At RMPS, we offer a wide variety of psychological assessments, such as learning assessments, attention and emotional assessments, behavioural assessments and developmental assessments. Regardless of the type of assessment, the goal is always to better understand the individual, and then to use that information to develop a plan for improved functioning.
Assessments are a formal way of measuring how well a child is functioning compared to other children their age. It can zero-in on how a child’s brain is functioning and how this may be affecting their overall functioning. Families often look for assessments to help address concerns related to school, but assessments can also be used to shed light on behavioural, emotional, or relational problems that are impacting the child in the home environment or in other settings such as clubs, sports, or daycare. To be accurate, information about the child is gathered from various people and settings. We combine information from parents/guardians with clinical testing, input from teachers, and clinical observation to create a complete picture of the child.
When a child is not happy or successful, an assessment can help us to answer questions such as:
- What kind of school environment is going to be the best fit for my child?
- My child says he’s bored at school – it is because he is having trouble paying attention or is he learning at a different rate than the other children?
- Does my child need additional enrichmentor support at school?
- Does my child have some kind of developmental issue?
The results of the assessment can direct parents, teachers, and other professionals on how to best meet the child’s needs. Our specialty is making sure that parents understand what the results of the assessment mean to their family, strategies or approaches that would be a fit for the child, and next steps to help the child succeed. The recommendations we provide are designed to ensure that everyone involved with the child has tools and knowledge to create success.
Common Referral Issues:
- Students applying to GATE program, Webber Academy, Calgary Academy, Rundle College, Rundle Academy, Westmount Charter School, Third Academy, and others.
- Learning Difficulties (e.g. reading, mathematics, written language, processing challenges, etc.)
- Attention Challenges
- Developmental concerns (e.g. cognitive delays, Autism Spectrum, challenges with independence)
- Achievement Problems
- Behavioural Challenges
- Adjustment Difficulties (e.g. anger, anxiety, depression)
- Transition to Adulthood (e.g. functional and capacity assessment).
What to Expect:
In general, our assessments include four (or sometimes five) parts:
1. Intake History Interview and File Review
2. (If appropriate and beneficial, School or Community Observation)
3. Testing Session(s) with the child
4. Report Writing
5. Feedback Conference
How are the results communicated?
Results from assessments are communicated verbally during a meeting with parents/guardians (feedback conference) and a report is provided. The report is confidential and parents/guardians are encouraged to share the information with relevant professionals including medical doctors, schools, tutors, speech pathologists, etc.
How old does my child need to be for an assessment?
The age at which it is appropriate for a child to complete an assessment varies by referral issue and the purpose of the assessment. For instance, some programs require assessments for entry (e.g., Westmount Charter School, Program Unit Funding, Family Supports for Children with Disabilities). Schools typically require assessments in order to create Individualized Program Plans (IPPs) when a child is needing additional support or enrichment.. If a child is struggling at school, an assessment can be appropriate at any time from preschool through high school or beyond.
Therefore, it is not a child’s age that determines whether an assessment is appropriate. Instead, it is whether the information from completing an assessment would be helpful and beneficial to the child’s life and functioning. If you are unsure whether your child may benefit from an assessment, you could book a consultation with one of our psychologists to discuss your concerns and determine whether an assessment would meet your child’s needs.
How often can assessments be done and why do they need to be updated?
Typically, it is recommended that assessments be updated every 3-5 years (or sooner for younger children). Updates to assessments are recommended as individual’s progress through different phases of life as their strengths and weaknesses may change or shift. Old treatment strategies may no longer be relevant and the individual may have different needs and priorities. Updated assessments help parents/guardians, schools, and the individual client with determining next steps in treatment planning.
How much does an assessment cost?
The cost of an assessment varies depending on the type of assessment being completed. The following are general guidelines so that clients will know what to expect:
Cognitive Assessment only (e.g., for Westmount Charter School application):
Psycho-Educational Assessment (Cognitive, Academic, Social/Emotional/Behavioural)
(to be determined in consultation with psychologist)
Behavioural (to be determined in consultation with psychologist)
A portion or all of the cost may be covered by extended health care coverage. Please call us to ask how we can work with you to maximize your insurance coverage.