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Types of Assessments in Israel

Does My Child Need an Assessment?

If you are not sure whether your child/adolescent needs an assessment, consider whether the following questions apply to your child: 

  • Does life feel harder for your child than you think it should? 

  • Does your child struggle and get frustrated at school? 

  • Does your child have difficulty getting along with friends and family? 

  • Do you find yourself making too many excuses for your child’s behavior? 

  • Is your child unhappier than you think he/she should be?   

​ If you answer “Yes” to any of the above, a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment will assist you in understanding the underlying issues and determining a pathway forward toward greater happiness, productivity, and success.

What Type of Assessment?

There are many types of child and adolescent assessments in Israel such as psychological, psycho-didactic, neuropsychological, and developmental assessments to name a few.  In most countries, a psychologist must hold a doctoral degree in order to be licensed to do such assessments.  This is because the integration of a child’s history, testing behavior, and assessment data is complex and requires years of training.  In Israel, many psychologists are able to practice with a terminal Masters degree and there are also individuals who obtain certification in Israel as “assessors.”  Some of these latter individuals may only hold undergraduate degrees.  Therefore, it is important to check the credentials of the individual you select to assess your child as in-depth training in assessment administration and interpretation is a prerequisite for obtaining good information that leads to a logical treatment plan.  It is also extremely important to make sure that the assessment uses up-to-date tests and measurements.  Unfortunately, many tests used in Israel are not current. 

Complicating the issue further are the different areas of specialty in the field of psychology in Israel.  Israeli educational and clinical psychologists do not have eqivalent training and sometimes your child will need to see more than one professional in order for you to obtain adequate information.  The split in Israel is a result of a historical turf war and is important to understand in order that you select the appropriate professional and appropriate assessment type.  The American training model in clinical psychology and neuropsychology is far more comprehensive and integrative.  

If your child is bilingual, it is crucial that their assessment is also completed by a fully bilingual professional as language issues are very important, are often subtle, and should be thoroughly assessed.  Many bilingual children have excellent spoken language in both languages but also lack vocabulary breadth and depth which can hinder their school performance.  This must be formally assessed and cannot be determined by everyday conversational competence.

Neuropsychological assessment includes the classic psycho-educational (psycho-didactic) tests but adds other aspects of functioning that are crucial to understanding a child’s full set of strength and weaknesses.  This is the clearest and most comprehensive way to diagnose ADD/ADHD, Executive Functioning Difficulties, Autism, learning disabilities (LD), anxieties including obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), depression, and other developmental, emotional, personality, intellectual, and academic challenges. 

Treatment flows naturally from an understanding of strengths and weaknesses that are uncovered in such an assessment.  In order to know what interventions to pursue, a formal comprehensive assessment is the most important step one can take.  This type of assessment is often used for:


  • Diagnostic determinations

  • Qualifications for services

  • Admission to  education programs (gifted education, special education)

  • Provision of necessary documentation for accommodations in school / university and standardized tests (e.g. Bagrut, SAT. ACT, GRE, Psychometric)

  • Army enlistment purposes

  • Competence determination for the legal system

What Does Assessment Involve?

A psychological evaluation is a process of gathering information using specific tests, interviews, review of records, consultation with other professionals (e.g., psychologists, psychiatrists, teachers), and direct observations (for example, a child may be observed in classroom settings).  All of this information is then integrated in order to answer questions about an individual’s skills, functioning, emotions, and behavior.

Psychological assessment can also clarify treatment strategies and interventions when complaints may not meet full diagnostic criteria but clearly lead to difficulties in functioning at full potential at school, work, or in interpersonal relationships and other social interactions.  Testing also provides a better understanding of a person's behavior and learning in school, at home, and in the community. When we know what a child can or cannot control in their behavior or achievement, we are then in a position to empathically intervene and avoid identifying the child as being willful, malicious and/or lazy, labels often applied to children with diagnosable conditions that when  accurately identified can be addressed with targeted interventions.  

What Questions can a Psychological Evaluation Answer?
What Questions can a Psychological Evaluation Answer?

Does this individual have a Learning Disability (LD)?

Does this person have Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

Is this person gifted?

Is this person experiencing a psychological disorder, such as depression or anxiety?

