About My Practice
What is Neuropsychological, Psychological, and Psycho-Educational
Testing all About?
Parents sometimes face very important – and possibly scary - questions about their children, including:
- Does my child need an ADHD evaluation?
- Does my child have a learning difference?
- Is my child dyslexic? If so, which subtype does he/she have?
- Does my child have dysgraphia or another kind of learning disorder?
- Why is my daughter having so much trouble managing her schoolwork?
- Is my son's defiance and irritability a normal part of his development?
- Why are friendships so difficult for my child?
- Is my teenager depressed?
- Are my daughter's worries normal for someone her age?
- Is my preschooler delayed?
- Should my child be in an advanced learning program at school?
- Does my child need early intervention or special education services?
- Does my child qualify for testing accommodations?
- Why is my son so disruptive in class?
Neuropsychological, Psychological, and Psycho-Educational evaluations are used to answer these and other questions about a child’s development and needs. The comprehensiveness of the evaluation is often determined by the complexity of the referral question. Psycho-Educational evaluations are my most basic and are often used for advanced learning assessments. Psychological evaluations are mid-range evaluations that can answer broad questions, including, "Does my child meet criterion for ADHD?" or "Is my child eligible for an IEP?" For complex situations involving multiple questions or underlying processing challenges, many children benefit from Neuropsychological assessments. Neuropsychological evaluations examine several domains important for school success, including intellectual abilities, academic skills, visual motor functioning, language, memory, attention, executive functioning, and social emotional behaviors. Comprehensive evaluations can help families understand the underlying processes involved in their child's difficulties, and guide interventions in both broad and specific ways. My goal, when providing any evaluation for a family, is to create a bridge between the student's learning style and their educational program.
Why Choose Sound Psychological Evaluations?
As a licensed psychologist and an experienced school psychologist, I have focused my practice and career on providing Neuropsychological, Psychological, and Psycho-Educational evaluations for children and their parents. When it comes to evaluations, my focus is on quality, not quantity. I limit the number of new families that I take on, and when I begin with a new family, I schedule most of our appointments for that same week so that I can gather data efficiently. I encourage families to bring all prior report cards and assessments. With authorization, I am happy to consult with other professionals in the child's life. When faced with a complex situation, I administer a well-rounded battery that screens the primary domains correlated with good educational and behavioral functioning. The child's results are then compared to those of children the same age in order to determine how their development compares to what is typically expected. My goal for every evaluation is to help families make sense of difficult situations, understand their options, and efficiently pursue the best interventions.
The Assessment Process
Psychological and Neuropsychological evaluations can typically be completed in three to five sessions. They begin with a thorough interview of the parents. I view this process as a collaborative one as I believe that parents’ perspectives are important in solving the diagnostic puzzle.
That intake session is then followed by testing sessions with the child. During those sessions, I engage the child in norm-based tests and other activities that are designed to give me information about his or her strengths and challenges.
After that testing is complete, I meet with the family once more to discuss the evaluation results, as well as the interventions. I also provide families with a written evaluation report, which includes targeted recommendations. Families can use that report when requesting services from schools, doctors, therapists, tutors, or other educational or healthcare professionals. Of note, I do not consider myself a specialist in autism spectrum disorders. If a child is evidencing many characteristics of that condition, I refer them to a specialist for supplementary testing.