Five things you should know about assessments

Five things you should know about assessments

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Posted 2023-11-24 by Vanessafollow

Assessments are part of the process of getting answers to a child’s development.

They are steps towards improving quality of life and figuring out what your child needs most.

When it comes to health, well-being, and educational milestones, it is vital to be thorough so your child can get the support they need.

Assessments can sometimes feel scary for children and their parents, which is absolutely natural.

Wherever you are at on your journey, we’ve put together a list of five things you should know about assessments.

Why are assessments important?

Early Start Australia provides assessments that give an indication of a child’s psychoeducational development, learning needs, or diagnosis relating to their mental health and wellbeing.

When they are performed by an allied health professional, a report will be provided with recommendations that highlight any necessary interventions that need to be made.

Assessments can be beneficial for people of all ages, including children.

They are important for young people, giving them and their caregivers insights into their growth, development, and overall health.

They can gather important information on feeding, nutrition and general care giving.

Assessments can be done for:
  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Learning disorders, including dyslexia/disorder of written expression, math disorder, and reading disorder and dysgraphia
  • Speech therapy, including speech, language (core and high level), social skills, problem-solving, reading and writing abilities
  • GDD and intellectual impairment
  • NDIS Functional Capacity Assessments
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Giftedness/IQ
  • School readiness assessments
  • Educational/academic assessments
  • Intellectual disability
  • Memory tests
  • Adaptive functioning
  • Cognitive ability
  • Achievement testing
  • Social skills

  • Five things you should know about assessments

    1. They can help you understand your learning style
    Assessments for learning challenges or specific learning disorders (SLDs) can help you understand your child’s learning style and specific difficulties that they are facing.

    Assessments like these, or like those which assess intellectual disability work to identify the reasons for certain challenges, providing diagnoses where appropriate, suggesting intervention programs and reviewing cognitive and executive functioning.

    Once this information is gathered, they can recommend specific strategies, further interventions, or support.

    2. They give us insight into how we function
    There’s a difference between some brain fog and what is affecting your long-term cognitive functioning.

    Screening assessments for issues such as ADHD can explore several symptoms, which may not be obviously visible. This information is gathered in-person assessment tools, responses from parent and teacher interviews and questionnaires, and past school reports.

    This holistic approach enables treating professionals to better understand what their patients are experiencing and takes into consideration their history.

    Insight into a child’s executive function (i.e., planning, working memory, and decision making) can lead to better solutions for emotional regulation and behavioural control.

    These assessments can direct the planning of treatment for challenging behaviours, such as attention and concentration problems, or hyperactivity and impulsivity issues.

    3. Assessments can help us find ways to communicate better
    Feeling comfortable communicating and feeling heard are essential to a good quality of life.

    This can come from interventions such as speech and language therapy, through to identifying of intellectual disability.

    Everyone learns and develops differently, and there are assessments which can identify our challenges.

    These can include delays in achieving early childhood milestones, or relate to cognitive development, social-emotional interactions, communication skills, and self-care abilities.

    In the long term, these empower the person and their loved ones to communicate better and live more better lives.

    4. They’re a tool to identify our strengths and struggles
    At any age, our mental health is incredibly personal.

    Throughout our lives, what affects us can be with us long-term, or it can change.

    A psychological assessment done by a mental health professional uncovers strengths and struggles in a child’s intellectual profile.

    Our assessment process is tailored towards the individual needs of each unique child we meet.
    This can help identify interventions to support learning performance, behavioural challenges, and social-emotional functioning.

    5. The experience of an assessment is as important as the outcome
    The assessment process can feel overwhelming, particularly for young people.

    During the assessment, there is no “pass” or “fail”, “right” or “wrong” answers, we want to create the most comfortable and standardised environment possible.

    Results from the assessment at Early Start Australia may or may not indicate the presence of a diagnosis.

    Our professionals recommend the following ways to make the assessment more comfortable for your child:
  • To reduce any potential anxiety around testing, avoid using words like “testing”, “assessment” or “games”.
  • - Instead, explain to your child that they will be meeting with someone to complete some activities.

  • You may wish to tell them the name of the health professional. This can make the person feel more approachable or friendly when they haven’t met them yet.
  • - Bringing an object of their choice with them can help to increase their sense of safety and security with a new person, or if you’re not in the room.

  • Setting the scene for your child can help reduce anxiety around attending.
  • - For example, informing your child that they will be completing some activities and that you will be just outside the room.

    Get in touch

    If you are ready to start your therapy journey or want to book an assessment, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team.

    You can reach us on 1300 372 439 or [email protected]

    271235 - 2023-11-23 02:51:45


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