I often have parents say to me that there child has previously seen a psychologist but they completed an Intelligence Test (often referred to as Cognitive Testing) such as the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children Fifth Edition WISC V but no other measures were used. In contrast, a complete psycho-educational assessment usually consists of an intelligence test such as the WISCV and an achievement test such as the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test 3rd Edition (WIAT III) in combination with other behavioral and adaptive functioning measures.
If your child undertakes just an intelligence Test then the Psychologist can still provide you and the school with an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses in Intelligence function such as practical or verbal strengths. Importantly, if you or the school are concerned regarding the possibility that your child suffers from a Specific Learning Disorder such as Dyslexia or other problems such as having an Intellectual Disability or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, then the Intelligence Test does not suffice in order for a diagnosis to be provided my your Psychologist. More specifically, for a diagnosis to be provided regarding a Specific Learning Disorder an understanding of your child’s academic abilities compared with their peers is required by using an achievement test such as the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test Third Edition (WIAT III). On the other hand, if you are concerned that your child may suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or an Intellectual Disability, it is often important to understand your child’s performance on behavioural and adaptive functioning measures.
The behavioral measures may be questionnaires provided to you the parent and to your child’s school such as the Conner’s 3 Rating Scale if there are concerns regarding your child having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Alternatively, if the Psychologist is attempting to determine your child’s adaptive functioning (ie how they function with life skills in the real world) they may similarly provide questionnaires to you the parents and your child’s teacher such as the Adaptive Behaviour Assessment System Third Edition. Therefore, it is essential that as a parent or carer of your child it is important that you are aware of the purpose of the assessment such as either wanting to understanding if your child has particular diagnosis or to determine strengths and weaknesses. Lastly, following a decision on the purpose of the assessment ensure that the Psycho-educational assessment will include necessary assessment and questionnaire’s to provide adequate information to answer the specific question addressed.