Capable Kids can offer comprehensive psychological assessments with Director Natalie Manley. After eleven years of working as a Speech Pathologist, Natalie embarked 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 of Science (Hons Psyc) at the University of New England, Natalie was accepted into and completed the Masters of Psychology (Clinical) program at Australian Catholic University. One of the primary motivators for this addition to her skill set was a passion for providing comprehensive assessments for children and young people. Natalie is now a registered psychologist and in the final year of her Clinical Psychology Registrar program. She has also completed the Graduate Certificate in Autism Diagnosis at the University of Western Australia. She is currently enrolled into the Masters of Educational and Developmental Psychology Advanced at Monash University, which she will complete at the end of 2023.
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. Natalie’s assessments draw on the Cattell-Horn-Carrol (CHC) theory of cognitive abilities. The CHC approach considers cognitive abilities as multi-dimensional. Individuals are viewed as having strengths and weaknesses which are unique to their abilities and require multi-trait (looking at different abilities), multi-method (using different types of assessment) and multi-source (informed by parents, therapists and educators) assessment strategies. This approach allows for a more comprehensive development of your child or adolescent’s learning, cognitive and functional profile, which allows for more specific and practice recommendations.
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 help determine 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 in conjunction with other assessments of cognitive functioning such as the Cognitive Assessment System (CAS), memory and personality measures.
Educational and Learning Difficulties 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 with cognitive, language, or stand-alone assessments. At Capable Kids, we use the Wechsler Intelligence test batteries (WISC-5, WPPSI-I, WAIS) and the 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 in-depth 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 management.
Autism Spectrum Disorder: Natalie uses the assessment protocols outlined in the National Guideline for the Assessment and Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Australia released by AUTISM CRC in 2021. Assessments include gathering information from multiple sources, including parents, preschools or schools and your child’s other health professions. A clinical interview considers the presentation of autism across the lifespan and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-2). Where necessary, these assessments are conducted in conjunction with our multidisciplinary team and include Occupational Therapy input for sensory processing and play observation. Natalie has always had a strong passion for working with autistic children and young people; she has worked as part of a NSW Health Diagnostic and Assessment team, where she gained her qualifications in the ADOS-2 several years ago. She recently completed the Graduate Certificate in Autism Diagnosis program at the University of Western Australia, which included extra assessment at learning with the Child Development Unit at The Children’s Hospital Westmead.
Each assessment includes a combination of testing with the individual, interview with parents and other support people and observation of the child. You will be provided with a written report which includes a summary of assessment findings and recommendations for future management.