Behavioural assessments examine whether a child exhibits challenging behaviour that falls outside the age-appropriate range. Behavioural concerns may include hyperactivity, impulsivity, aggression, difficult sustaining attention, and disruptions to learning and peer relations.
Our behavioural assessments are useful in identifying and diagnosing behavioural disorders in the three main behavioural disorder areas:
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Children with ADHD can exhibit some or all of the following behaviours organised under three broad categories:
-Inattention: Making careless errors, having difficulty concentrating, experiencing challenges in organising tasks, losing things, getting easily distracted.
-Hyperactivity and Impulsivity: Often fidgeting or restless, talking to excess, being noisy and loud, blurting out answers, being impatient in turn-taking, interrupting others.
-Combined: This is the most common type of ADHD. Children fit the criteria for this type if they have symptoms of both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive types.
- Oppositional Defiance Disorder: Children living with ODD exhibit challenging behaviour, particularly towards adults and those in authority. Such behaviour may include becoming easily annoyed, having frequent angry outbursts, being argumentative with adults, refusing to follow rules and having a low tolerance for frustration.
- Conduct Disorder: Children who exhibit signs of a conduct disorder may frequently bully, use threatening behaviour, physically hurt others, be cruel to animals or steal from others.
Our behavioural assessments are also useful to:
- Develop individualised treatment plans: We can provide individualised recommendations to assist parents and teachers to manage a child’s challenging behaviour at home and in the school setting.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention: Behavioural assessments can be re-administered over time to assess the effectiveness of a treatment program in improving the severity and impact of a child’s challenging behaviour.
- Process of differential diagnosis: Behavioural assessments can also be administered in conjunction with cognitive assessments to determine if challenging behaviours can be explained by the presence of an intellectual disability, learning disorder or giftedness.
Behavioural assessments involve a detailed process. To help formulate an accurate diagnosis, they typically require parent interviews to obtain a developmental history, diagnostic questionnaires, teacher interviews and/or school observations and a clinical session with the child. With this knowledge, children and parents can start to better understand the underlying causes of challenging behaviour and formulate treatment plans to modify both the behaviour itself and its impact on everyday life.
We commonly use the following behavioural assessment tools for a variety of purposes and age groups: