Psychodiagnostic assessments

Psychodiagnostic assessments are generally conducted to help clarify concerns regarding a person’s behavior, personality traits, mood, emotional functioning, and cognitive processes. Sometimes a person, a family member or a treatment provider may be wondering if a person’s behavior meets a psychological diagnosis. The assessment includes a comprehensive examination of the person’s personality and psychological functioning. Results of a psychodiagnostic assessment are used to provide symptom etiology (e.g., possible reasons for behavior), relevant diagnoses (e.g., does a person’s symptoms meet a diagnosis such as anxiety, developmental disorder, or neurological disorder) and guidance for treatment (e.g., need for psychotherapy, speech language pathology, psychiatry etc.) if necessary.

Psycho-educational assessments

Psycho-educational assessments are generally conducted when a student is not performing up to his/her potential at school. Sometimes there may be a learning disability, developmental disability or attention difficulties that are affecting the student’s ability to manage academic demands. The assessment will identify the student’s learning profile as well as academic strengths and weaknesses. Results of the psycho-educational assessment are used to provide recommendations (e.g., need for tutoring in a specific area, strategies to help a student learn and study more effectively) and necessary academic accommodations (e.g., withdrawal assistance, need for an educational assistant, extra time to write tests) to optimize the student’s learning.

Neuropsychological assessments

Neuropsychological assessments are generally conducted when there is a brain-based impairment such as traumatic brain injury, stroke or seizure that may be affecting cognitive processing, emotional functioning or behaviour.  Standardized testing is used to see how well the person’s brain is working when it is performing different cognitive functions like paying attention and remembering. Some areas that are typically assessed include:

  • Various forms of intelligence (e.g., verbal and nonverbal abilities)
  • Perceptual skills
  • Motor abilities
  • Learning and memory
  • Attention/concentration
  • Expressive and receptive language
  • Information processing speed
  • Visual-spatial and visual-motor skills
  • Executive functions (e.g., problem-solving, inhibition, planning, etc.)
  • Emotional/behavioral functioning

Results of a Neuropsychological assessment can be used to confirm/clarify a diagnosis; document changes in functioning over time; provide a profile of strengths and weaknesses to guide rehabilitation, educational, vocational, or other services and provide tailored recommendations to assist with weaknesses.

Gifted assessments

Gifted assessments are generally conducted when there is a question regarding whether a child is intellectually advanced and not being appropriately stimulated by a regular school curriculum. The assessment includes examination of intellectual functioning and academic skills to help determine whether the child needs to be placed in a specialized gifted program for intellectually advanced student.

Other individual assessments

Other individual assessments may be also conducted that is tailored to the individual’s needs to examine his/her cognitive, emotional and/or behavioral functioning.