Assessment Services

Psychology Assessments

Psychological Assessment services are used for a range of different purposes. Most commonly, they are used to establish a diagnosis or to investigate impairments in learning or daily functioning. 

At Grey Matter, all our assessments are focused on providing exceptional recommendations for interventions or accommodations and supporting advocacy and appropriate referral efforts. Our belief is that assessments are only as good as the recommendations they produce and recommendations are only as good as the improvements to quality of life, access to care, or educational success that they create. When you engage with us for assessments, you can trust that our focus is on providing you with information or when appropriate a diagnosis that will help to resolve whatever concerns have triggered the need for the assessment.

Specifically, our assessments are helpful to:

  • Establish a diagnosis, identify areas for improvement or areas of strength, and document how someone’s ability to function in different areas of life are being impacted and why.

     

  • Determine the decision making capacity of an adult who is struggling with exercising good judgment, ability to care for themselves in different areas of life, or risk comprehension that might have arisen from an accident, changes through aging, or following a brain injury like a stroke or drug overdose.

     

  • Support litigation or provide information to the Courts in civil or criminal proceedings.

     

  • Determine eligibility for specialized education programs including programs for gifted children (e.g., the CBE GATE program) and to identify the need for accommodations or other interventions in school settings for learners with needs that are not being met through standard curriculum programming.

     

  • Explore whether or not an individual meets criteria for various health or social programs, including income supports through the Government of Alberta, Government of Canada, or privately funded disability programs.
  • Determine the specific areas of impairment in a variety of complex neuropsychological disorders, especially in school environments.

     

  • Fully diagnose attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders and autism spectrum disorders (ADHD and ASD) including specifications and how the disorder is impairing the individual.

     

  • To diagnose personality disorders or other complex to diagnose psychological conditions.

Assessment Offerings

Psycho-Educational Assessments

These assessments can usually identify specific learning disorders and provide a general understanding of social, emotional, and behavioural problems that may impact learning.  They also provide us with sound advisement regarding any further assessments or interventions that may be required.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessment

Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessments need to be comprehensive because an autism diagnosis covers a very wide spectrum of skills and impairments. This developmental disorder can look very different from person to person. Many experts who diagnose and treat autism like to say, “if you’ve seen one person with autism, you’ve seen one person with autism.” Many assessments may screen or pick up on the possibility of autism, but the diversity of the disorder makes it difficult to correctly diagnose. Many autistic people are diagnosed with a different disorder or are told nothing is wrong. An accurate diagnosis requires the collection of specific information.

Best practices in assessment for the diagnosis of autism should include the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, the Autism Diagnostic Interview Revised, and some amount of cognitive testing. Our approach to autism assessment includes all three of these components as well as additional tests, interviews, and other assessment strategies to investigate other possible explanations and rule out other diagnoses.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Assessment

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is chronic and causes significant impairment in everyday functioning. This includes academic functioning, peer and social interactions, and occupational functioning across the lifespan.

A comprehensive assessment for ADHD includes collecting a detailed history including current and past mental health functioning, may include formal testing in our office of attention and concentration in some cases, and will include a structured diagnostic interview. While we sometimes may conduct intelligence testing, it is often not necessary to diagnose ADHD.

We follow the Canadian ADHD Resource Alliance guidelines for best practices in the assessment and diagnosis of ADHD. All ADHD assessments will include a comprehensive interview, completing some forms, collecting academic records, and the completion of forms by a parent, spouse, or close friend. An ADHD assessment may also include other components to rule out other possible diagnoses or other explanations for the concerns that led to the assessment.

Neuropsychological Assessment

Neuropsychological assessments are conducted by a registered psychologist who has or is completing additional training to certify in one of the recognized areas of neuropsychology (clinical paediatric neuropsychology, clinical neuropsychology, or school neuropsychology). These assessments include tests of attention and concentration, your ability to think and learn, memory, motor function (walking, coordination, etc.), perception (how well you take in what you see, hear, feel, smell, and taste), problem-solving and decision making, and verbal abilities. These assessments help figure out whether and to what extent problems are caused by: diseases such as Alzheimer’s, brain injuries (stroke, traumatic injury from an accident, concussion, drug overdose, etc.), psychological disorders, and brain changes related to aging.

