Psychological evaluations include
Learning Disabilities Evaluation
Requires 1-2 testing sessions, depending on the level of functioning. Total time 8-12 hours. (Not covered by Insurance).
The ability to succeed in school is not related to intellectual capacities. Some children and teenagers may struggle at school due to learning difficulties that stem from neurological differences. Their difficulties may hinder their self-confidence and self-esteem, making social interactions more difficult. Anxiety and depression are a common problem among children and teenagers with learning disabilities.
A comprehensive learning disabilities evaluation measures their approach to learning, their motivation, their academic skills, as well as their emotional and behavioral aspects.
What is a learning disability?
A learning disability is a disorder in the psychological process of receiving, processing, recalling and communicating the information through language. Learning disabilities are not a result of poor vision, poor hearing, emotional disturbances, or autism spectrum disorder.
There are different types of specific learning disabilities, including:
- Dyslexia: difficulties reading, understanding, speed, and accuracy of reading
- Dysgraphia: difficulties with expressive language, spelling, grammar, clarity, and organization
- Dyscalculia: difficulties with math skills, such as number sense, accurate or fluent calculation, and math reasoning.
Other specific learning disabilities include auditory processing disorder, visual processing disorder, and sensory processing disorder.
Learning disability evaluation is a standardized process that assesses reading, writing and math abilities. The test results inform to help with diagnosis and make recommendations for school needs and accommodations as well as provide effective therapy treatment planning.
Common accommodations include:
- Extended testing time
- Distraction reduced test environment
- Use of computer during tests
- Extra breaks
Requires 3-5 hours in person, usually completed in 1-2 sessions. Total time 6-8 hours.
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects 13% of teenagers and 4.4% of adults across United States (cdc.gov). ADHD is a neurobiological condition that affects the brain’s ability to pay/sustain attention, control impulses, plan, organize, execute, and regulate emotion and behavior.
There are three main types of ADHD:
- Predominantly inattentive
- Predominantly hyperactive/impulsive
The hallmarks of ADHD include:
- Working memory: issues holding information in mind and accessing it later on.
- Activation: getting started, often procrastination, over or under-aroused to start an activity, sustained effort to complete tasks, having trouble listening and waiting for their turn.
- Emotional control: easily frustrated, does not tolerate waiting, difficulties transitioning from one task to another, mood swings, difficulties taking turns,
- Problem-solving: difficulties organizing themselves to solve problems, being overwhelmed over details, issues with self-evaluation, difficulties with time management.
ADHD is not a learning disability or emotional problem, but it can co-occur with learning disabilities and mood disorders.
How ADHD looks like?
Teenagers with ADHD may appear lazy, absentminded, impulsive, easily distracted, cannot sit still, leave unfinished homework or tasks at home, and may have difficulties in social relationships.
Adults with ADHD may experience personal and professional problems, due to inability to meet goals. They may have issues completing work, inability to sit for long periods of time, low self-esteem, memory problems, anxiety, and depression.
A comprehensive ADHD evaluation includes a comprehensive evaluation which includes a brief neuropsychological testing to measure effort, attention, executive functioning, behavior and mood. This helps ensure that an ADHD pattern exists, and it can help to distinguish from ADHD look alike disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and oppositional defiant disorders.
A typical evaluation requires 3-5 hours in person and it is usually completed in 1-2 sessions. Test results will help to clarify the diagnosis and it will assist in more accurate recommendations and treatment planning.
Medication may also be recommended at the discretion of their prescribing physician. If additional concerns exist, additional testing may be necessary.
Vocational / Career Assessment
Requires 2-3 hours in person. Total 4-6 hours.
A vocational assessment measures cognitive abilities, personality traits and interests, as well as working styles of each individual.
It integrates career focused interview with standardized vocational testing. It also provides a better understanding of unique abilities, intellectual capacity, personality style, and areas of interest.
The results help provide recommendations to better identify a career path for the student/adult. If you are currently in the process of a career transition, or unsure of future career choices, you may benefit from this assessment.
Requires 2-3 hours in person. Total 4-6 hours.
Some surgical procedures such as for bariatric surgery and implantation of a spinal cord stimulator, require a pre-surgical psychological evaluation to assess mental and emotional readiness and contraindications for the procedure.
A pre-surgical psychological evaluation ensures that you comprehend the risks of the surgery. It also helps understands and prepare for possible emotional distress that may result after the procedure.
Requires 3-4 hours in person. Total 6-10 hours.
Neuropsychological evaluation is a comprehensive assessment that informs how the structure and function of the brain is working at given time.
Using standardized pen/paper tests and self-reporting inventories, we have a better understanding of the person’s abilities at a specific time.
A comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation includes: measuring attention, memory, executive skills, language, visuospatial abilities and emotional/behavioral aspects.
It is most helpful when a person has a history of brain injury (TBI, stroke, sports/car accident) or has a neurological disease (multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease, etc.).
The purpose of the neuropsychological testing is to determine the level of cognitive functioning. This helps to determine current diagnosis and the severity of the deficits that an individual can have after an injury or as the disease advances.
The results help to provide specific recommendations and treatment plan to help the person improve or maintain their current abilities.