Psychological Assessment Services for Children and Adolescents
***We have now closed our waitlist for psychoeducational assessments for children/youth. We anticipate re-opening the waitlist in May 2023 for assessments that will occur in 2024 or later.***
Comprehensive psychological or psychoeducational assessments are provided for children and adolescents ages 6 years to 16 years, with possible assessments available for children under 6 or older than 16, depending on the time of year and clinician availability.
Our most common referral question for comprehensive, stand-alone assessments is to better understand the individual's style of learning. There may be diagnostic questions determining the presence or absence of a neurodevelopmental disorder, such as ADHD or a Specific Learning Disability.
We take a hypothesis-testing approach to assessment to answer a particular referral question. The assessment typically takes place over several testing sessions, and includes standardized measures of intelligence, academic achievement, memory, executive function, and other areas as appropriate. We provide feedback and a written report with recommendations to the parents/guardians. We may provide additional feedback to the adolescent or child, if appropriate, and may be available to share the information at a school meeting.
We have a very limited capacity to conduct these types of psychological or psychoeducational assessments, and it can be difficult to predict wait times for service.
Treatment Services for Children, Adolescents, Parents and Families
The Centre for Mental Health Research and Treatment (CMHRT) provides psychotherapy to children and adolescents and their parents or guardians to address the following types of concerns:
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Adjustment Difficulties
- Behavioural Difficulties
- Difficulties with Social Relationships
Approaches to therapy are selected to match the presenting problem. These often include cognitive behaviour therapy, tailored to the child’s learning style. We adopt a family-centred, strengths based approach to intervention.
Common Reasons for Referrals
Parents often call the Centre for Mental Health Research and Treatment (CMHRT) if they are concerned about their child’s excessive fears, irritable mood, or social adjustment difficulties. These concerns may be noticed at school or in the family home. Sometimes these adjustment difficulties take the form of oppositional or aggressive behaviour. While at times, the child may be asking for help, it is more common that it is the adults in the child’s life (parents, teachers, relatives) that notice something is amiss, and outside help is needed.
Intake process for children and families
Due to the nature of our centre we are unable to provide services for all presenting issues. Please see Service Exclusions for details.
When you contact us seeking services this is the sequence of events:
- The Centre Coordinator will take the information necessary to enter you into our database and will pass on that information to our Centre Assistants.
- Within a week a Centre Assistant will contact you to ask more detailed questions about the difficulties your child has in order to determine if our services seem appropriate for your needs. If you are a teenager and you are contacting us directly, we will make every effort to respect your wishes about parent involvement.
- If we think we can help, your name will be put on the Centre wait list. If not, we will provide you with the names and contact details of other services.
- Once a Centre clinician becomes available, he/she will contact you to schedule a diagnostic assessment which will involve you and your child, and you will also be forwarded a package of questionnaires to complete and bring in at the first assessment session.
- Treatment can usually start the following week, unless after the assessment we think you would be better served by another mental health care service.
- You will be provided with a copy of assessment and discharge reports, which you can share with other professionals as you choose.
How long is the wait
The wait time varies depending on the time of year, the type of problem for which you are seeking services in relation to the expertise of the clinicians and supervisors currently able to take cases, and other factors. We invite you to check in with us regularly about your status on the wait list and we also encourage you to investigate other services as well. Please know that providing timely services is an utmost priority for us and we are actively pursuing every means we can to reduce wait times.