Assessments & Evaluations
We provide a broad range of psychological assessments and evaluations that often rely on a multidisciplinary approach.
We flexibly combine and adapt our evaluations in order to effectively address the pertinent diagnostic question(s), rather than limit ourselves to a fixed, standard procedure.
In order to understand the relative contribution of pertinent factors, it is often necessary to conduct a multidisciplinary assessment that involves the collaborative efforts of professionals from the educational, psychological, legal, and medical fields. Only the specific components that are relevant will be recommended and assistance will be given in interpreting the recommendations from the different disciplines.
All of our assessments include a detailed written report, specific recommendations tailored to the referral question(s), and a follow-up session to discuss the findings, recommendations, and possible implications.
Some of the most frequently indicated assessments include:
- Learning Disabilities
- Psychological Evaluations
Individuals are referred for a formal psychological evaluation for a variety of reasons. Most commonly, an in-depth exploration of the client’s psychological processes can help clarify and/or differentiate a diagnosis and subsequently inform treatment.
School departments often require psychological evaluations to help determine whether a student meets requirements for support services, particularly when a neuropsychological or clinical psychological evaluation supports a formal (DSM-IV) diagnosis.
Colleges and universities may request evaluations when students seek accommodations due to a suspected or previously diagnosed psychological or learning disability.
Psychological evaluations explore areas related to mental status, behavioral functioning, social-emotional functioning and cognitive processing. Instruments used to obtain this information typically include a diagnostic interview, standardized measures such as self-report measures, checklists and forms that indicate how significant others (i.e., parents, teachers, spouse, etc.) observe the individual, and/or extensive test batteries that provide measures of cognitive processes such as auditory perception, verbal comprehension and reasoning, visual discrimination, nonverbal or visual-spatial reasoning, fine-motor skills, mental processing speed, memory, attention/concentration and executive functioning. In addition, measures may sometimes be more projective in nature, requiring the client to answer open ended questions, draw, or react to stimuli such as pictures or written statements.
Neuropsychological assessments provide for more extensive and detailed information about the presence and scope of brain-based or organic disorders that may be associated with impairments in cognitive, emotional or behavioral functioning and possibly, complicating underlying mental illness.
A neuropsychological assessment focuses on an individual’s processing abilities (e.g. memory, attention, sensory perception, language) as well as behavioral and emotional functioning. The individual’s patterns of strength and weakness are then related to school, occupational, and/or life functioning and a series of recommendations are outlined to help the individual function optimally in a particular setting.
Educational evaluations provide information to help parents better understand their child’s personal style of learning and the skills they have mastered or continue to struggle with in school. Parents may use this information to help their child at home and to explain their child’s unique needs to teachers and school staff.
An educational evaluation provides a detailed picture of a child’s overall potential and specific areas of difficulty and is particularly useful for parents making decisions about school placement, school readiness, giftedness, and the need for additional educational services and accommodations. Evaluations are also available for students and interns seeking accommodations on standardized tests (e.g., SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT, Bar Exam and Medical Boards) to determine if qualifications are met.
An educational evaluation is an important adjunct to a psychological evaluation and may be a requirement for school accommodations, modifications, or placement. Our educational specialist is equipped to provide the client with diagnostic educational assessment in the areas of reading, mathematics and written expression.
Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
ADD/ADHD is a developmental disorder. Symptoms include difficulties with regulating behavior, controlling impulsivity and sustaining attention to tasks that are not inherently interesting or rewarding. There is no cure for ADD/ADHD, but there are ways to cope and compensate, as well as medication to reduce the severity of symptoms. Children with ADD/ADHD are often eligible for services in school or college, due to Special Education laws and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
A comprehensive evaluation for ADHD involves collecting information from a variety of sources, not just testing results. For children and adolescents, this includes an interview with parents, rating scales completed by parents and teachers, an interview with the child, and testing with the child (approximately one hour). Additional information may be gathered from the school or pediatrician. Additional testing may be recommended if the child is experiencing difficulties in other domains (e.g., academic, reading, neurological, hearing, etc.).
Testing for ADHD in adults involves a clinical interview; rating scales completed by the adult, a close friend or relation, and a parent (when possible); a review of any old school or medical records when available; and one to two hours of testing. All evaluations include a follow-up session to discuss results as well as a detailed report with treatment recommendations.