When your child is struggling, the most helpful first step can involve a careful assessment of the factors that are contributing to the struggle. Our team will work closely with you to identify the specific question or questions you would like an assessment to address and then to develop an assessment process that will answer your questions. We offer several different types of assessment:
If your child is struggling with school or learning, an evaluation may be helpful in answering questions such as:
In a psychoeducational assessment, a clinician will work with your child individually to assess cognitive ability, academic achievement, memory and learning, and social and emotional functioning. A neuropsychological evaluation is similar, but in addition to the areas outlined above, provides a more in depth assessment of strengths and needs underlying the learning process, including linguistic processing, visual, perceptual and motor skills, attention and executive functioning. A neuropsychological evaluation can address all of the questions addressed by a psychoeducational evaluation, and is particularly appropriate in more complex cases or when investigating how brain or other medical disorders might be affecting learning.
Through a careful integration of these assessment results with feedback from parents and classroom teachers, and observations of behavior in the office and in the classroom, the psychologist or neuropsychologist will develop an understanding of the barriers that are getting in your child’s way. You will be provided with a written report of the findings, along with a specific list of recommendations tailored to meet the needs of your child and your family. Our team, with your consent, will participate in meetings at your child’s school to share the results of the assessment and our recommendations.
For children who struggle with regulating their attention, behavior, or impulsivity, but who are not experiencing difficulty academically, we offer streamlined assessments for ADHD (children with attentional concerns who also have academic issues will be referred for a psychoeducational or neuropsychological evaluation). Psychologists will interview you and your child, as well as your child’s classroom teacher, and will administer standardized checklists to assess executive function, impulsivity, attention regulation, and activity regulation. We may also observe your child at school. We will integrate all of this information to answer the question of whether your child has ADHD. If we do diagnose ADHD, we will also provide psychoeducation on what ADHD is and what research suggests as the most effective treatments, as well as a list of specific recommendations tailored to the needs of your child.
Sometimes, our youngest children struggle to regulate their very strong emotions and/or their behaviors. They may have frequent and intense tantrums at home or at child care, or they have difficulty learning the things that other children seem to be learning. For children under the age of 6 or 7, an early childhood assessment may be the best way to understand the factors that are getting in a child’s way, and to inform appropriate intervention. Our psychologists will meet with you for an extended clinical interview, will observe your child in a child care environment (if applicable) and will interact with your child in a play-based meeting in our offices. In addition, depending on the issues, the psychologist may administer formal measures of adaptation/development (standardized forms for parents and teachers and/or a play-based measure for children). Results will be integrated, and you will be provided with a comprehensive report summarizing our assessment of your child’s strengths and needs, and recommendations for a treatment plan.
Language evaluations, conducted by a certified speech and language pathologist, are available to address the following concerns:
In a language assessment, a clinician will assess strengths and weaknesses in communication skills. A speech-language pathologist will use standardized measures along with teacher/parent interviews and observations to determine strengths and weaknesses in both understanding and using language. The speech-language pathologist will help to identify specific areas of receptive (understanding what is said) and expressive language (ability to express oneself), and develop a better understanding of how your child uses these skills to communicate at home and at school . An evaluation report will be provided to parents as well as a feedback session to go over findings and offer specific recommendations for your child. School consultation is also offered.
A social language assessment is different than a language assessment; in that, it looks at the way your child communicates socially. It takes into consideration not only social use (pragmatic language), but also the way in which your child interprets social situations across his or her day. A social language assessment includes three or more formal assessments (including rating scales) and portions of Michelle Garcia Winner’s Informal Dynamic Assessment to assess social communication abilities in more dynamic fashion or in ‘real time’. The standardized assessments would assess various social cognitive abilities i.e. problem solving, interpreting nonverbal language, supporting peers. Parent/ teacher interview and observation would be a key piece of this assessment. A comprehensive and thorough evaluation report is provided along with recommendations for school and home.