The Hummingbird Centre regularly provides Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), behavioural, cognitive, learning and trauma assessments to children and adults within the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Hunter Valley region. We also offer assessments for Disability Support Pension applications. Using gold standard assessment tools and clinical observations, our clinicians can assist you with a formal diagnosis and provide guidance for reaching full potential. For further information, or to request a quote, please contact our Assessments team on 02 4946 0919.
Please note that Mental Health Care Plans cannot be used towards assessments, but a small rebate may be applicable with a ASD Assessment referral from the GP/Paediatrician/Psychiatrist.
Please check with your plan manager before trying to use NDIS funding for any assessment.
Autism assessments typically involve 4 to 6 assessment sessions, and are available through our Newcastle, Broadmeadow and Warners Bay clinics. Our clinicians will evaluate the individual’s development history and behaviour to discover whether they show symptoms of Autism and how those symptoms impact their ability to interact with their environment. An Autism assessment includes the ADOS-2 which is a systematic observation tool involving play and social activities used to observe social and communication behaviours, which are central to an Autism diagnosis.
Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder Assessments (ADHD)
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) assessments are available through our Newcastle, Broadmeadow and Warners Bay clinics. Our Psychologists assess for ADHD in children over 6 years, as well as adults. ADHD evaluations include a range of psychological assessments as well as a formal diagnosis process including a paediatrician and/or psychiatrist. Depending on the individual circumstances, an ADHD assessment may involve the:
- Conners Comprehensive Behaviour Rating Scales (CBRS)or the Conners 3 The CBRS assesses disorders, behaviours, emotions and academic problems affecting children and adolescents. This is completed by people in the young person’s life, and sometimes by the young person themselves. The Conners 3 is more specific to symptoms of ADHD and common comorbid disorders in children and adolescents.
- Behaviour Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF). The BRIEF questionnaire assesses a person’s executive functioning i.e., working memory, self-control and flexible thinking across school/work and home environments.
- Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children 5thEdition (WISC-V). The WISC-V may also be used to identify cognitive strengths and weaknesses, as well as potential learning difficulties. See Cognitive Assessments for further information.
At the conclusion of your ADHD assessment, if you are an adult seeking medication, we can internally refer you to our Psychiatrist Dr Lindsay Gale.
Behavioural assessments can help identify challenging behaviour patterns and guide appropriate management strategies. Depending on the individual’s circumstances, a Behavioural Assessment may include:
- Conners Comprehensive Behaviour Rating Scales (CBRS). The CBRS assesses a multitude of disorders, behaviours, emotions, and academic problems affecting children and adolescents. This is completed by people in the young person’s life, and sometimes by the young person themselves.
- Achenbach Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL). The CBCL is completed by parents/carers and teachers and is used to detect emotional and behavioural problems in children and adolescents. The CBCL assesses internalising behaviours (i.e., anxious/depressed) and externalising behaviours (i.e., aggression and rule breaking), and potential diagnostic symptoms.
Cognitive and Adaptive Assessments
Cognitive and Adaptive assessments are available through our Newcastle, Broadmeadow and Warner’s Bay Clinics. Cognitive assessments can help to identify learning strengths, weaknesses and difficulties, and provide recommendations for learning strategies. They can also support examinations of giftedness, intellectual disabilities, Autism and ADHD. Adaptive assessments assess daily living skills, and are vital in generating a holistic understanding of the individual’s functioning. Cognitive and Adaptive assessments used by our clinicians include:
- Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale - 4thEdition (WAIS-IV). The WAIS-IV is the most advanced measure of cognitive ability for those over sixteen. The WAIS-IV measures an individual’s Verbal Comprehension (the ability to listen, draw upon heard information and reason), Perceptual Reasoning (the ability to examine a problem, organise thoughts and create solutions), Working Memory (the ability to memorise and manipulate new information) and Processing Speed (the ability to focus attention and quickly order visual information).
- Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children 5thEdition (WISC-V). The WISC-V is suitable for children aged between 6 years to 16 years 11 months. The WISC-V also measures Verbal Comprehension, Working Memory and Processing Speed, as well as Fluid Reasoning (using reasoning to apply rules) and Visual Spatial (evaluating visual spatial relationships).
- Weschler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence 4thEdition (WPPSI-IV). The WPPSI-IV is suitable for children aged from 2 years and 6 months to 7 years and 7 months. Similar to the WAIS-IV and WISC-V, the WPPSI measures progress in thinking processes and decision-making skills.
The WAIS-IV, WISC-V and WPPSI-IV produce a full-scale Intelligence Quotient (IQ) score which your clinician will interpret and discuss with you.
- Adaptive Behaviour Assessment System – 3rdEdition (ABAS-3). The ABAS-3 provides insight into how effectively and independently an individual is able to meet environmental demands. The ABAS-3 can be self-rated by an adult or filled out by a parent/carer and teacher. It is suitable for individuals aged 0-89yrs.
Learning Assessments are available through our Newcastle and Warner’s Bay clinics, and provide insight into a person’s learning needs. Learning assessments used by our clinicians include the Weschler Individual Achievement Test 3rd Edition (WIAT-III). The WIAT-III can identify academic strengths and weakness, provide intervention recommendations, and support eligibility for educational services or specific learning disability diagnosis. The WIAT-III is suitable for people aged 4 years through to 50 years. Our learning assessments are typically completed alongside a cognitive assessment to support a global assessment of strengths, weaknesses and specific learning needs.
Trauma-Informed Psychological Wellbeing Assessment
The Hummingbird Centre’s Trauma-Informed Psychological Wellbeing Assessments provide a developmental understanding and intervention plan for children who have experienced trauma, and is available through our Newcastle clinic.
This assessment is informed by the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT) and contains a complete developmental history and collated information from a wide range of sources. The Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT) is an approach developed by a world expert in neuroscience and childhood trauma Dr. Bruce Perry from the Child Trauma Academy in the USA.
This assessment pulls together all the information known about the child in a systematic way and links it to what we know about brain development and how trauma affects the developing brain. Rather than looking at “what is wrong with this child?”, we explore “what has happened to this child”, and “how can we help them to heal?”. The assessment generates a brain map summarising functioning in 32 areas and looks at which systems are working well and which systems need additional input. It looks at the question of which strategies will help THIS child at THIS given time, given their current brain functioning. This helps the team working with the child to make a plan that helps the child's whole brain.
The purpose of this assessment is not to diagnose the child with a disorder, and it is not a specific therapeutic technique; it is a way to understand the child’s history and current functioning to provide a pathway forward and plan for supports.
Disability Support Pension Assessment - Supporting Evidence
Our Psychologists can provide supporting evidence towards a Disability Support Pension application in either of 2 categories:
- Intellectual disability
Evidence showing an assessment of intellectual function and adaptive behaviour by a psychologist.
- Mental health conditions
Evidence from a Psychologist supporting your treating doctor's diagnosis.
From 2023 the Australian Government recognises evidence provided by a Psychologist, not just a Clinical Psychologist.