means that we can usually discuss some of the results right away. It is the aim to keep some time after the appointment to discuss what you are seeing and how that fits with what the testing has picked up. Sometimes further testing will be discussed and scheduled if needed.
The report will include a detailed interpretation of the test results and how they explain what is happening for you or your child. It will also include a variety of recommendations, including adjustments to teaching, learning, and assessment, strategies for building strengths and compensating for weaknesses, and focusing on social-emotional wellbeing. A separate post-assessment session to review the details of the report and discuss recommended next steps may be needed. This will be discussed with you following the assessment.
We can diagnose Intellectual Disability or Specific Learning Disorders (e.g. dyslexia) if the assessment supports these diagnoses. ADHD and autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed by a medical specialist; either by a developmental paediatrician or child psychiatrist (for children), or by a psychiatrist (for adults). The results from the assessments can be a very useful part of the diagnostic process and you can bring the assessment report to the specialist.
The majority of assessment reports are completed within 4-6 weeks of the last assessment session. We may be able to give you an approximate time frame at the appointment, as the demand for assessments varies through the year.