Paediatricks

IQ

IQ tests are a battery of tasks to identify intellectual strengths and weaknesses, compared to other children of the same age. As there is no reading or writing tasks, a child cannot really prepare for it. IQ tests provide insight into how well and in what ways a child will learn new information, but it is not an exact or permanent measure of intellectual ability. It is rather a snapshot of a child’s performance under optimal circumstances. More important than the overall IQ score, are the patterns of weaknesses and strengths in areas such as verbal skills, perceptual abilities, visual processing, visual-motor co-ordination, auditory processing, working memory and attention. (IQ tests cannot measure aspects such as creativity, leadership, curiosity, artistic skill, musical talent or emotional wellbeing).

Scholastic

Once the IQ test is done, a comparison of the child’s abilities is made with how these abilities or difficulties are transferred into literacy and maths. Reading, Writing and ‘Rithmetic tests are administered in order to investigate where the process goes awry in order to target remediation.. Children with discrepancies between their IQs and scholastic performance are said to have “barriers to learning”.
Reading assessments
Reading is the result of an elaborate process of decoding squiggles and then joining the sounds they make to create words that generate meaning. The process can go awry at a number of points and a diagnostic reading assessment helps to pin-point where. Reading assessments assess the following, depending on the age of the child:
• Decoding Skills
• Phonology
• Reading Accuracy
• Reading Fluency
• Reading Comprehension
Writing assessments
Many children who have mastered the art of reading, struggle with putting their thoughts on to paper. Written assessments are often in response to a topic and assess the following:
• Spelling
o Language expression
o Grammar
o Applying literacy conventions and
o Vocabulary.
'Rithmetic' assessments
Mathematical assessments are more than simply testing if a child knows his bonds. The assessment tests the following according to grade and can shed some light on where gaps need to be closed:
• Conceptual knowledge (Basic concepts)
• Computational skills (Addition, Subtraction, Division and Multiplication)
• Problem- Solving (Application)

Cognitive

Cognitive Assessments tap into the strategies that your child accesses when obtaining new information. Children who process information holistically will need different guidance to children who have a cognitive preference for systematic, step-by-step processes. Once a particular learning style has been identified, guidance can be given on the best way to deal with doing homework and studying for exams.

Learning Style

As already mentioned, IQ tests are one way of understanding how a learner processes new information. A more detailed way of understanding learning styles involves further questioning to determine whether a learner prefer to hear, see or do whilst learning. This information can shape recommendations for study techniques.

Attention

Concentration Assessments measure your child's ability to ignore distracting information and to focus on target information.

Ignoring is Bliss
Although a lack of focus has often been blamed for poor results in children with ADHD, a more accurate depiction is the difficulty in ignoring incoming information. Although most of us can 'tune out' the sounds, sensations and sights of our environment when concentrating, children with ADHD experience their entire environment as equally stimulating and have difficulty in zoning in.

Investigating Attention

Although there is no definitive and objective measure for ADHD, psychometric tests can play an important role in understanding how it presents in your child. Uncovering the real reason for a child’s inattentiveness and/or hyperactivity is important. For example, “daydreaming” can be due to anything from petit-mal seizures to boredom or depression, whilst “hyperactivity” can be the result of hyperthyroidism, sensory-seeking behaviour or anxiety. Diagnosis relies on the input and observations of parents and teachers as well as the clinical observations of the assessor and is done through a process of elimination of other conditions.

The Test of Everyday Attention for children (TEA-Ch)

The TEA-Ch is based on the understanding that there are different types of attention and that a child can have one area of attention that is well-developed and another that is not. It also takes into account that attention improves with developmental progress and that boys have different attention spans to girls.
The test assesses a child’s different attentional abilities such as the ability to:

• selectively attend
• sustain their attention
• divide their attention between two tasks
• switch attention from one task to another, and
• to withhold verbal and motor responses.

It uses attractive graphics and sound which are designed to be appealing to children as young as six years old without being inappropriate for use with adolescents up to the age of sixteen years. The test is especially valuable if it is used before and after an intervention is implemented to objectively measure the progress made.
Intellectual Assessment

Learning disabilities may present with ADHD or can be disguised as it, so an IQ test is an important part of the diagnostic puzzle. About 50% of children with ADHD suffer from a specific learning disability. Childhood ADHD is not, however, considered a learning disability, although the symptoms will certainly interfere with them reaching their intellectual potential.

Scholastic Assessments

These assessments give an indication of how well your child is absorbing literacy and mathematics from school and home. It includes assessment of the 3Rs (reading, writing and arithmetic) mentioned in this article.
Auditory Attention
Many parents complain that their children "do not listen" but they are not sure if it is a hearing or an attention issue. Assessing auditory attention can help to differentiate difficulties that have an auditory base from those that are due to an attention issue.

School readiness

Knowing if your child is ready for the transition to Big School is a big deal.

Developmental Monitoring

As your child matures he gradually progresses into being a more independent, interactive and competent being. And as he interacts more with his environment, his experiences bring about changes in his brain which helps him to “upgrade” to the next phase of his development.
Your baby’s brain is a real work in progress. As a newborn, his brain contains hundreds of billions of cells, but the number decreases dramatically as he matures. Initially the nerves are like a messy bundle of wires that require exposure to experience to become connected. With repeated exposure to the same experiences, information from the outside world becomes organised into systems for perceiving, thinking, talking, remembering and moving. In this way his brain is moulded by his environment: it responds to every sight, sound and thought and these influence how future sights, sounds and thoughts will be processed. As his nerves respond to these sensations from the outside world, they fire off messages that build new physical connections to neighbouring cells, linking them into efficient relay systems. These relay stations of the brain are dynamic and “plastic” and are constantly modifying themselves in order to meet different demands placed on them. Nerve pathways that are strengthened by repeated use “survive”, whilst those that fail to connect die off in a process called “pruning”- the brain’s own way of getting rid of clutter.
So, when your baby smiles for the first time, it is thanks to him repeatedly seeing you smile, cooing softly and touching his cheek...and when you respond with excitement at this marvellous milestone, the pathways that triggered his toothless grin are reinforced.

Marvellous Milestones

A “milestone” is a major achievement, for example, the first time your child rolls, says a word, crawls or takes his first step. Developmentally, milestones are windows of time when children usually develop a skill. Milestones typically show up in somewhat orderly steps and within predictable age ranges all over the world, regardless of culture. Essentially milestones are those skills that most normally-developing children are likely to display at approximately the same age. They are very important indications that a child’s developmental progress is on track. There is a wide range of what is considered to be typical of growth and development and within this range there is tremendous variation and great opportunity for individual differences.
The order in which development occurs is also an important indication that your child is moving steadily along their developmental continuum: children must be able to roll over before they can sit and sit before they can stand. Children who skip milestones (such as crawling) miss out on the connections that these milestones make for the brain.

Developmental phases are not set in stone and each child will gain skills at their own pace. However, there is a fine line between a “slow starter” who will catch up and a child with a deeper issue that needs urgent addressing. The Developmental Assessment offered at Paedia’tricks’ helps to differentiate between the two.


Career

Choosing a suitable career begins in Grade 9 when subjects that can determine a career path are selected.
There are three main areas that are examined in relation to career choice: aptitude (can you do the job?), interest (would you like to do the job?) and personality (does the job suit you?).
Career assessment can be done for adolescents and help guide the decision-making process.

Concession

Concession assessments are applied for in order to "level the playing field" for students that have long-term difficulties in exam situations. For example, handwriting speed may hamper your child's ability in achieving their potential as they do not finish the exams, in which case extra time may be asked for; or if your child has always struggled with spelling, they may be granted a spelling concession where spelling errors are ignored.
The assessment is only part of the application, which the school manages, as there are other elements such as previous therapy reports and feedback from the the teachers.