Psychological Testing Assessment
We provide comprehensive psychological evaluations and psycho-educational testing for children and adults who are experiencing or exhibiting a variety of behavioral, emotional, academic, and developmental challenges. Testing can help identify areas of strength and weakness and to clarify problems that are impacting one at school, at work, or at home. More specifically, an evaluation can provide documentation of a mental health or developmental disorder that may be used by your school, therapist, or other providers for treatment planning. Our clinicians take the time to understand the constellation of factors that have contributed to your own or your child’s current difficulties. This ensures that you receive a written psychological report that is highly individualized, thorough, and accurate. In addition, our practice upholds a standard of producing reports that are professionally written, yet understandable to the people who the results usually have the greatest impact on – you! Once the report is completed, your clinician will sit down with you to review the results and answer any of your questions.
Reasons for Evaluation
There are a number of reasons why concerned parents, physicians, psychiatrists, therapists, and schools request psychological testing. Psychological testing can help provide answers and direction to problems that children or adolescents may be experiencing that can not be answered through an interview or observation. Psychological testing allows a psychologist to compare a child’s performance and behaviors with other children their same age. This allows a psychologist to identify the possible source of problems and to make appropriate recommendations for treatment. Adults may also seek out psychological testing to help with treatment, clarify diagnosis, or meet criteria for applications for court-related matters, adoptions, surgery or other processes.
Psychological assessment can provide a more accurate picture of emotional, behavioral, or academic problems a child or adult may be exhibiting. Testing offers a more comprehensive approach to understanding symptoms by combining multiple opinions as well as actual performance on psychological tests to better identify the true nature of problems.
Psychological testing can help avoid misdiagnosis and improper treatment of problems that can look similar and share the same symptoms. Psychological assessment is a scientific and research based approach that aims to provide an objective diagnosis while taking into account the individual’s unique issues and problems. Having a correct diagnosis is extremely important for proper treatment.
Psychological assessment can aid in guiding treatment, medication decisions, appropriate therapies, school accommodations and interventions, and counseling approaches. Comprehensive assessment can assist in treatment planning and direct parents and professionals to resources and treatment approaches that will be most beneficial to the child or adult.
Psychological testing can provide justification and medical documentation for school accommodations, 504 Plans, Individual Education Plans (IEPs) for school, college, and professional licensing boards. The testing performed in schools will typically not provide a formal medical diagnosis and are typically less comprehensive.
We provide psychological evaluation and testing for issues that include but are are not limited to:
- Declines or weaknesses in School Performance
- Learning Disability or other Academic Problems
- Confirmation of Attention Deficit Disorder, ADD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD
- Assessing for Asperger’s Disorder, Autism, or Developmental Delays
- Mood Changes or Changes in Social interactions
- Behavioral Problems
- School, College, and Licensing Board Accommodations due to ADHD or Processing Delays
- Assistance in Providing Treatment Direction
- Assessing for giftedness, including early kindergarten readiness.
- Adoption planning
- Verification of Disability for Guardianship
- Documention of Disability for personal injury cases
- Parental Fitness or Competency Evaluations
- Custody Evaluations
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) Testing and Assessment
It can be especially important to have a formal testing evaluation for ADHD or ADD as there are many other symptoms that may resemble some of the problems associated with ADHD. Since medication is typically one of the treatments of choice for ADHD, it is good to determine if the sytmptoms are due to ADHD, a learning disorder, an emotional or behavioral disorder, or any combination of these and other difficulties
Testing and assessment can be essential to proper treatment including:
- Justification and medical documentation to secure school accommodations, a 504 Plan, or an Individual Education Plan (IEP)
- Tailored recommendations to guide effective treatment and compensation strategies at school, home, and with other professionals
- Account for and rule out other problems that can mirror symptoms of ADHD and ADD such as: anxiety disorders, depression, Bipolar, Asperger’s, Learning Disorders
- Assess and integrate multiple areas of potentially affected cognitive areas including: working memory, processing speed, memory storage, memory retrieval, executive functioning, concentration, frustration tolerance, among others
- Assess for impact related to Learning Disability or other academic problems
In many cases, symptoms presenting as ADHD can be more accurately explained by anxiety, motivational challenges, learning deficits, or other areas of difficulty.
One of the problems with relying solely on an ADHD diagnosis from an interview or questionnaire is that other difficulties or challenges may incorrectly lead one to assume that ADHD is present when it is not. On the other end, children with strong intelligence can fly under the radar and their condition may not be correctly noticed.
Asperger’s Disorder, Autistic Spectrum, Nonverbal Learning Disorder, PDD Assessment and Psychological Testing
Psychological testing can be important in helping to identify and accurately diagnose Asperger’s Disorder or other autistic spectrum disorders. There are unique measures used to help in differentiating and identifying Asperger’s disorder in children and teens. Testing is also helpful in assessing other emotional or cognitive difficulties that may accompany this disorder as well as coordinating and supporting effective treatment strategies with the school, family, doctors, and specialists.
Parents, school personnel, physicians, and psychiatrists will often refer to psychological assessment to:
- Provide verification of diagnosis and differentiate between similar problems with common symptoms
- Gain insight into cognitive factors important to treatment and services
- Support Individualized Education Plans (IEP), 504 plans, and guide school accommodations
- Assess for and make recommendations for common associated problems such as ADHD, anxiety disorders, and depression
- Guide and coordinate treatment planning among specialists, service providers, and parents