What tests do we use?
Key measures we use include:
- ADOS (Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule) - measures symptoms of Autism spectrum disorders
- WISC (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children) - measures IQ, cognitive functioning (6-16yrs)
- WIAT (Wechsler Individual Achievement Test) - measures academic achievement, used for testing learning disabilities
- Conners 3 - Measures child development across domains
- ASRS (Autism Spectrum Rating Scales) - measures child symptoms and behaviours associated with the autism spectrum.
- CMS (Child Memory Scales) - measures memory problems in children
- CVLT-C (California Verbal Learning Test) - measures verbal learning problems in children
Do I need a referral?
No, families can self-refer to Benchmark Psychology for any assessment. However, Medicare rebates are available for autism diagnostic assessments only, with a referral from a child psychiatrist or paediatrician. Unfortunately there are no Medicare rebates available for cognitive assessments, though rebates may be available if applied directly through your private health fund.
What do I tell my child about the appointment?
Before the assessment you should tell your child that you are coming to see someone who is going to do different thinking games with them, and that most children find the different activities fun. Avoid describing the appointment as a test or assessment as this can make some children feel anxious.
How can a cognitive assessment help my child?
The results of the assessment show areas of strength and weakness which can help a person to maximize their learning, enhance areas of strength, and compensate or develop areas of weakness. The overall scores are often used by schools and organisations (such as Education Queensland) to determine if someone qualifies for additional support, programs, or even payments. The results of this test cannot guarantee any of these things but may help a person access different services.
Parents often say that cognitive assessment helps them to advocate for their child at school and to work with schools to maximize learning. It might help by showing that:
- your child isn’t naughty but is just struggling to keep up and needs more help
- your child isn’t slow to learn but just has difficulty with a specific aspect of learning (such as problems with reading or paying attention)
- your child needs additional support because of a specific area of weakness (such as problems with verbal explanations and language skills)
- your child’s cognitive skills are developing appropriately and issues might be related to problems with mood or social skills
Can I sit with my child during the assessment?
Parents are always welcome to join their children in the first part of the assessment session. This is a chance for your child to feel comfortable with the clinician before getting started. During testing parents generally leave the room, as they can be a distraction or provide help unknowingly. If absolutely required, parents can sit in the room out of the child’s view and silently read a book. We find that most children find the assessments quite fun and warm up quickly, so don’t need their parents in the room. For autism assessments only, parents of very young children will remain in the assessment room for the duration of the assessment session.
Can I access treatment services for my child?
Yes, our clinicians can provide interventions for children and adolescents experiencing a range of developmental, social, emotional, or conduct issues. These options range from behavioural modification and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to social skills training and emotion management. We also provide support for parents. Find out more about our team of clinicians here.
What tests do we use?
We use the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-IV). The WAIS is considered the "gold standard" in measuring intelligence and has substantial evidence to support its reliability and validity. A general intelligence test (IQ test) is made up of a variety of tasks that measure different thinking abilities, including verbal reasoning, visual reasoning, working memory, and speed of information processing. Each area is measured using several tasks. You receive a score for each task, a score for each area, and a score of overall general intellectual functioning (IQ score). For comprehensive assessments we use additional tests to measure memory, executive functioning, academic skills, and attention. Your performance is scored according to how your skills compare to other people of the same age.
Do I need a referral?
No, anyone can self-refer for an assessment at Benchmark Psychology. Unfortunately there are no Medicare rebates available for adult assessments, though rebates may be available if applied directly through your private health fund.
How can a cognitive assessment help me?
The results of the assessment show areas of strength and weakness which can help you to maximize your learning, further enhance areas of strength, and compensate or develop areas of weakness. The overall scores are often used by organisations (such as Centrelink) to determine if someone qualifies for additional support, programs, or even payments. The results of this test cannot guarantee any of these things, but may help a person access different services.
People often say that cognitive testing helps them to:
- understand their own abilities better
- focus on areas of strength and develop their potential in these areas
- understand what to do to overcome barriers to progress at work and home
- receive appropriate support from government services or other services
Can't I just do a free IQ test online?
Assessments are administered by a clinical psychologist who has been trained to administer cognitive assessments and who is registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). The tests have been developed in accordance with the latest research evidence and have large research studies that support their reliability and validity. Many online tests claim to measure intelligence or IQ, but these tasks usually have no or very limited research evidence about their reliability and validity, so the scores are meaningless.
How can I increase my IQ score?
Can I access treatment services?
Yes, our clinicians can provide interventions for adults experiencing a range of neurodevelopmental, social, emotional, mental health, or relationship issues. Find out more about our team of clinicians here.