In some cases, a therapist or doctor’s diagnosis is easily verified with the help of psychological testing. The role of these tests is acquiring information that is as exact as possible about the situation the patient is in.
You don’t answer “are you suffering of an emotional disorder?” with yes or no. A more correct array of answers would be how much the disorder affects you. Psychological testing provides an exact analysis on the state of the patient’s condition.
Numerous tests have been greatly aiding doctors and therapists in establishing an accurate diagnosis.
The MACI Test
Millon Adolescent Clinical Inventory
The multi-faceted personality characteristics and clinical symptoms in teenagers evaluation, according to the DSM-IV symptomatology
The Million Adolescent Clinical Inventory is a self-evaluation system, specifically put together to evaluate personality and clinical symptom characteristics in teenagers. The MACI test was developed in collaboration with psychiatrists, psychologists, and other field specialists with experience in working with teenagers. As a result of their hard work, the test accurately reflects the most relevant issues in understanding the behavior and interests of teenagers. It is very useful in the clinical, institutional and correctional fields.
The inventory addresses adolescents (13-19 year olds) and requires that they have at least a 6th grade-level understanding of written language. Thus, MACI eases the process of obtaining a maximum amount of information with a minimum amount of effort on the respondents’ part.
The ABAS II Test
Adaptive Behavior Assessment System II
The international standard of evaluation for the purpose of assessing the level of disability and eligibility of social work.
ABAS provides a comprehensive evaluation based on carefully chosen norms, and the subjects’ adaptive abilities. This tool has a wide area of utility, being applicable on a range from newborns to 89-year olds, and can be used for:
Evaluating adaptive abilities in a person, as well as their capacity to live independently
Diagnosing and classifying certain disorders and disabilities
Identifying strengths and limits
Aiding in documenting and monitoring progress
It comprehensively evaluates all 10 areas of adaptive abilities specified by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition, text revision, (DSM-IV-TR) and the American Psychiatric Association (APA, 2000).
The test also incorporates directions currently offered by the American Association of Intellectual Disabilities (AAID) for evaluating the three areas of adaptive behavior (Conceptual, Social, and Practical).
Measured adaptive abilities and the fields they are part of correspond to the specifications identified by the American Association on Mental Retardation (AARM; 1992, 2002b). As measured by ABAS-II, adaptive abilities are defined as: every day practical abilities that are necessary in the person’s functioning and corresponding to the tasks of its environment, including the capability to take care of themselves independently, and to interact with the people around them.
Evaluation of adaptive abilities offers important information on diagnosing and planning treatment or intervention in people with:
- Developmental difficulties
- Biological risk factors
- Cranial trauma
- Behavioral and learning disorders
- Sensorial insufficiency
- Physical trauma or disabilities
- Poor health
- Motor insufficiency
- Emotional disorders
- Brain injury
- Substance-related disorders
- Psychotic disorders and multiple disabilities
The Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA)
Psychological testing for children – Includes a set of quizzes aimed at assessing competences, adaptive functioning, and issues in teenagers and children, in an easy, efficient manner.
By using ASEBA quizzes, you can quickly obtain standardized data regarding a wide spectrum of competences, adaptive behaviors, and issues. In contrast to most standardized scales, ASEBA quizzes allow the acquirement of individualized descriptions, including open questions that help seek strengths and worrying aspects in the behavior of the examined child or teenager.
ASEBA scales can be the basis of assessing adaptive functions in children between 6 and 18 and the following categories: Anxiety/Depression (I) Loneliness/Depression (II), Somatic charges (III), Social relationship issues (IV), Thinking problems (V), Attention-span issues (VI), Lack of attention, Hyperactivity/Impulsivity, Rule-breaking behavior (VII), Aggressive behavior (VIII). Within the DSM terms, these problems cover the following disorders: Affective disorders, Anxiety disorders, somatic disorders, ADHD, oppositional disorders, conduit disorders.
The behavioral scale for children addressing parents (CBCL/9-18), the self-evaluation quiz (YSR) and the one addressing teachers (TRF) are parallel forms that facilitate the comparison of different perspectives upon children’s behavior. Because no source can offer complete and accurate information alone, a comprehensive evaluations requires multiple sources.
The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children – Fourth Edition – WISC-IV
The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children – Fourth Edition is a clinical tool that is individually administrated. In contrast to other psychological tests aimed at children, this test assesses the cognitive abilities of children between 6 years and 0 months, and 16 years and 11 months. The WISC-IV scale provides composite scores that represent intellectual functions in specific cognitive fields (the verbal comprehension index, the perceptive reasoning index, the working memory index, and the processing speed index) as well as a composite score that represents the general intellectual ability of the child (i.e. the total intelligence coefficient)
Benefits and characteristics of using WISC-IV:
- The most looked into measure of cognitive function in children
- Adequate evaluation of fluid reasoning, verbal reasoning, working memory and informational processing speed
- Clinical validity
- Great psychometric indexes
- Romanian norms on a representative sample of 1100 children
The SCQ Test
Social Communication Questionnaire
The Social Communication Questionnaire is the third component of the trial internationally recognized as the “Golden Standard” for assessing autism, along with ADI-R and ADOS.
