We take a holistic perspective of individuals and believe in more than a one-size-fits-all approach. After hearing your concerns, we’ll develop a plan to help you with your experiences and struggles. We will talk through questions and answers during the initial consultation and provide feedback. As the psychologist working with you, we will draw your attention to important aspects of your thoughts, behaviors, feelings, and any relational patterns. The ideal in this process is to develop a plan that leaves you feeling more satisfied, freed, healthy, and integrated.
During comprehensive psychological assessments for children, adolescents, and adults – we use cognitive, neuropsychological, personality, and projective assessment techniques. These evaluations or assessments provide clarification and individualized recommendations to clients, families, as well as with other providers. We provide recommendations to help facilitate your next steps, whether in school, your vocation or in further treatment.
Preparing Your Child for an Evaluation:
When children come in for psychological testing, they should be prepared before coming in the door. Let them know that they will be working with a doctor who is not a doctor who “gives shots” – but one who is a like a coach. We will learn about your child to help them to be the best they can be. We will work on what we call “brainteasers.” To start, they will come into a room and there will be a table and chair set up. There are many different activities. Some of the activities may be fun, while some might be a little bit boring. Sometimes it will be frustrating. A lot of times, we will work on patterns and puzzles. There will usually be some academic testing, so it might sometimes feel like school. They might have to read a little bit and do some math; things of that nature.
The activities and subtests are usually pretty short, so the child will be moving from activity to activity at a pretty quick pace. That will generally help maintain interest and minimize frustration. But, we do our best to keep them interested and engaged. Bring snacks if they need a reinforcement or simply a refresher during the breaks. Most kids like having the one-on-one attention with another adult. It can actually be a fun experience for the child.
Expectations of Testing
When to Pursue an Evaluation:
What has led you to ask this question now?
- Is this a reaction to something specific that happened recently?
- Did someone close to you (e.g., a teacher, coach, family member) suggest that you get an evaluation?
- (For Parents) Has your child brought up concerns about school or a change that he/she has experienced?
How long have you been concerned? Everyone struggles sometimes. Usually, difficulties (for children, in particular) don’t last more than a month or two.
- Have you been troubled for a while, or are your concerns very recent? Extra help and support from a teacher or parent can get things back on track. Sometimes, however, you or your child may continue to struggle far beyond a few weeks.
- Have you talked to other caregivers, teachers, or your pediatrician?
- Has therapy been recommended (and/or utilized in the past?)
- Have teachers made accommodations in the past?
- How did you (or your child) respond to these interventions? If not well – an evaluation could be a good next step.
How are your (or your child’s) challenges getting in the way of day to day activities (e.g., school, work, etc.) ? Be as accurate as possible when answering this question for yourself.
- Are you or your child having difficulty with a specific academic skill, like reading, math, or writing?
- Are things like planning, organization or following directions hard?
- Struggling socially? Trouble concentrating in class?
Are the challenges noted in multiple settings?
- Have you noticed the same kinds of difficulties at home and at school?
- Have you heard about the same kinds of challenges from multiple sources (e.g., teachers)?
- Are these struggles in the same areas from year to year, even with different teachers and classmates?
These questions can help you think about other factors that might be causing the challenges. Maybe you or your child is having difficulty with a teacher, coach, or with another peer. Perhaps the difficulties are situational.
….On the other hand, if any challenges exist in more than one setting – an evaluation to rule out any learning, behavioral, socio-emotional or attentional issues is a good idea.