Psychoeducational evaluations provide information regarding a child’s performance at school. Most often parents/guardians have concerns regarding their child struggling in school, and are unsure where to begin. A psychoeducational evaluation will help further pinpoint this exact area, in addition to providing recommendations for the school and home environment. These evaluations typically utilize one cognitive (IQ) measure as well as a standardized academic measure to indicate school achievement across reading, writing, and math. Additionally, input from parents and teachers are incorporated in order to get a more comprehensive view of what is going on in the educational environment as well as the home environment.
In addition to identifying areas of concern, this evaluation will also recognize areas where your child excels and the particular learning style in which they will likely do their best. At the feedback session, you will receive a copy of your child’s evaluation report including test results, diagnostic impressions, and specifically tailored recommendations, including potential interventions.
Comprehensive Psychological Evaluation
A comprehensive psychological evaluation assesses a child’s functioning in a wide variety of areas associated with learning, behavior, social skills, emotional functioning, attention and cognitive processing (overall cognitive ability/IQ, verbal reasoning, nonverbal reasoning, memory, and executive function). These evaluations typically take longer to administer and thus may require multiple testing sessions (depending on the age and attention span of the child). Using the information acquired through the evaluation, we can evaluate and diagnose disorders such as specific learning disabilities (e.g., dyslexia), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Anxiety and Mood Disorders (e.g., Generalized Anxiety Disorder), behavior disorders (e.g., Oppositional Defiant Disorder) and more.
In addition to standardized performance-based assessments, the comprehensive psychological evaluation will also include a records review, a clinical/developmental history interview with caregiver(s), questionnaires/rating scales completed by parents/guardians and/or school staff, and behavioral observations throughout the testing. At the feedback session, you will receive a copy of your child’s evaluation report including test results, diagnostic impressions, and specifically tailored recommendations.
What is the difference between a comprehensive psychological evaluation and a neuropsychological evaluation? Do I need a neuropsychological evaluation for my child?
A standard psychological assessment typically evaluates general cognitive and personality functioning and is geared to diagnose various conditions, as well as understand an individual’s strengths and weaknesses.
Neuropsychological assessment evaluates neurological or neurodevelopmental disorders, including the etiology and evolution of a disorder. While neuropsychological testing may provide a deeper understanding of cognitive functioning, the same tests are often utilized, which often results in the same conclusions when it comes to diagnoses. Neuropsychological assessments may also incorporate assessment of fine motor skills as well as sensory integration. Areas in which a neuropsychologist’s evaluation is preferred include the extent of damage to the brain such as the diagnosis of a Mild or Major Neurocognitive Disorder, concussion, chemical and toxic exposures, traumatic brain injury (TBI) or severe psychological trauma.
Unless there is a specific medical reason for a Neuropsychological assessment (like a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or severe psychological trauma) a comprehensive Psychological Evaluation should meet all your needs.
Diagnostic testing is utilized if a parent or guardian already has a strong suspicion of the issue at hand, or if a doctor or professional has already indicated that your child is suffering from a specific disorder. The testing required for diagnostic testing is typically less than that of a comprehensive psychological evaluation and may include a cognitive battery, rating scales, and developmental history interview with the caregiver(s). Examples of instances for diagnostic testing include suspicion of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and depression. At the feedback session, you will receive a copy of your child’s evaluation report including test results, diagnostic impressions, and specifically tailored recommendations, including potential interventions.
Autism Spectrum Testing
It appears that nowadays, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is discussed more than ever. It is important that ASD is diagnosed using the best available materials as well as utilizing best practices from a qualified professional. Our ASD testing and diagnosis utilizes multiple formats in order to ensure accuracy, including standardized testing (using the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-2nd Edition; ADOS-II), an extensive developmental interview with parents/caregivers, rating scales, formal observation, and checklists. Our psychologist was formally trained at the Emory Autism Center prior to working at Children’s Therapy Works and has extensive knowledge surrounding autism diagnosis and treatment. At the feedback session, you will receive a copy of your child’s evaluation report including test results, diagnostic impressions, and specifically tailored recommendations, including potential interventions.
Individual therapy (sometimes called “psychotherapy” or counseling”) is a process through which clients work one-on-one with a trained therapist, in a safe, caring, and confidential environment. Treatment sessions typically last for an hour. The frequency of the sessions depends on the needs of the child and family and can be weekly or bi-weekly. Caregivers are involved in the treatment. Counseling can cover any number of topics including treatment for anxiety, depression, learning social skills, behavior management, family struggles, understanding new diagnoses, sibling relationships, peer relationships, etc.
While individual counseling is often utilized to teach specific skills and attain individualized goals, therapy groups are useful to practice these skills with other peers. Practicing new skills in a safe setting often promotes confidence and also allows for faster generalization into other environments. Participants will be able to learn and practice a variety of skills including basic interaction and conversation skills, perspective-taking skills, emotion regulation, and recognizing emotions in themselves and others. Groups are kept to a small size in order to ensure that each child is receiving an adequate amount of attention and feedback.
Children’s Therapy Works offers parent training on a variety of topics. Parent training can occur on an individual basis or in a group setting. The length and content of the training is developed individually and based on your needs and interests. Training topics may include:
-Dealing with difficult behavior in the home setting
-Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder
-Collaborating with schools
-Educational and home-based strategies
-Developing appropriate IEPs
Consultation and Training
In addition to parent training, Children’s Therapy Works also provides consultation and training for professionals, businesses, school systems, and agencies. Consultation/training can be provided on a number of topics and will be tailored to fit your unique needs. Topics may include interventions, programs, and strategies for children and adolescents with unique emotional/behavioral needs, or supporting the implementation of new strategies and programs. Please contact Children’s Therapy Works to discuss your individual consultation and training needs.