Psychological assessment is a process of assessing and evaluating an individual using a combination of formal (standardised) and informal (qualitative) assessment measures. This process is a starting point in terms of identifying an individual’s strengths and weaknesses and allows for the development of a treatment plan or suitable intervention based on the individuals unique functioning. Furthermore, this process allows psychologists to provide holistic support by working collaboratively with parents, teachers and other significant role players.
Psychological assessments are unique to each individual’s context however, the process is usually as follows:
- Intake interview with parents/caregivers to gather background information on the client and discuss the assessment process going forward. Information from previous interventions may be requested to gain a richer understanding of the individual’s development. If need be, a school observation is scheduled where the psychologist discreetly observes the child in the school context (prior to the assessment).
- Dependent on the individual, the assessment is scheduled and may take place over several sessions or over the course of a morning. Additional information may be gathered from teachers or other role players and integrated to create a comprehensive picture of the individual’s functioning.
- A feedback session is then scheduled (usually about 2 weeks from the assessment date) to discuss the assessment results and relevant recommendations.
- School meetings and feedback sessions may also be scheduled, if needed.
- Assessments are inclusive of a written comprehensive assessment report explaining the assessment results as well as recommendations.
The following psychological assessments are offered:
A Psycho-educational assessment is a comprehensive and holistic evaluation of a child’s current cognitive, academic and emotional functioning. These assessments are useful for diagnosing relative areas of strength and for highlighting areas where further development may be necessary.
The earlier barriers to learning are identified, the better. Timely intervention increases the likelihood of improvement and progress. A psycho-educational assessment is the first step to identifying correct interventions to assist in overcoming challenges a child may be experiencing in the classroom or at home.
Areas that may be assessed include:
Cognitive (IQ) Assessments | Academic Potential (reading, writing, spelling and mathematics) | Emotional | Neurodevelopmental | Concentration | Auditory Discrimination Screening | Visual-Motor Integration Screening
Career and Subject Choice Assessment
Career counselling is the process in which psychological assessments and interviewing techniques are used to empower individuals to make an informed decision about their future or current career prospects. This process is supported by background and vocational information, the development of self-knowledge, integration of information and decision making. Recommendations are based on the assessment of interests, aptitudes, personality traits and vocational maturity.
Career counselling is important as it is not so much aimed at choosing a specific job, but rather on making sure the individual ends up in the right career field. Specific career fields require children to have specific subjects from Gr 10. A subject choice assessment is therefore a good idea if your child is uncertain of which career field will be most suitable for him/her. A collaborative and active decision-making approach is followed in order to guide learners in selecting suitable subjects.
The career counselling process can assist an individual design their ideal career or life. Therefore, this process can help make 1) a decision about the subjects you have to take at school, 2) help to decide what to study after school, 3) what career field is best suited for you, or 4) highlight fields that will provide you with a sense of purpose or even design a joyful life at any stage of your career.
The main aspects that are considered are as follows:
Aptitude Testing | Personality Assessment | Interests | Study Habits and Attitudes | Values
School Readiness Assessment
A child’s school readiness needs to be established to determine whether they are cognitively and emotionally ready to begin formal education. School Readiness assessments are recommended during the Grade R year. School readiness is determined on a variety of levels such as cognitive readiness, social readiness, emotional readiness and perceptual readiness. This assessment process also assesses whether any developmental delays are present or identifying areas that may need to be worked on to help the child better transition into formal schooling.
Areas that may be assessed include:
Cognitive (IQ) Assessments | Visual Perception | Auditory Perception | Spatial Orientation | Number Concept | Social and Emotional Development | Motor Co-ordination | Developmental Delays
IEB & DBE Concession Assessments
The Department of Education and the IEB, as part of their policy, allows for certain concessions and accommodations during controlled test environments (examinations and tests). This is an attempt to equalise the barriers learners with certain permanent or temporary physical difficulties, or intrinsic specific learning difficulties may have. The concession application is generally made on behalf of a learner by the school. The school needs to provide objective evidence to the authoritative body that the learner is currently facing an internal or external barrier that will disadvantage them during their examinations and tests.
To justify the granting of a concession the various education boards (e.g. IEB and DOE) in South Africa have specific requirements from the school and an educational psychologist to be given a concession or accommodation.
Possible accommodations that could be applied for:
Additional Time | A Scribe | A Reader | Amanuensis | A Prompter | Braille | Spelling | Handwriting | Enlarged Print | A Computer | Practical assistant | Rephrased paper | Medication/Food Intake | Rest Breaks| Separate Venue | Specific equipment
Please contact me for more information regarding my assessment services or how to book an assessment session