Southern Child & Family Psychology provides a range of specialist assessments including:
Autism is characterised by marked differences in social interaction and communication style, combined with behavioural traits such as repetitive or stereotyped behaviour, intense interests, unusual motor mannerisms, difficulty with change, and sensory sensitivities.
The process of diagnosing Autism is a complex one, generally involving a multidisciplinary team of paediatrician, psychologist, and speech pathologist. Sometimes other professionals such as a psychiatrist or occupational therapist are also involved.
At Southern Child & Family Psychology, we have a consultant paediatrician, Dr Martin Tuszynski, a child and adolescent psychiatrist, Dr James Meyer-Grieve, and a paediatric clinical neuropsychologist, Dr Michelle Lindsay-Dawe, whom our psychologists can consult and work together with. We also have a good working relationship with many local paediatricians and speech pathologists, facilitating a thorough and collaborative team approach to Autism assessment.
Preschool visits can also be arranged where necessary to aid the assessment process. The psychology component of an Autism assessment usually takes four sessions, comprising a family session, parent session, child session, and final feedback session.
Medicare rebates are available for Autism assessments.
In younger children, developmental assessments can assist with determining which part of a child's development is on-track and which areas may need intervention.
This can be particularly important when diagnoses such as Global Developmental Delay, Language Disorder, or Autism are being considered.
At Southern Child & Family Psychology, we use the WPPSI-IV.
Intellectual & Learning Assessments
Intellectual assessments measure a variety of intellectual or cognitive abilities including verbal reasoning, perceptual/non-verbal reasoning, working memory, and processing speed.
At Southern Child & Family Psychology, we use the Wechsler tests (WPPSI-IV, WISC-V, & WAIS-IV), which are the most widely validated and used intelligence tests in the world. These tests have Australian-based norms, enabling performance to be compared to other Australians of the same age. Administration of these tests can take approximately 45-90 minutes, depending on the age and ability of the individual.
Intellectual assessments provide information about how a young person thinks and understands the world around them, allowing for their individual strengths and weaknesses to be identified. Intellectual ability is different from academic achievement, which focuses specifically on academic skills such as reading, writing, and maths. We use the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT-III).
When an intellectual and academic assessment are completed together, it enables an individual learning profile to be developed, highlighting academic needs, the presence of any learning difficulties, and preferred learning style. Strategies can then be devised to assist learning both at home and school.
Neuropsychology assessments range from standard intellectual (IQ) and cognitive assessments, as above, to a comprehensive assessment of areas such as memory, attention, and executive functioning.
Assessments may be either diagnostic, to identify strengths and weaknesses, or to provide a baseline for tracking changes over time.
Neuropsychologists have specialist knowledge of brain structure, function, and dysfunction, and the effects multiple factors have on cognitive, behavioural and emotional functioning. As such, Neuropsychology assessments can be particularly helpful for Neurodiverse young people (ADHD, Intellectual Disability, Learning Disorders, Autism), pr young people with Brain Injury (including mild TBI / Concussion), Neurological Conditions (ADEM, Epilepsy, Encephalitis, Stroke), Endocrine Disorders (such as Diabetes), drug and alcohol use/exposure, and trauma.
At Southern Child and Family Psychology, our neuropsychologist uses the Wechsler intelligence tests (WPPSI-IV, WISC-V, & WAIS-IV) as well a variety of other specialised assessments including the Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning (WRAML-II), the Test of Everyday Attention, the NEPSY-II, and the Rey Complex Figure.