What information will I get from a psychological evaluation?
Standard psychological/diagnostic evaluations include clinical interviews, testing of cognitive and personality characteristics, a write-up of test results, and consultations with the therapist and client/family.
What is included in a Standard Psychological/Diagnostic evaluation?
- Cognitive Testing: IQ and achievement testing to determine the strengths and weaknesses of a persons thinking. General assessment of eleven domains including: general awareness, attention, verbal comprehension, visual-spatial ability, computation, abstract thought, impulsivity, problem solving, social comprehension, and judgement. Gross learning disabilities are also ruled out.
- Emotional: Assess emotional functioning and assess for depression, anxiety, deficits in identify formation, obsessive/compulsive disorders, and sleep disorders. Assess personality functioning. Obtain data regarding developmental and emotional age. Obtain data regarding family dynamics.
- Behavioral: Evaluate substance use. Evaluate for trauma and abuse. Evaluate for risk of self-harm, aggression, and treatment compliance or flight. Detect malingering, deceit, and exaggeration. Screen for behaviors that are high risk, illegal, or violate the rights of others or major social values. Rule out thought disorders and screen for organic impairment.
- Executive Functioning: We believe every students’ EF skills should be evaluated in a standard psych evaluation. EF development is highly correlated with outcome and should be included in treatment planning. Executive functioning assessment evaluates: accountability, self-regulation, problem solving, planning, organization, inhibition, meta-cognition (self-awareness), communication and working memory.
When should I consider a psychological evaluation for my child?
Comprehension evaluations are used when there is evidence to suggest neurological problems like: ADHD, dyslexia, nonverbal learning disorder, alcohol or drug related damage, brain injury or concussion, or other neurologic conditions. Our evaluations are a unique integration of genetic, developmental, and environmental history with extensive testing data to better understand brain functioning. Through this process, testing can specify the origin, severity and development of a disorder and then customize recommendations to create a specific treatment plan.
What sort of things will the evaluation assess?
- Attention and Concentration
- Verbal and Visual Memory
- Auditory and Visual Processing
- Visual-Spatial Functioning
- Language and Reading skills
- Phonology and Audiology
- Sensory Integration
- Gross and Fine Motor Development
- Executive Functioning
- Collateral information and Behavioral Assessment is sought from parents, educators, doctors and therapists when appropriate
What will I get from a psychological report?
This procedure measures and identifies cognitive impairment and functioning in individuals. It provides quantifiable data about the following aspects of cognition:
- Short-term and long-term memory
- Ability to learn new skills and solve problems
- Attention, concentration, and distractibility
- Logical and abstract reasoning functions
- Ability to understand and express language
- Visual-spacial organization
- Visual-motor coordination
- Planning, synthesizing and organizing abilities
The results of your child’s psychological assessment are intended to identify not merely any intellectual or learning difficulties, but also any other cognitive or psychological difficulty that may be contributing to a child’s profile.
An evaluation typically includes assessments of intelligence and academic achievement, but also go even further to include format assessment of the specific domains of cognitive functioning that are control by different regions of the brain, such as executive functioning, visual-perceptual abilities, information processing, attention and concentration, learning and memory, sensory perception, language, adaptive skills, and fine motor skills.
By examining a child’s underlying neurocognitive processes in greater detail, this process can provide a deeper insight into why students are having certain difficulties, what their learning strengths and weaknesses are, and what interventions can be used to successfully address their difficulties both in and outside of school.