Cognitive assessment is used to determine someone’s general thinking and reasoning abilities.

What is a cognitive assessment?
Cognitive assessment often called intelligence quotient (IQ) testing, is used to determine someone’s general thinking and reasoning abilities. Cognitive assessments can evaluate several domains of a persons ‘cognitive capacity, these domains are:

Verbal comprehension: understanding verbal information, thinking in words, and expressing thoughts in words

Perceptual reasoning: the ability to organise and reason with visual information, and to solve visual problems

Working memory: ability to retain and manipulate verbal information

Processing speed: the ability to scan, identify and process information accurately.

Why is it helpful?
A cognitive assessment may be helpful when there are questions about an individual’s intellectual strength or weaknesses, and particularly helpful in diagnosing an intellectual disability or giftedness, specific learning difficulty, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The results from a cognitive assessment, in conjunction with our test results, can help in developing learning strategies and recommendations. A cognitive assessment may be required for an individual to receive financial and/or specialized support i.e., applying to enter the NDIS or receiving specialized support in the classroom.

How is a cognitive assessment usually run?
A cognitive assessment is usually conducted in stages and can include:

1. An initial interview with a psychologist: gathering comprehensive background information through interviews with the person and in the case of a child this may be interviews and information from parents and schoolteachers as well.

2. Intelligence Scale Test administration: by a registered and trained psychologist.

3. Self-completion of a Vineland 3 assessment

4. Results & feedback: to explain findings, provide recommendations, and opportunities to discuss any questions you may have with the psychologist. You will also receive a formal report with this information.

At The Anna Centre, we provide cognitive assessments for children aged 6 years to 16 years. For adults, we can provide a cognitive assessment for individuals aged 16 years to 90 years. For adult cognitive assessments, the standardised test we use is the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scales – Fourth Edition (WAIS-IV). The standardised test that we use in child cognitive assessments is the Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children – Fifth Edition (WISC-V). To aid in the diagnosis of specific learning disorders we use the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test – Second Edition (WIAT-II), in addition to the WISC-V.

Cognitive skills occupy a vital role in an individual’s overall development, as they include some of the brain’s core functions such as thinking, reading, learning, retaining information, and paying attention and are used to solve problems, remember tasks and make decisions.