How are learning difficulties in children and adolescents picked up – and what happens once they have been diagnosed? Clinical Psychologist Leia Redman explains …
A helpful way to understand your child’s learning difficulties can be through an Intelligence or Achievement Test.
Intelligence testing is much more than just an IQ measure; using these types of tests gives you extensive information about what areas of cognitive ability your child is struggling with, and what areas they may have strength in.
Identifying and understanding this information can be helpful in structuring their learning plan at school, to target the areas where they require assistance.
Examples of Intelligence/Achievement Tests
The most commonly used intelligence/achievement tests for diagnosing learning difficulties in children and adolescents, include:
- The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children – 5th Edition (WISC-V): for children aged 6 years to 16 years and 11 months. This test measures ability in areas such as verbal comprehension, visual-spatial skills, and fluid reasoning skills, working memory and processing speed.
- The Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence – 4th Edition (WPPSI-IV): for children aged 2 years and 6 months to 7 years and 7 months. This test measures ability in the same areas as the WISC-V, but is designed for the younger age group.
- The Wechsler Individual Achievement Test – 2nd Edition (WIAT-II): for people aged 4 years through to adulthood. This test measures ability in the following areas: Oral Language, Reading, Written Language and Mathematics.
How Can I Get My Child Assessed?
A registered psychologist is qualified to conduct the assessments listed above, and to interpret the results and create an individualised report. The process of Intelligence/Achievement Testing includes:
- Both parent/s and the child will be required to attend an initial appointment to gather relevant information about the child’s history, and decide whether a test is necessary.
- If it is decided for example, that a WISC-V is necessary for assessment, a 2 hour block is usually required for testing. Depending on the age of the child a quick break may be provided to manage possible fatigue.
- The results are interpreted and a report is written.
- Parents will be required to attend a Feedback session to go over the results of the assessment, and address any of their questions/concerns.
If you are concerned about your child’s learning and are unsure where to begin, please book an appointment with me.
Author: Leia Redman, B Psych, M Psych (Clinical), MAPS, CCLIN.
Leia Redman is a clinical psychologist, working with children, adolescents, adults, couples and families. She has training and experience in a variety of evidence-based treatment approaches, and aims to create an open and trusting environment where clients are empowered to take steps towards living a meaningful life, and becoming the best version of themselves.
To make an appointment with Clinical Psychologist Leia Redman try Online Booking – Loganholme or call M1 Psychology (Loganholme) on (07) 3067 9129.
- Lichtenberger, E. O., & Smith, D. R. (2005). Essentials of WIAT-II and KTEA-II Assessment (1st Edition). New Jersey. John Wiley & Sons Inc.