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Social Emotional/Behavioural Assessments 

Child smiling at school

Social-emotional and behavioural assessments help to provide a comprehensive understanding of how your child is doing across multiple areas of psychological functioning. This type of assessment is helpful if you feel that your child is struggling in any of the following areas:

  • Anxiety

  • Sadness/Depression

  • Behavioral challenges (anger, aggression, defiance)

  • Difficulty interacting with others

  • Sustained or focused attention

  • Hyperactivity/Impulsivity

  • School avoidance (ruling out emotional factors)

Social-emotional and behavioural assessments are recommended when:

  • The child appears anxious or sad

  • Has angry outbursts or tantrums

  • Is aggressive towards others

  • Experiences social difficulties

  • Has low self-esteem


Standardized assessment scales (parent, teacher and/or child) are used to assess the frequency of maladaptive behaviour, in addition to adaptive behaviour and behavioural strengths that are important for functioning at home and at school, with peers, and in the community. A child observation, and parent/teacher clinical interviews are also completed to help gain a full understanding of your child’s developmental history, as well as how they are currently presenting across environments. Any pertinent documentation, such as previous psychological or medical reports, and school reports/notes are also reviewed.

Common assessment measures that are used to identify social-emotional and behavioural strengths and concerns are:

  • Behaviour Assessment System for Children- Third Edition (BASC-3)

  • Conner’s Comprehensive Behavioral Rating scales – Third Edition (Conners-3)\

  • Adaptive Behavior Assessment System – Third Edition (ABAS-3)

These standardized assessment tools gather comprehensive information regarding how your child is doing relative to other peers their age (percentiles). For each social-emotional and behavioural area, you will also gain clarity regarding whether your child is falling within the following classifications:

  • “Average” range (i.e., showing no more concerns than typical for their age)

  • “At-risk” range (i.e., an area of concern that may not be severe enough to require treatment, but identifies the potential of developing a problem that needs careful monitoring)“

  • Clinically Significant/Elevated” range (i.e., an area of concern that would warrant formal intervention)

With a child self-report included, you will also gain information on your child’s perception of themself, and their perceived level of adjustment and functioning across social-emotional and behavioural scales.

During a debrief session, you will meet with your Psychologist and you will be provided with a detailed written report that summarizes the assessment results as well as any diagnostic impressions. This report will also include evidence-based recommendations (i.e., strategies, resources, and accommodations) to help support your child across home and school settings. You will have the opportunity to have any additional questions answered at this meeting as well.


Assessment reports are often used as a starting point for therapy and for school Individualized Program Plans (IPPs).

A social-emotional and behavioural assessment can also be added to a cognitive/learning assessment to help rule out factors that may be impacting your child’s classroom functioning.

If you are still uncertain as to whether an assessment would be helpful for your child, please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss further.

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