Psychological Assessments

Capable Kids is able to offer comprehensive psychological assessments with Director Natalie Manley. After eleven years of working as a Speech Pathologist, Natalie decided to embark on a new journey that would allow her to include a greater range of services at Capable Kids. After completing her Graduate Diploma in Psychology and Bachelor Science (Hons Psyc) at University of New England, Natalie was accepted into and completed the Masters of Psychology (Clinical) program at Australian Catholic University. One of the main motivators for this addition to her skill set was a passion for providing comprehensive and thorough assessments for children and young people.

Natalie is now able to combine her extensive knowledge of communication disorders with her knowledge of psychological processes to offer a specialised psychological assessment service offering a range of assessment types including:

Developmental Assessments: this includes assessment of different areas in childhood development including cognitive, communication, motor skills, adaptive behaviour and social and emotional development. At Capable Kids, the Bayley Scales of Infant Development, Fourth Edition (2020), for which Natalie was part of the national standardisation team, is used in conjunction with parent report measures and observation. Occupational Therapy input is also often included in this assessment from the Capable Kids Occupational Therapy team. A developmental assessment can be useful in obtaining information about your child’s strengths and weaknesses. It can be used to identify Global Developmental Delay, which is included as a recognised disorder to NDIS ECEI funding.

Cognitive Assessments: also known as IQ assessments, cognitive assessments can be used to identify a range of presentations from giftedness to intellectual disability, and everything in between. They provide a profile of an individual’s strengths and weaknesses as well as providing valuable information when considering neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD and autism. At Capable Kids, we use the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI), the Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) and the Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) depending on the age of the child.

Educational Assessments: Educational assessments are useful to determine whether a child or young person may have a specific learning issue or be high achieving in certain academic areas. These assessments can be done in conjunction with cognitive assessments, language assessments or as stand alone assessments. At Capable Kids we use the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test in conjunction with a range of other measures of reading, maths and writing assessment. Natalie’s unique combination of Speech Pathology and Psychology qualifications provides an indepth understanding of learning, specifically the interaction of language with reading, writing and maths.

Neurodevelopmental Disorders: assessment for neurodevelopmental, anxiety and behavioural disorders such as ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder or Social Anxiety Disorder includes a combination of cognitive and learning assessments, clinical observation, discussion with key stakeholders such as parents and teachers and completion of behavioural checklists such as the Connors -3 and Behaviour Assessment System for Children (BASC) to develop a differential diagnosis, behavioural profile and recommendations for mangements.

Autism Spectrum Disorder: assessments for Autism Spectrum Disorder include the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-2) and the Autism Diagnostic Interview (ADI-R) in conjunction with observation and other relevant parent questionnaires. Natalie has always had a strong passion for working with children with Autism. She initially worked as part of a NSW Health Diagnostic and Assessment team, where she gained her qualifications in the ADOS-2 several years ago. She has recently completed extra training in the presentation of Autism in girls.

Each assessment conducted includes a combination of testing with the individual, interview with parents and other support people and observation of the child. A written report is provided which includes a summary of assessment findings and recommendations for future management.

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