Psychological and educational testing is the administration of a series of cognitive, psychosocial, projective, memory, and academic tasks designed to reveal in detail the resources, strengths, and relative weaknesses of the person being tested. Psychiatric diagnoses can be clarified through testing, and often cognitive and educational testing are required before institutions like schools will provide appropriate accommodations and services. Frequently used tests include the various Wechsler instruments (WAIS,
WISC, etc.) for assessing overall cognitive abilities and the WJ to assess academic achievement
Neuropsychological testing is used to measure brain functioning in a particular cognitive domain when there are known or suspected neurocognitive effects and testing is needed to delineate the member's diagnosis, treatment plan, prognosis, or quality of life. Neuropsychological tests are administered in the context of a comprehensive assessment that synthesizes data from a clinical interview, record review, medical history, and behavioral observations.
Developmental screening is designed to identify problems or delays during normal childhood development. When properly applied, screening tests for developmental or behavioral problems in preschool children allow improved outcomes due to early implementation of treatment. Developmental delays or behavioral problems that can be identified by screening programs include learning disabilities, speech or language problems, autism, intellectual disability, emotional/behavioral conditions,hearing or vision impairment, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Less than half of these problems are identified before the child reaches school age, meaning that the problems may have worsened and critical intervention opportunities have been missed during the preschool years. Studies have shown that children who receive early intervention and treatment for developmental disorders are more likely to graduate from high school, to hold jobs as adults, and are less likely to commit criminal acts than those who do not receive early intervention.
A psychiatric evaluation may be needed to diagnose emotional, behavioral, or developmental disorders. An evaluation of a child, adolescent, or adult is made based on behaviors present and in relation to physical, genetic, environmental, social, cognitive (thinking), emotional, and educational parts that may be affected as a result of these behaviors.
A Comprehensive Clinical Assessment/Diagnostic Assessment is an intensive clinical and functional face-to-face evaluation of a client’s mental health, developmental disability, or substance abuse condition that results in the issuance of a diagnostic/assessment report with a recommendation for treatment, if appropriate.