Role of Assessment in Diagnosis and Treatment of Various Disabilities

Document Type:Thesis

Subject Area:Psychology

Document 1

Thus it is clearly evident that, the main purpose of assessment is to measure and make an observation of a patient’s behavior and symptoms so as to derive at a diagnosis and have a clear direction for the treatment to be administered. Assessment is usually very important, and it can be administered or done for a number of reasons. For example for individuals who experience difficulties in school/class, it is advisable for them to undergo full assessment/test for any possible learning challenges/difficulties. For instance assessment for difficulty in memory and dexterity can help to diagnose potential conditions such as dementia. Some other assessments can help to examine whether a patient or individual is encountering any emotional disorder, for example anxiety.

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Some of the causes of Autism include, low birth weight, being born by older individual and having some conditions such as Down syndrome. Individuals with Hearing Impairments Individuals with hearing impairments, include the ones’ that have any kind or degree of hearing loss (auditory). Different people experience varying degree in their hearing loss. Therefore hearing loss can be defined as an impairment where a certain degree in the ability to hear is lost. It is different from deafness, which refers to a complete loss in hearing, therefore a person who is deaf cannot hear anything at all. For the individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, the individuals are first interviewed and in the case of a child the parents or guardians are interviewed.

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The interview is carried out so as to inquire of the developmental, communication history and other relevant details so as to identify the individual’s functioning level (Lantz, 2010). The aim of the interview questions is to try and find out the beginning of the disorder, for example if the affected individual or the parent of the child with autism had noticed or observed early unusual behavior changes such as being hyper than normal or communication difficulties. Just like in the first step of assessing autistic individuals, persons with hearing impairment and visual impairment are also interviewed and in the case of a child the parent or guardian is interviewed. In all the cases background and family history of the disorders or conditions are obtained through the interviews.

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In the case of an individual with hearing impairment some of the tests that can be of help in obtaining important information from the individuals include the Developmental Test of Auditory Perception (DTAP) and the comprehensive test of phonological processing (Mitchell, 2011). While in the case of individuals with visual impairments the most common tests include; WISC-R performance subtests, it asses the intelligence of these individuals. The other test is the Stanford achievement test that measures the learning competencies of the visually impaired individuals. The results or information obtained from these tests and from the interviews are then used by a psychologist to deduce a full picture with maybe diagnosis of the individual tested. Approaches to the Assessment of Individuals with Autism, Hearing Impairments and Visual Impairments There are different approaches that can be used depending on the category of the individuals, either the individuals with autism, hearing impairment and visual impairments.

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• The other challenge is the fact that social interaction with the practitioner may be difficult and this can be a barrier for the assessment to take place. A hearing impaired individual might find it challenging to form a relationship with the practitioner. The reason behind this maybe the difficulty or inability to communicate, as a result this can make the assessing of the individuals to be very challenging. Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder • Some of the challenges related to assessing this individuals are the fact that some of the symptoms of this disorder are sometimes a defensive mechanism for individuals with other learning or intellectual difficulties. Therefore this means that a practitioner might make assessment mistakes in diagnosing a wrong condition or disorder.

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• Parents and guardians should be included: It is mandatory for the parents or the legal guardians to be included in all the processes that people with disability have to go through, especially the process of assessment. This is because this is the process where in-depth information about a person is needed for a successful identification of any underlying condition (Oakland, 2008). • The maintenance of professional proficiency and integrity and also practice of valid judgment in helping the individuals with disabilities can greatly influence the interpretation of assessment data. Conclusion Assessment is very important, it is usually the key to a successful diagnosis and administering the right and most appropriate treatment according to the information obtained from the assessment. Therefore it is important to note that for a better and extensive comprehension of any type of disability or exceptionality and its causes, it is advisable to undertake an assessment.

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