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Cognitive assessments

A cognitive assessment will give a profile of an individual’s strengths and difficulties in relation to their learning, as it can provide a snapshot of how they are doing at that time in a controlled way.

Cognitive abilities tend to remain stable throughout an individual’s childhood and adult life meaning that it is possible to use it as a predictor of an individual’s academic potential.

Who is suitable for a cognitive assessment?

Cognitive assessments are suitable for children and young people between ages 4 and 25 years old, although they can be used for younger children in certain circumstances. An individual does not need to have high language abilities to receive a cognitive assessment. Individuals who experience any of the following could benefit from a cognitive assessment:

If you would like to find out how a cognitive assessment could benefit you or people around you then please contact us to find out more.

WPPSI IV cognitive assessment

Dr Julie Alfrey carrying out a cognitive assessment on a child

What are the benefits of a cognitive assessment?

Cognitive assessments bring many benefits, including:

Following a cognitive assessment there will be some recommendations for supporting the individual’s learning environment.

What happens prior to a cognitive assessment?

A cognitive assessment can be carried out following an initial discussion, please see our process below.

Our process

At HSR Psychology we ensure that we meet the needs of children and young people. To achieve this we ensure that any specific assessments, intervention, or direct work, is only carried out following an initial discussion.

An initial discussion allows us to understand the background and your expectations of our involvement. Having an initial discussion ensures any services we provide appropriately identify or address needs.

Our process for any specific assessments, intervention, or direct work is as follows:

Step 1: Contact us

We will usually be contacted by the child or young person, parent or carer, or another professional (eg education or health).

You can contact us or complete a referral

Step 2: Arrange an initial discussion

An initial discussion allows us to understand the background and your expectations of our involvement. Arrange an initial discussion

Step 3: Review our recommendations

Following an initial discussion we will send you an email that includes:

  • Next steps recommendations - to provide a bespoke package of support. For example:
    • Assessments
    • Reports
    • Information gathering
    • Meeting
    • Interventions
    • Consultancy
    • Reviews
  • Costing - we will provide costings for any services recommended.

Step 4: Let's get started

On receipt of the next steps recommendations and costing you can decide how to proceed. Once you have decided contact us to arrange the chosen services.

What happens during a cognitive assessment?

A cognitive assessment takes place within a school, home, community setting or within our clinic. The assessment would need to be in a quiet room free from distractions. Ideal conditions for a cognitive assessment would be in a place the child or young person knows well and feels relaxed in so they are able to be calm and focused. There are variations between each cognitive assessment, but they all measure a multitude of abilities through puzzles, activities and questions. Cognitive assessments can be long, so usually a break will take place.

Which cognitive assessments do we use?

The specific cognitive assessment(s) used will be chosen based on the individual. The main cognitive assessments we use are:

  • BAS3 - British ability scales are used to assess children’s current intellectual functioning and can measure; verbal ability, non-verbal reasoning, spatial ability, general conceptual ability, special non-verbal composite
  • WAIS - Wechsler adult intelligence scale can measure; reasoning, retention of information, processing information, organisation of information, verbal comprehension
  • WPPSI-IV - Wechsler preschool and primary scale of intelligence can measure; verbal comprehension, visual spatial, working memory, fluid reasoning, processing speed, vocabulary acquisition, non-verbal, general ability, cognitive proficiency
  • Bayley scales of infant and toddler development - can be used from 4 months old and can measure; cognitive, motor and language abilities, social-emotional and adaptive behaviour
  • WRIT - Wide range intelligence test provides a general measure of intelligence and can be administered in under an hour and measures; verbal IQ, visual IQ, general IQ
  • WISC-V - Wechsler intelligence scale for children can be used to provide a full cognitive profile of strengths and difficulties, including; verbal comprehension, visual spatial, fluid reasoning, working memory, processing speed, quantitative reasoning, auditory working memory, non-verbal, general ability and cognitive proficiency
  • WNC - Wechsler non-verbal scale of ability assesses multiple ability levels through non-verbal methods
  • NNAT - Naglieri non-verbal ability test measures an individual’s general reasoning and problem-solving ability
  • Beta-4 - Useful for assessing cognitive abilities in adults through non-verbal methods

There are other cognitive assessments and ways to assess cognitive abilities and these will be discussed before the assessment takes place.

What happens after a cognitive assessment?

After a cognitive assessment we will have a comprehensive idea of a child or young person’s needs and how to reach their true potential. Following a cognitive assessment it may be suggested that we carry out further assessment, an intervention or recommendations. Results from a cognitive assessment will be provided through a feedback session, or a written report if needed. We will support you through the whole process of an assessment which is why we offer the option to receive follow up support.

Does a cognitive assessment come with a report?

Reasons for requesting a cognitive assessment vary, and if a written report is not needed then feedback will be provided verbally along with a brief summary. A comprehensive report is available after a cognitive assessment highlighting areas of strength and need. A report from a cognitive assessment can be used for many reasons, such as: personal use, medical use, school use, support with an application, funding and support, or evidence for a different reason. Read more about our reports.

Arrange an initial discussion.....

Arrange an initial discussion to find out how we can benefit your education setting. The initial discussion lasts 2 hours and is a starting point to identify needs. The cost is £195.

  • No waiting lists
  • Experienced psychologists
  • Includes recommendation summary

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Flexible, consistent, and competitively priced

We provide bespoke solutions to suit all budgets and requirements for children and young people aged 0-25 in homes, education settings and the community. Our clinical, educational and child psychology services are cost effective.

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Make a referral

To make a referral and arrange an initial discussion please complete our referral form.

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Next steps...

Ready to get started? The next step is to speak to our team to find out more about the services we provide and how we can help. Call us on 0161 820 9229 or email

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