Previously known as the Autism Screening Questionnaire, this concise instrument helps assess children’s social abilities and functions that can potentially suffer of autism or other disorders on the autism spectrum. Being a questionnaire that can be taken by a parent or guardian in less than 10 minutes, SCQ represents an efficient method of determining if a person should or should not be included in a complete diagnosis assessment program.
The questionnaire can be used to assess any person over the age of 4 years old, as long as their mental age is over 2. The questionnaire is available in two versions:
- Lifetime – about assessing over the subject’s lifetime
- Current – about assessing the current situation
Both versions can be taken by parents, who will offer answers without needing supervision.
The Gestalt Visual-Motor Bender Test
Bender Gestalt II is a psychological test used by practitioners that work in the field of mental health to assess visual-motor functions, developmental disorders and neurological affections on subjects between 3 and 85 years old.
American norms on a representative sample of 4000 individuals.
In young children, the purpose of this test is providing alternate methods of analyzing Bender recordings, so that the examiner can evaluate their perceptive maturity, possible neurological disorders, and emotional adjustment using a single Bender testing protocol. “To this end, for young children it is described in terms of development, evaluation and application as a diagnostic tool in the assessment of intelligence, school achievement, brain damage, mental retardation and emotional disturbances.”
The test consists of nine index cards representing different geometric models. The cards are individually presented, and the test subjects are asked to turn over every card using their memory before turning over the next. Their results are evaluated based on accuracy and organization.
The Hands Test
The hands test is a adjuvant clinical technique that can be included alongside other psychological testing for children in the diagnostic battery. It is a projective task that uses pictures of hands in ambiguous positions that are expected to trigger responses with behavioral significance. It can be taken by subjects older than 5.
The cards are presented one by one. They examine projects by saying what they are doing. Answers are recorded verbally. The initial response time and other relevant behavior are assumed. The test contains quantitative and qualitative categories. It is simple and easy to administer.
USING THE HANDS TEST
The hands test measures visible behavior. Research showed that Hands Test results are closely tied with excessive behavior among juvenile delinquents. The hands test can also measure behavior in people from the following categories: People with disabilities, People suffering from schizophrenia, People with mental disabilities.
The hands test can also oversee the productive performance of people with developmental retardation, occupational orientation in normal environments and retreating from reality in the case of people with cerebral trauma, in contrast to people who have not suffered from this type of trauma.
The Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS)
There are lots of available assessment tools to help diagnose autism. One of them is the children’s autism rating scale. It is a behavioral scoring board with 15 items, developed to identify autism in children over 2, and to differentiate it from developmental handicap that is non – autistic. This scale can make distinctions between light, moderate, and severe autism.
CARS was developed by Eric Schopler, Robert Reichier, and Barbara Rochen Renner. The difference between CARS and other psychological tests for children is that it can make the distinction between autism and other developmental delay disorders, like mental retardation.
How does CARS work?
Through the behavioral, characteristic, and ability assessment of your child in comparison to one of a typical child.
The following characteristics are evaluated:
Relationships with people
Use of body
Use of objects
Adaptability to change
Listening to the response
Use of taste-smell-touch
Fear and nervousness
Level of activity
Level and coherence of intellectual response
Generalities in psychological testing for children
Testing is done by specialized psychologists or psychotherapists through evaluating the child’s behavior on a scale from 1 to 4.
- 1 is normal for your child’s age
- 2 indicates a light anomaly
- 3 For a moderate abnormality
- 4 For a severe abnormality
Scorurile variază de la 15 la 60, 30 fiind rata marcantă pentru un diagnostic de autism ușor. Scorurile 30-37 indică autismul ușor până la moderat, scorurile cuprinse între 38 și 60 sunt caracterizate că autism sever.
The children’s autism assessment scale can easily be accessed on the internet. It is not recommended you use this version of the test to assess your child on your own. It is always a better option to solicit professional help in interpreting your child’s CARS results. You must remind yourself that a firm, constant observation of your child is important for completing the CARS test. The psychologist should have a good understanding of the criteria in order to obtain correct results. If there is confusion, do not hesitate to ask the person in charge of administering the test.
CARS is commonly used in children 2 and over, although it has been used in diagnosing teenagers according to a study conducted by the Texas University Health Science Center.
Psychological testing for children – We begin our journey in 2009
Our perpetual development started with a clear idea; offering Romanian patients only psychological treatments with scientifically proven effectiveness. With a complete team of psychiatrists and psychologists, we eagerly follow our missions and values, having no less than 5 types of unique treatment programs that were recommended by the international guides, but were not present in Romania before we intervened.
Efforts to build complete treatment programs have brought the clinic an unexpected international appreciation in 2018. For its innovative programs, the Hope Clinic becomes the first mental health clinic, and only clinic in Romania to receive the prestigious “Rose of Paracelsus” award, for “The best medical practices”.
Psychological testing for children