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Psychological Testing

A child’s educational problems are sometimes the result of psychological issues such as anxiety, depression or conduct. Evaluations focus on identifying and diagnosing these disorders. This involves obtaining a detailed history of the child’s developmental, medical, social, school, and psychological functioning, along with behavioral observations and a series of standardized parent, teacher, or self-report measures, personality tests, and sometimes tests of general cognitive functioning. Psychological evaluations are performed by licensed clinical psychologists, while certain components (e.g., assessing the emotional, behavioral, and social functioning of a child in the school setting) may also be conducted by school psychologists. Results are measured through rating scales.

The different types of psychological testing include :

Behavior Rating Inventory is an assessment of executive function behaviors at home and at school for children and adolescents ages 5–18. The 86-item questionnaire has separate forms for parents and teachers, and typically takes 10–15 minutes to administer and 15–20 minutes to score. The student, teacher and parents scores are computed on a T scale, which provide information about the child’s individual scores relative to the scores in the standardization sample.

Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC) includes teacher (TRS) and parent (PRS) rating scales, a self-report of personality (SRP), a structured developmental history (SDH) and a student observation system (SOS). It measures both clinical and adaptive dimensions of behavior, personality and emotions. Scales may be used individually or as a group.

Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS) measure a child’s daily living skills compared to those of other kids his/her age. Someone who knows the child well (typically a parent or teacher) answers questions about him/her. Questions focus on the child’s abilities in basic areas, including communication, daily living, socialization and motor skills. This test is often used to diagnose autism, Aspergers syndrome or other developmental delays.

Vanderbilt Assessment Scales measure the existence and severity of ADHD symptoms and other common behavioral concerns and how they might be affecting behavior and schoolwork. This test may be given after a more general assessment suggests that a child shows signs of ADHD. Parents and teachers are asked how often they see those symptoms and other concerning behaviors.

Achenbach Child Behavior Checklist measures emotional, behavioral and social development and abilities.Parents and teachers get a list of about 100 statements that describe child behaviors. They then rate how true or untrue each statement is for the child being evaluated. Checklists are available by age group.

Barkley Home and School Situations Questionnaires measure a child’s behavior at home and at school. Parents are asked to rate how a child behaves in 16 common home situations. Teachers are asked to do the same for 12 common school situations.

Conners is a thorough assessment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and its most common co-morbid problems and disorders in children and adolescents aged 6 to 18 years. It is a multi-informant assessment that looks at home, social and school settings, with rating forms for parents, teachers, and youth.




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