The Psychological Assessment process is usually carried out by an Clinical Psychologist and can include assistance from Psychometrists in the administration of some assessment procedures.
This might be appropriate when an adult struggles to work up to their full potential in some aspect of their working life such as with memory, attention, organisational skills, time management issues, processing speed, social-emotional control and skills, etc., or may be depressed, anxious, showing signs of being overly aggressive or reluctant to engage in life, and especially where personality differences are notable. Psychological evaluations are also a needed element in particular professional, legal, and or self-harm/abuse instances where the individual has lost control over impulses, thoughts, and/or behaviours.
These evaluations are necessary in order to access special benefits and supports in a working environment and can even illuminate difficulties in relationships. In some instances, further consultation is also needed with a physician and/or psychiatrists for the dispensing of medications that could support more balanced daily functioning and enable them to better access life, relationship, and work experiences and capitalise on these opportunities.
Living a flourishing life has many components and can be affected by a range of learning, behavioural and emotional issues. Comprehensive evaluations can ensure that any learning issues are not misdiagnosed and the complex cause and effect relationships can be better understood for remedial purposes.
It is important to know strengths and understand how each individual learns in order to best design strategies to support areas in need of further development and specialist skillset training. The correct choice for any intervention and therapy relies on this. This can direct strategies for intervention for more effective and directed intervention and less time wasting.
The psychological assessment process is designed to assess for cognitive, functional, personality, and behavioural issues that may have been flagged throughout an individual’s life, but never seemed to present enough of a block to getting by. Some individual’s are mandating to pursue psychological assessment while other’s decide it is just the right time to investigate. This can happen at any time and the process for carrying out adult assessments can take less time than that for children. Any diagnoses warranted and recommendations would be made in all cases.
These are performed in the clinic of the Clinical Psychologist. Ideally there should be as few distractions as possible and a key element of obtaining the most accurate results is ensuring that the individual feels as comfortable, consulted and as included as possible.
Psychological assessment is a process of using tests, interviews, observations and analysis of background information and reports to determine an individual’s learning strengths and areas in need of support. Each evaluation should be tailored to each individual in order to answer questions about the person’s individual profile.
1. Intellectual: Intelligence or ability testing provides a measure of an individual’s overall abilities in order to support realistic and effective expectations. This helps to identify learning potential with scores split between verbal and non-verbal intellectual functioning.
2. Academic Achievement: Academic knowledge and functioning in Reading, Writing and Maths, including their subcomponents are assessed by academic achievement tests specially designed to measure each component and avoid biases,focusing more on the skills that lead to effective learning in these subjects.
3. Information Processing: Potentially the most useful and informative part of the assessment, this looks for why an individual may be having difficulties and what areas could be supported more effectively to improve it. Areas assessed include; Visual, Auditory Processing, Tactile Processing, Memory, Attention Span and Executive Functioning.
4. Social-Emotional and Personality: Coexisting with cognitive issues, social-emotional issues can include the existence of any clinical issues such as depression, anxiety and behavioural concerns by including awareness, information processing, reciprocal social communication, anxiety and any avoidances or presence of any autistic spectrum issues.
5. Adaptive functioning: Inspected here are abilities and daily living skills, socialisation motor skills. Results of these assessments are examined and analysed with results and recommendations provided verbally as well as in a full written report.
Five Step Assessment Process:
1. Initial Consultation: The background and history is taken with current queries highlighted in order to select the most relevant tests with regards to age, language, existing needs, etc., in order to provide the most complete picture.
2. Testing Sessions: Direct individual testing of abilities are carried out over two to three sessions depending on the number of and types of assessments required and any existing issues.
3. Test Scoring and Interpretation: Results of the scores obtained in testing, including patterns and consistencies and any observations are integrated in order to develop a learning profile for that individual.
4. Feedback Session: The information, results, strengths and areas in need of support will be discussed including strategies for improvement and support and a written report is usually provided 4-6 weeks later.
Each individuals unique pattern of strengths and needs will guide any recommendations made for that individual and can include work accommodations, therapeutic support, skills training, and even assessment accommodations and examination alterations to best allow the older students to both access information and fairly demonstrate any learning achieved. Medication and any assistive technology would also be made as a part of this area of reporting.