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Cognitive and Learning Disorder Assessments Canberra - Dyslexia/Dysgraphia

The process of determining learning disorders involves several stages:

  • Information obtained from a clinical interview (usually 1 hour);
  • Sometimes school observations (1 hour) and discussions with teachers (1/2 hour) – during COVID-19 period, a more in-depth discussion with current and past teacher if possible;
  • Information obtained from other sources (e.g. psychometric inventories, school reports) if required;
  • Cognitive (ability/IQ) assessment (2 hour assessment);
  • Achievement/skills/educational assessment (approximately 3-hour assessment);
  • Statistical comparisons between ability and achievement (undertaken by psychologist outside of session times)
  • Qualitative observations of the child’s processing and skills during the assessment process;

Items 4 and 5 are a major component of this process.  These processes are outlined below:

4. Cognitive Assessment

The first test administered is called the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children – 5th edition (WISC-V).  This test provides a ‘baseline’ of the child’s ability – against which all other skills/achievements are measured/compared.

The process for this assessment is as follows:

  • The administration of WISC-V will take place. This test usually takes somewhere between 1.5 and 2hours, and is conducted with the child alone. Parents are welcome to wait in the waiting room for the duration of the test, or leave and collect the child at the end of the assessment. [During COVID-19 Telehealth period, most of the tests are undertaken online, the child being in his/her own home, with set up and monitoring by parent]
  • For office tests, parents are expected to provide a small snack/drink for their child to have during the brief break scheduled during the assessment period

Please note that if your child has done this test at any time during the last two years, it cannot be re-administered until two years have passed. The results of any test conducted too soon after the first test are considered invalid.

5. Learning and Achievement Assessment.

The second test to be administered is the Wechsler Independent Achievement Test, 3rd. edition (WIAT-III).

The WIAT is a comprehensive, individually-administered, norm-referenced test for assessing the achievement of children, adolescents, college students and adults who are 4 through 85 years. The basic content domains are reading, writing, arithmetic and oral language.  It is the only individually administered test directly linked with other Wechsler Intelligence Scales.

The WIAT provides composite scores for the following domains:

  • Reading (Word Reading, Reading Comprehension, and Pseudoword Decoding; Oral Fluency);
  • Mathematics (Numerical Operations, Maths Problem Solving; Maths Fluency)
  • Written Language (Spelling, Sentence Composition and Essay composition);
  • Oral Language (Listening Comprehension and Oral Expression).

The process for this second assessment (WIAT-III) is as follows:

  • This test usually takes somewhere between 3 and 3.5 hours, and is conducted with the child alone. [This test needs to be done over two sessions given the length of time involved. With face-to-face tests, parents are welcome to wait in the waiting room for the duration of the test, or leave and collect the child at the end of the assessment.
  • With face-to-face tests, parents are expected to provide a small snack/drink for their child to have during the brief break scheduled during the assessment period

Please note that if your child has done this test at any time during the last two years, it cannot be re-administered until at least two years have passed. The results of any test conducted too soon (less than one year) after the first test are considered invalid.

If the following exists:

  • clinically significant discrepancies are obtained between any of the above areas and the results in the WISC-V ability assessment
  • there is a history of learning difficulties
  • qualitative observations (e.g. regarding phonological understanding) and information from those involved in the child’s education suggest learning problems

….then Specific Learning Disorders (with impairment in reading, mathematics and/or written expression) are usually diagnosed.  The specific nature of the learning (e.g. with reading disorder, whether it is a disorder of word reading,  or of comprehension) disorder is also determined.

  • If additional psychometric inventories are administered, there may be an additional charge to cover the cost of the inventories, analysis and scoring.
  • Any additional sessionsor time required (e.g. additional observations, additional assessment interviews, additional report reading) will charged at the standard hourly rate for the clinic. The reason for these will be explained to parents prior to conducting.The feedback session – considered essential in this practice (usually1 hour) is free.

TABLE SHOWING FEE STRUCTURE OPTIONS

(Not each stage is paid at the time of the consult) – not all at once- so payments are staggered over the course of the assessment.

ITEM

Initial parent interview (1 hour)

School observation and teacher interview 1.5 hours

TEST 1

WISC-V (2 -2.5 hours in session plus 1 hour manual scoring, analysis of results).

TEST 2

WIAT, III (3 -3.5 hours+in session plus 1 hour for scoring, analysis of results).

[ Note: Approximately 2-3 hours scoring and analysis is actually involved]

OVERALL: FINAL REPORT COMPILATION, including cross comparisons between WISC-V and WIAT-III.  OverallCONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS (Personal analysis)

Please note that the provision of the assessment report will usually take place within ten -14 days of the final assessment.  This will only not occur if there are difficulties scheduling an appointment, or if there is illness for either party.

Please note also that reports will not be sent to parents prior to conducting a feedback session.

Please note that all reports need to be presented to other entities in their entirety.

Summaries of reports for other purposes will attract an additional fee.