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Cognitive and Educational Assessment
It is undoubtedly an important part of psychological assessment since it is often considered as necessary for diagnostics. Put simply, it is an additional examination.
The cognitive assessment includes specialized psychometric tests, which point out the IQ of a tested person (child or teenager). In other words, they help us to understand how the child studies, which are his or her cognitive skills, as well as weaknesses.
How will this be done?
To start with, first it is necessary to get to know each other better. For this reason, we start the procedure by interviewing parents, as we always do, and then we meet the child or the teenager. The way of communication varies according to the age. Namely, a game may lead to an easy and at the same time amusing acquaintance.
Through this process of game, conversation and clinical observation the investigation of the general emotional state of the child takes place at the same time.
Why is the assessment important?
When a parent or a teacher understands that the student has difficulties with reading or writing, through the process of assessment we find strengths and weaknesses of the child and identify, in general, the main sources of the problem. This information leads us to the diagnosis, to the appropriate intervention, as well as to the use of the child`s rights at school (e.g. Special Education).
Simply stated, the assessment is a basis for planning a personal therapeutic program.
Instruments which are used according to the age
(Wechsler Preschool & Primary Scale of Intelligence-Third Edition)
This instrument includes different scales which assess the cognitive abilities of the children of preschool age. Each child aged from 2 years and 6 months to 7 years and 3 months is tested individually. It helps us mainly to understand how the small children study, to determine occasional cognitive developmental retardation, learning disability, as well as their intellectual talents. Basing on its results, we provide instructions to the parents, as well as to other persons or entities involved, on the integration of the child to the educational programs of appropriate intervention and treatment.
2/ WISC III
(Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children -Third Edition)
A reliable and authoritative psychometric instrument for assessment of cognitive functions of children aged from 6 years to 16 and 11 months, which contributes effectively to diagnosing learning disabilities or defects, mental retardation, developmental problems or problems of adaptation at school.
3/ The Athena Test
The Athena test is targeted first of all at children aged from 5 to 9 years. It assesses learning peculiarities and provides a picture of the present condition of the child in different areas of development. The test checks and assesses aspects of development of the child which are considered important for learning and adaptation at school. This instrument is used additionally during the cognitive assessment along with the above-mentioned tests.
These instruments are used only by qualified psychologists with experience in clinical diagnostics, as well as in treatment.
In which cases can the above-mentioned tests be used?
- Need for assessment of mental abilities of the child or the teenager
- Identification of individual aptitude and weaknesses
- Suspicion of learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, etc.
- Problems with oral or/and written speech, difficulties in texts comprehension
- Underperformance at the lessons
- Lack of concentration
As the assessment concerning the child is completed, the specialist prepares an analytical report which includes results, information from the anamnesis of the child based on the preceding conversation with the parents, as well as any questionnaires used. Afterwards, an appointment with the parents takes place, in order to provide them detailed information concerning results and recommendations on the assistance to the child`s progress. Depending on the results, work with other specializations is possible (such as ergotherapy, special education etc.).
In addition to this, the report represents an important means of communication with other professionals involved (teachers, educators or other specialists) and can be used for provision of Special Education at school through the Educational Psychology Service of the Ministry of Education.
The assessment is usually completed in 4 meetings, and its price is determined on the basis of the tests which are fulfilled.