BACKGROUND: There is a strong need for studies evaluating tests in terms both of psychometric properties (i.e. their efficacy or ability to be helpful in reaching a diagnosis) and of their cost-effectiveness (i.e. their efficiency). These data are essential for planning a correct evaluation to identify children's needs (both educational and abilitative). METHODS: We evaluated 58 children attending for the first time the last year of the Scuola dell'Infanzia. Parental view was obtained with Child Behaviour Check-List and Conners' Rating Scales--Revised, and family socio-economic status was evaluated using Hollingshead's Four Factor Index; teacher compiled the IPDA questionnaire; children were administered Raven's Progressive Matrices, Modified Bell Cancellation Test, BVN 5-11 (a neuropsychological battery). RESULTS: A correlational analysis was conducted using Spearman's Rho (since variables were not normally distributed). These asymptomatic children show a good global cognitive functioning, but also a deficit of attention and of Executive Functions. Some of the tests used seem more cost-effective than others and there are some redundancies in information obtained. CONCLUSIONS: Our data show that there are significant correlations between different neuropsychological and behavioural measures. It is therefore possible to rationalize diagnostic protocols without a significant information reduction. A deeper analysis will require a preliminary definition of the psychometric properties of used tools
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