What are this person’s cognitive and academic strengths and weaknesses?

What are this person’s interpersonal strengths and weaknesses?

How does this person process information and learn information best?

What are the specific characteristics of this person’s strengths and weaknesses and what individualized treatment plan will be most effective? 

How can a complex set of difficulties that may include cognitive concerns, academic problems, emotional symptoms, and/or medical issues be clarified such that appropriate recommendations can be made and then prioritized?

Why Should The Assessment Be Conducted By A Clinical Psychologist/Neuropsychologist?
Why Should The Assessment Be Conducted By A Clinical Psychologist/Neuropsychologist?

Clinical psychologists are specifically trained to administer and interpret testing data, and to integrate this data with a thorough developmental history in order to arrive at a diagnostic conclusion.  Different childhood disorders result in specific patterns of strengths and weaknesses.  These profiles can help identify a child's disorder and the brain areas that may be involved.  For example, testing can help differentiate whether a language delay is due to a problem in producing speech, understanding or expressing language, social shyness, autism, or cognitive delay.


In most states, calling an assessment a psychological assessment or neuropsychological assessment is limited to licensed psychologists. Sometimes unlicensed providers or individuals who may not be specifically trained as rigorously as neuropsychologists may call their assessment reports by other names.

What is Pediatric Neuropsychology?
What is Pediatric Neuropsychology?

Pediatric neuropsychology is a specialty that focuses on the relationship between brain function and expressed behavior within the context of a child’s neurodevelopment.   A pediatric neuropsychologist is a licensed psychologist with specialized training and certification in how learning and behavior are associated with the development of brain structures and pathway systems.  The field shares a knowledge base with other professions. A child or pediatric neuropsychologist may work with other pediatric specialists in behavioral neurology, developmental pediatrics, pediatric neurology, child psychiatry, pediatricians, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists.


It is also important to note that pediatric neuropsychology is not a simple downward extension of adult neuropsychology, but involves an understanding of normal and abnormal child development and learning, developmental motor skills, and language disorders as well as diseases associated with children.  Since children’s skills go through periods of rapid change, and they are faced with increasing cognitive and academic demands with each passing year, there is often a need to conduct periodic re-assessments.  Some conditions may not reveal their full impact until later years, such as with the multi-tasking demands of middle school, or the increased volume of work and writing demands of high school.


Pediatric Neuropsychologists can also use testing to obtain a baseline against which to measure the outcome of treatment (e.g. TOVA testing to determine the efficacy of ADHD medication) or map a child's development over time.

What Should A Thorough Pediatric Neuropsychological Assessment Include?
What Should A Thorough Pediatric Neuropsychological Assessment Include?
  • Diagnostic interview with parents

  • Review of the child’s academic and medical records

  • Intellectual strengths and weaknesses

  • Academic skills

  • Executive Functions (i.e., organization, planning, inhibition, and mental flexibility)

  • Attention variables (Inhibition, Hyperactivity, Impulsivity)

  • Learning and memory

  • Language

  • Visual and spatial abilities

  • Motor and sensory abilities

  • Developmental from gestation to the child’s current age

  • Behavioral and emotional functioning

  • Social skills

  • Feedback session and comprehensive written report



Each child’s and problem solving behavior during assessment is very closely observed.  This ‘qualitative’ analysis helps to fully understand and explain the statistical ‘quantitative’ data obtained through standardized testing.  For example, it is often more important to understand how a child missed a testing item than only relying on the outcome score.  A child’s motivation, cooperation, effort, and behavior can positively or negatively affect testing outcomes. 

develepmental assessment

Developmental Assessment

Do you ever wonder whether you should be worried about your child’s development? While all children grow and develop at their own pace, a developmental assessment can help determine if a young child’s development is on track, and can help identify developmental delays and learning difficulties in order to enable early intervention.  If you are considering school choices, Dr. Aviv can also make recommendations for "good-fit" schools for your child and family based on your child's profile and knowledge of, and experience with schools around the country.  Areas of development typically evaluated in an early childhood assessment are:

  • Cognition

  • Language

  • Gross and Fine Motor Skills

  • Social Skills

  • Emotional Regulation

  • Self-help/Adaptive Behavior Skills.

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