All of our psychologists have training and expertise to provide assessments for a range of psychological issues. Our assessments address mental health issues, family relationship issues, behavioural challenges, neuropsychological functioning, developmental concerns, and academic and learning differences.
As psychologists we commonly assess children for attention problems such as Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), learning differences such as reading or math difficulties, disorders of language and/or coordination difficulties, and executive functioning challenges. Evaluations are often more detailed than simply involving ability assessment and assumptions are made about brain-behavior relationships. Evaluations may also involve assessments of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and developmental assessments of children aged 2-5 years who appear to be showing a delay in the acquisition of developmental milestones and/or a regression in previously acquired skills.
Types of Assessments
Mental Health Assessment – We know that one in five Canadian children /adolescents experiences a mental health crisis. Our Psychologists provide mental health assessments for anxiety, depression, post trauma stress, non-suicidal self harm, eating disorders, behaviour regulation issues, and early psychosis. A comprehensive evaluation of the child/adolescent’s strengths and challenges is used to make recommendations for treatment in the best interest of the child/ adolescent. Careful consideration is always given to developmental history of presenting problems, psycho-social issues, and contextual factors such as presence of chronic physical health issues, bullying, parent separation/divorce, grief/loss, and/or trauma/abuse.
Anxiety: Anxiety is a normal behavioural response to different situations or things. We know that anxiety is different than stress. Anxiety becomes a problem when it prevents you from doing the things you need or like to do. Anxiety can affect school, family, and your social life. Anxious feelings can be very strong and can come very often like a wave and sometimes it may be hard to know why you feel anxious.
Signs of Anxiety
Types of Anxiety
➤ Generalized Anxiety Disorder Specific Phobia
➤ Social Anxiety
➤ Separation Anxiety
➤ Panic Disorder
➤ Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Depression: Depression is a persistent way of thinking and feeling that affects life. Depression often starts between the ages of 14-30 years, but can be evident in younger children and adolescents. It is important to take expressed concern by a child or adolescent seriously. Stigma can be a large barrier for a child or adolescent when it comes to comfortably talking about what he or she is feeling. So if they are able to come to you to have a conversation about what they are feeling, please allow and encourage them to continue it. Depression is different than the “day to day blues” children/adolescents can have.
Signs of Depression:
Behaviour Changes: A child/adolescent can become more withdrawn, act out impulsively, or stop doing activities.
Emotional: A child/adolescent may experience chances in mood or feelings of sadness, dissatisfaction, anger, thoughts of suicide.
Physical: Child/adolescent may have weight changes, sleep disturbances, low energy.
Cognitive: There may be decreased or a lack of concentration and indecisiveness about everyday situations.
Types of Depression
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
➤ Often severe
➤ Short in duration
➤ Includes one or more Major Depressive Episodes
Dysthymic Disorder (DD)
➤ Typically less severe
➤ Lasts longer than one year in children and adolescents
Non-Suicidal Self-Harm (NSSH): Non-suicidal self-harm, often simply referred to as self-harm or NSSH, is the act of deliberately harming oneself.
➤ Feeling wound-up, tense, or restless
➤ Easily becoming tired or worn-out
➤ Concentration problems
➤ Significant tension in muscles
Self-harm is not typically meant as a suicide attempt. Rather, this type of self-injury is an unhealthy way to cope with emotional pain, intense anger and frustration. Common types of self-harm include: Cutting the skin, Scratching or burning the skin, “Minor” overdosing of medications, and/or Head banging or punching objects with the intent to harm oneself. People of any age, background or race, regardless of whether they are an extrovert or an introvert may self- harm. A 2014 survey of young people showed that one in three 18-21 year-olds say they’ve self-harmed. The most common reasons being to cope with stress, find relief from painful or distressing feelings, deal with feelings of numbness or loneliness, and/or communicate pain or distress to others.
Eating Disorders: Eating disorders are complex conditions that affect people of all genders, ages, classes, abilities, races and ethnic backgrounds. There are many factors influencing the development of eating disorders such as biological (genetic and biochemical), psychological (personality and mental health), and social (including cultural norms about food and appearance). We know children/adolescents who are struggling with self-image can be at risk, as well as those who have experienced trauma. Eating disorders are not a personal choice and have serious implications for a person. Early detection and assessment is critical.
Main Types of Eating Disorders
➤ Anorexia Nervosa
➤ Bulimia Nervosa
➤ Avoidant and Restrictive
➤ Food Intake Disorder
➤ Binge Eating Disorder
➤ Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder
Behaviour Regulation Issues: Many young child experience temporary behavioural and/or emotional challenges. Sometimes, these concerns are within what is considered to be typical for the child’s developmental stage and they may pass with time. Our assessments help to determine what issues are within the expected range and provide support to parents / caregivers to improve the child/teen’s and family’s in their everyday life. However, there are some challenges that are more chronic/persistent, and warrant a formal behavioural assessment. This type of assessment can be effective to identify precipitating, perpetuating, and maintaining factors of the behavioural challenges. This information can be used to help (1) caregivers and teachers develop effective [evidence based] strategies to deal with the issues and (2) help children cope with stressors effectively, learn how to control their anger, how to work through their emotions, and how to communicate their needs more effectively.
Main Types of Behaviour Disorders
➤ Oppositional defiant disorder
➤ Intermittent explosive disorder
➤ Conduct disorder
Developmental Assessments: Dr. Pure has a special interest in the early development of children. She specializes in the detection/assessment and treatment of paediatric issues including neurodevelopmental disorders, behavior challenges, anxiety, sensory processing, toileting, sleep, and feeding problems. Dr. Pure offers both formal assessment and treatment of these issues using simple and effective strategies that are based on methods supported by scientific research.
Neuro-academic Assessment: Paediatric or child neuropsychology is a field of study involving the relationship of abilities, behaviours and mental skills (cognitive functions) in children. To guide our assessments, we collect a comprehensive developmental history and social-emotional and behavioural history, and use this information to interpret all assessment results. Parent interviews and completion of standardized questionnaires are necessary, and in many cases school and medical records are reviewed. Teacher ratings are frequently requested with parent/guardian’s consent. These assessments assess for many factors (intelligence, memory, executive functioning, motor skills, academics) and may be used to assist in diagnosis, to assist with educational placement or remediation, clinical treatment planning, rehabilitation, formulating accommodations, and disability determinations. To help with this process, our psychologists are regularly meeting with other professionals including the child’s school team to discuss results. A written document/report that outlines strengths and challenges, identifies a psycho-diagnostic profile, and outlines clear and practical individualized recommendations is provided.
Main Types of Assessments
➤ Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
➤ Specific Learning Disorders (LD) (for example, Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Mathematics, Written Expression) Intellectual Disabilities (ID)