Psychological and Psycho-Educational Evaluations
Psychological testing and assessment services provide valuable information about a child/teen/young adult's cognitive, affective and behavioral functioning. Findings from psychological testing can inform how educators make decisions in the classroom, how physicians prescribe medication, and how parents can make parenting decisions that optimize their child's psychological, behavioral and social development. Common referral questions for psychological assessment and testing:
Referral questions from parents:
- "Can you help me understand why my intelligent child is not performing well at school?"
- "Does my child have ADHD?"
- "What evaluation do we need for Academic & Professional Exam Accommodation Eligibility."
Referral question from a pediatrician or psychiatrist:
- "Please help me understand if this patient's difficulty concentrating and restlessness are due to ADHD or another diagnosis. This will help me determine which medication is most appropriate."
Referral question from a school:
- "Help us understand how this child is performing cognitively and emotionally and provide recommendations for accommodations in the school environment."
Your student may have a diagnosis that impacts their academic or work performance.
Have you noticed your child struggles with reading, math, or writing? Do they frequently miss deadlines or lose homework or personal items? Do they struggle with major exams, particularly those with time limits? Are they easily distracted during tests, struggle to focus, or overthink to an extreme that limits them from completing the task? It's important to figure out why.
When Dr. Sherri completes a psychological-educational evaluation it is a process that includes a combination of a clinical interview, completion of written questionnaires, and a variety of standardized measures. It will identify your child's strengths and any areas of concern. Depending upon the individual concerns and questions to be answered the evaluation may include measures of:
- Cognitive Ability
- Academic Achievement and Learning Process
- Attention and Executive Functioning
- Visual and Auditory Information Processing
- Problem Solving Strategies
- Motor and Visual Perceptual Abilities
- Behavioral and Emotional Functioning
Once the evaluation is complete, Dr. Sherri will review all the findings with you and help you understand what they mean so you can advocate or help your child. If a concern is found, Dr. Sherri will make recommendations that are practical, driven by the test data and relevant to your child's needs in the context of the evaluation results. Those results can then be provided to your school to assist in their determination of whether or not they will provide accommodations at school. The results also will help your child understand themselves better, how to capitalize on their strengths, be aware of their struggles, and help limit those wrong personal assumptions about being slow, dumb, or not as smart as others that can wear away at their self-esteem.
The evaluation is comprehensive. Dr. Sherri wants it to be meaningful and helpful to your child. It involves an interview, review of past records, testing measures, scoring and interpretation of assessments, interpretation of the results, preparation of an integrative written report, and a final family feedback session to make sure the findings are all understood.
The fee for the diagnostic interview is $200.00 per hour, due for the time spent at each appointment and paid at the time of the appointment. The entire process generally takes about 8-10 hours.
Your student may benefit from accommodations to support their performance.
A thorough evaluation, with diagnosis and recommendations, helps you understand your child, and helps you advocate for their needs.
- Intelligence and Giftedness
- ADHD or ADD
- Specific Learning Disabilities - like Dyslexia, Disabilities in reading, writing, or math
- Anxiety, Depression, and other emotional health concerns
Learning disabilities, low cognitive functioning, ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, and other concerns may impact your student's ability to succeed and reach their potential academically.
Sometimes students with these difficulties might be mislabeled as lazy, unmotivated, or stupid, which can often lead to further struggles. In reality, the diagnosis is impacting their performance. Much like a student with vision trouble needs glasses to see the smart board at the front of the classroom in order to do the work, a student with a diagnosis may need accommodations to support their performance in the classroom.
Fortunately, when diagnosed correctly and given the appropriate accommodations, students with disabilities or mental health concerns are able to manage and thrive in the academic environment.
A diagnosis of ADHD, a specific learning disability, or a psychological disorder alone does not qualify a student for accommodations such as extended time on tests. Chapter 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1974 and The Americans with Disabilities Act state that one must provide evidence of a disability that functionally limits or impairs a major life activity, i.e., learning, concentrating, reading.
Just because your student has a diagnosis does not mean they need accommodations or that a school will provide accommodations. In order to determine if someone meets the criterion of a functional limitation, the law requires that individuals undergo a comprehensive psycho-educational evaluation that will determine how their disability currently and historically has impaired their learning or academic functioning. Your school will determine how that is impacting your child's current academic environment.
If your school determines they meet that criteria, adjustments or accommodations will be offered through the form of an Academic Plan, 504 Plan, or IEP. Accommodations are alterations in the way tasks are presented or taken that allow the student with learning disabilities to complete the same assignments as other students. Accommodations do not give students an unfair advantage or change what a test measures. They do make it possible for students with a learning disability to show what they know without being impeded by their disability.