Cognitive Assessments

What are Cognitive Assessments?

Cognitive Assessments may include a variety of formal assessments of a child or young person’s abilities and skills. Assessments may cover a wide range of areas that might (for example) include an assessment of a child’s IQ or level of intelligence, perceptual abilities, verbal and non-verbal skills, attention and processing or memory abilities. Referrals for cognitive assessments to our service can be made by your GP, Community Paediatrician or other professionals.

Why might a child be referred for a Cognitive Assessment?

Every child and young person has different abilities and skills. For example, some children may be really good at maths but they may find it difficult to manage social situations. Another child may be very good at playing music but they may struggle with reading or writing tasks. All children develop differently because everyone has a unique combination of brain development, biological makeup and life experiences.

All children have many strengths and areas where they might need a bit of support at times. Sometimes it is useful to find out what a child’s strengths and difficulties are, because this can help families, teachers, mental health practitioners and other professionals to understand what support would be most helpful.

What happens at a Cognitive Assessment?

Cognitive assessments are conducted by qualified clinical psychologists who have completed specialist training to do cognitive assessments. You will be seen by a qualified clinical psychologist, or a trainee or assistant psychologist, who can complete the assessments under the supervision of a qualified clinical psychologist. The initial assessment appointment will be for about two hours, with some breaks in between. We can also see you over more than one session if necessary or if additional assessments might be helpful. The results of the assessments are fed back to you in a separate appointment that we will arrange with you. You will also receive a Cognitive Assessment Report.

Who else gets a copy of the Cognitive Assessment Report?

You can decide who gets a copy of the assessment report. We would normally provide a copy to the person who requested the assessment, as well as your GP, Paediatrician (if you have one) and the school or college.

What do you need to do before the Cognitive Assessment?

It is very helpful for us to have information of any previous Cognitive or Educational assessments for your child before we do our assessment. This can help us understand any ongoing issues, changes in your child’s development or of their individual needs.

On the day make sure your child has had something to eat and drink before they come to see us. Also please make sure that they bring with them any hearing aids or glasses if they normally wear them. If they child is unwell it is best to rearrange the appointment, so please let us know in advance.

Let us know if there is anything we can do to make things more comfortable for you during your visit. We look forward to meeting you!

Here is an information booklet made for young people who have been referred for a cognitive assessment.

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