Cognition is the mental process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience and our senses. Your child is continually learning and experiencing the world, in order to develop their cognition.
Sometimes a school teacher, guidance officer, or a parent may notice some strengths and weaknesses in your child’s cognition, or may comment on a particular learning style they have.
In order for your child to continue to develop and learn, a cognitive assessment can be helpful in identifying the areas of strengths and weaknesses that they may be experiencing. When interpreted along with comprehensive background information, and parent and teacher reports, the results of cognitive assessments can provide information about your child which can assist to develop an individualised learning plan.
What is a Cognitive Assessment?
Another word for a cognitive assessment is an IQ test or Intellectual Quotient test. A series of activities are administered by an accredited psychologist, to assess various areas of cognitive ability including:
- Verbal Comprehension – measuring the child’s range of vocabulary and their ability to express general knowledge and explain concepts;
- Visual Spatial – measuring the child’s verbal reasoning, understanding, concept formation and knowledge;
- Fluid Reasoning – measuring the child’s ability to solve novel problems independent of previous knowledge;
- Working Memory – measuring the child’s ability to learn, manipulate and retain information to complete new tasks;
- Processing Speed – measuring the child’s ability to quickly process and make decisions about visual information.
Reasons for Cognitive Assessments
- Identifying intellectual disabilities;
- Identifying and diagnosing learning disabilities and disorders;
- Evaluating cognitive processing strengths and weaknesses;
- Assessing for giftedness;
- Assessing for the impact of brain injuries.
Types of Assessments
The type of assessment used will depend on your child’s age:
- Ages 4 to 7 years and 3 months – WPPSI-IV Wechsler Preschool & Primary Scale of Intelligence Fourth Edition;
- Ages 6 to 16 years 11 months – WISC-V Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children Fifth Edition.
Cognitive assessments are conducted in a testing room that is quiet and has minimal distraction for your child. The word “test” will not be used with the child, and will instead be replaced by the words “puzzles and games”, to create a more relaxed environment.
Process of Cognitive Testing
- Initial appointment with parent and child – background information is gathered from the parents, including developmental history, academic ability, medical issues, family relationships, and issues raised by the parents in order to gather a holistic picture of your child’s environment.
- Testing over one or two sessions – depending on your child’s ability and willingness to participate, the testing will be done over one or two sessions.
- Scoring and interpreting results – each assessment will be scored and interpreted against standardised results.
- Report writing – the behavioural observations of your child during testing will be recorded, along with the results of the testing, and recommendations.
- Feedback session – the psychologist will discuss the outcomes of the testing in this session and provide recommendation for parents and schools as required.
You will first have to book an initial appointment to discuss your concerns prior to booking an assessment. There are no Medicare rebates for assessments and a Mental Health Care Plan is not applicable.
The price for cognitive assessment, including 1 to 2 sessions of testing, 1 feedback session, scoring, interpretation, and report writing starts from $1150.
Author: Cassandra Gist, BPsych (Hons), MPsych, MAPS.
Brisbane Psychologist Cassandra Gist works with clients aged from two years old right through to adulthood. She has a special interest in working with children and their families around the diagnosis and treatment of issues such as learning difficulties and disorders.
To make an appointment with Brisbane Psychologist Cassandra Gist, try
Online Booking – Loganholme.
Alternatively, you can call M1 Psychology (Loganholme) on (07) 3067 9129.