Psychological Tests

 Dr. O’Connor, a Toronto psychologist, uses a broad range of psychological tests and assessment measures to assess children, adolescents and young adults.  Her services increase understanding of the psychological concerns that present in young people, and lead to evidence based solutions to address them.

Psychological tests assist Dr. O'Connor in exploring  the young persons  psychological strengths, as well as their psychological challenges and needs.  The psychological assessment provides information from various psychological tests, and other measures about how the child, adolescent or young adult is doing, compared to same aged peers across a range of developmental domains. These include the social, emotional, behavioral and cognitive/learning domains.

Psychological tests help reveal the various psychological concerns that are at issue for a young person, and what is contributing to and maintaining these concerns.

They also assist in the development of evidence based interventions to address them.

Psychological Tests

What Are Psychological Tests?

Psychological tests form the core of the psychological assessment. 

They comprise various measures such as questionnaires and checklists, as well as standardized norm referenced measures. These latter measures allow the psychologist to compare how the young person performs on particular measures, and across various psychological constructs, compared to others the same age. Norm referenced psychological tests also allow the psychologist to calculate significant weaknesses and/or strengths across the young person's test performance, and across various measures. 

The psychological assessment involves much more than the administration and the scoring of psychological tests. Or the tabulation, summary and recording of test scores. The clinician must also provide a comprehensive analysis of all test results, and develop an opinion of what is contributing to the young person's psychological concerns and just what needs to be done to address them. This includes the development of evidence based interventions to help enhance the young person's psychological resilience and coping skills.

This applies as well to Dr. O'Connor's school neuropsychological evaluations and her trauma assessments

Psychological tests help the psychologist get beneath the surface to uncover the multiple factors that are contributing to psychological concerns in the young person.

What Do Psychological Tests Measure?

Psychological Tests fall into various categories, and measure the young person's psychological functioning across various domains. They include tests of intelligence, achievement and social, emotional and behavioral functioning. Psychological tests also measure various neuropsychological processing skills, such as auditory/verbal and visual/spatial functioning. Psychological tests provide measures of the young person's verbal and nonverbal reasoning and/or problem solving skills, or their language and academic skills, such as verbal comprehension, written language, reading and math skills. Behavior rating scales are also included to measure the young person's social, emotional and behavioral functioning.

Psychological tests measure learning and various memory skills, both verbal and visual memory.   Other psychological tests, or sub-components of these tests measure sensorimotor functions, processing speed skills, attention and executive functions. 

In addition to a battery of norm referenced psychological tests, the assessment also includes informal measures such as questionnaires and checklists, developmental information, interviews, school and/or medical records, previous assessment results, and observational data.

What Does Psychological Testing Involve?

Psychological testing is not just a one size fits all process. Just as considerable time and expertise is required to provide an appropriate analysis of the test results, and how they play out for each particular client, planning is also required to choose the psychological tests that are most appropriate for each individual client. No two clients are alike, and each client will benefit from  a battery of different tests that is unique to their particular needs.  Various tests and assessment measures will nonetheless remain common across most clients.

Licensed clinical psychologists have many years of training and  are qualified to conduct and supervise the psychological testing process. They are not only trained to administer and score the tests, but to analyze and interpret them, and make diagnoses were appropriate and develop evidence based treatment plans. The testing and assessment process is designed to make sense of the results for each individual client and to ensure that the client receives interventions tailored to his or her individual needs.

The psychological testing process usually follows a set plan, tailored to the individual client, and is designed to determine what is contributing to the young person's symptoms. Psychological tests help explore a range of concerns in a young person. These include academic and learning problems, social, emotional and behavioral  concerns, various psychological strengths, including giftedness, and developmental delays. Dr. O'Connor also uses psychological tests to help explore attachment and trauma related issues in young people, as well the psychological affects of a concussion or Mild Traumatic Brian Injury, or other school neuropsychological concerns. These might include learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, such as neurological concerns attachment and trauma related issues.  

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