Clinical Assessment – Personality & Psychological Disorders

Clinical assessment of personality and psychological disorders is a type of assessment we offer that is extremely broad in scope. Our goal with this style of assessment is to provide or rule out a diagnosis of a mental health disorder and provide recommendations to help manage and/or treat any concerns identified.

These assessments may include tests, questionnaires, interviews, information from other professionals or other individuals, the review of school or medical records, observational data, and results from medical evaluations.

The assessment process uses a comprehensive and scientific methodology. Common reasons to undergo this type of assessment is to better understand the causes of psychological or social difficulties, as part of treatment planning for a range of reasons including rehabilitation, or to assist in diagnostic accuracy in complicated situations. We also offer a style of clinical assessment known as therapeutic assessment, where the assessment process is used to facilitate self-discovery and support individuals with implementing changes – the assessment is used as a tool for therapy.

Forensic Assessment – Family Law

Our practice provides forensic psychological assessment services in Family Law. We provide child custody evaluations both for Child and Family Service files and for the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, where this work is referred to as Parenting Time/Parenting Responsibility Assessment under Family Law Practice Note 8. These evaluations are comprehensive and include interviews with all family members, formal psychological testing, observation of parent-child interactions, and reviews of all relevant records including court and police files, medical records, school reports, and any other relevant information or procedures depending on the case. We also provide interventions in Family Law, known by the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta as a Family Law Practice Note 7. We provide both Evaluative Interventions and Therapeutic Interventions. Evaluative interventions we provide include triage, parent psychological interventions, and the voice of the child. Therapeutic interventions which we offer that are aimed to make changes in family dynamics include mediation including parenting coordination, therapeutic interventions with one or both parents, therapeutic interventions with child(ren) only, therapeutic interventions with parent(s) and child(ren), and remedial parent-child reunification.

Forensic Assessment – Decision Making Capacity

There are many reasons why an adult may not be able to make their own decisions. This could be due to the impacts of aging, disease, or an injury. A capacity assessment is used to determine if an adult can make their own personal or financial decisions and understand the necessary information to come to a decision and consequences of making those decisions. A qualified professional must complete the capacity assessment, and an assessment tool is used for different decision-making options. This assessment will include an interview where an assessment tool is utilized, as well as some form of assessment of cognitive capacities to establish a baseline of functioning at the start of the interview. Sometimes these assessments include a visit to the place where the person being assessed lives.

Individuals cannot self-refer for this sort of assessment. Referral must come from another individual who is concerned about the adult’s ability to make decisions – most often, this is a family member or another professional.

Decision making capacity assessments are then provided to the Court and may be used to appoint a guardian, trustee, or to enact a personal directive with the goal of providing the least invasive but appropriate level of decision-making support to the adult.

We offer a wide range of assessments which include psycho-educational assessment, clinical assessment, forensic assessment in the area of family law, and neuropsychological assessments.

  • We often receive questions about costs for assessments. Generally, we base our fees for assessments on an hourly rate. The reason for this is that we want to offer the right level of services. Some assessments need to be more in-depth, while other investigations require much less.
  • We tailor all of our recommendations to the individual and believe that assessment should always be focused on finding solutions and giving a clear plan forward. We also offer follow-up consultations as needed at any time once we complete an assessment.
  • We provide everyone with a quote before starting services after an initial consultation.
  • If we need to change the quote to allow us to include an additional assessment in the event something new is uncovered, we will always provide an updated quote before proceeding. An example of this might be a request for an Attention Deficit Hyperactivity/Impulsivity Disorder (ADHD) assessment where after our initial meetings we would like to also investigate the possibility of an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or a Specific Learning Disability (SLD). We always want to protect autonomy and show integrity, so in this case, the team would contact you and discuss what we would like to add on, the specific testing measures it would involve, an amendment to the quote, and how we would expect the additional procedures to be helpful in creating good recommendations for you, your child, or your family.

Psychology Assessments and Referrals

Your first step towards change starts here.

Contact us for an initial psychological assessment consultation to see if we’re the right fit for you. If your needs are outside of our scope of practice, we are happy to provide a referral or help you identify the specific type of Psychologist you need.

Follow the link below for book a consultation or visit the contact page to request any additional information that you require about practice and services.