Cognitive Assessments

Cognitive Assessments are formal assessments which aim to identify areas where a child has strengths and those that they may have more difficulty with. They cover a wide range of skills and abilities, such as; language, verbal reasoning, spatial awareness, non-verbal problem solving, memory, processing speed, reading, writing, spelling and maths. Cognitive Assessments may also involve details about intelligence and IQ.


Cognitive Assessments can be helpful in identifying specific learning disabilities. By identifying the challenges that the child is having a greater understanding can be achieved and appropriate help can be put in place to ensure that they achieve their full potential. These assessments may also show areas which warrant further investigation by another professional e.g. occupational therapist, speech and language therapist, psychiatrist or an educational psychologist.
Conversely, these assessments can also be helpful for children who have high levels of intelligence as they can suggest approaches which will prevent boredom and consequently poor behaviour or social isolation at school.

What to expect

Initially information will need to be gathered from parents, carers and where appropriate from a child’s school to gain a full developmental history.
The assessment will then be conducted with the child, lasting around 2 hours. The number of appointments (1 or 2) required to complete this assessment will depend on the age and concentration abilities of the child.

The results of the assessment will then be written up and you will be provided with a full report detailing the findings and any recommendations for home and school. A feedback session can be offered to discuss these results to ensure that they are fully understood.

What next?

Cognitive assessments are delivered by our partner Questa Psychological Services. To enquire, please contact the team at Questa: Contact Questa 


We welcome referrals from other professionals, however, you don’t require one to see one of our practitioners.


Q: Will my child’s school or college accept the outcome of an assessment conducted in the private sector?

A: Many parents and carers may worry or may have heard that the assessment findings will not be accepted by their child’s school or college because the assessment has not been conducted by clinicians working in the NHS. The issue is not whether your child has been assessed within the NHS or the private sector, but whether the assessment has been carried out by suitably trained, qualified and experienced clinicians. All of the clinicians on our multi-disciplinary team are fully trained and highly experienced in the assessment and diagnosis of autism. The clinical leads for our autism pathway also work in autism assessment in the NHS. Schools and colleges will therefore be able to accept the findings as reliable and valid.


The consultation is confidential. There are certain situations where information may need to be shared without your consent-if the therapist is concerned that you or someone else’s life is at risk but these situations are rare and every attempt will be made to abide by your wishes with regards to confidentiality. Your therapist will also keep you informed of the outcomes of any conversations that are held between themselves and any other professional about you.
You will be asked at the outset of therapy whether you would like anyone to be informed of the progress of your therapy. This might be your GP, the school, another therapist or psychiatrist if you are already seeing one, certain members of your family or no-one if that is your wish.