Center Psychology & Consulting

Diagnostic Services

Assessments & Testing

Areas of Practice

 

Gifted Assessment/IQ Testing

Children identified for gifted services in the school setting might receive services more appropriate to their needs, particularly in the early elementary years. Gifted students can be wonderfully, and awfully, intense! Intellectual, emotional and/or behavioral intensity can create feelings of being “out of sync” with their parents, peers, or even with themselves. Those children with academic or other challenges combined with high IQ can experience such intensity even more keenly. Early and accurate identification can help.

Individual cognitive testing differs from school-based gifted testing in significant ways.  School-based gifted testing is typically administered in a group, and given the constraints of the school screening process, little context for results is provided. A reliable and valid individual assessment should use measures approved by the Arizona Department of Education and be conducted by a skilled evaluator experienced in working with children. To understand results, we at CENTER interpret the child’s scores in the entire context surrounding the child, which includes parent input, observations of the child, developmental history, a deep understanding of and expertise in giftedness and early childhood development, and a clinical understanding of the purposes and limitations of measurement instruments.

A Gifted Assessment includes:

·  Intake interview with caregivers and review of any relevant records
·  Standardized testing of verbal, nonverbal, and quantitative reasoning
·  Same-day scoring and interpretation of results provided to caregivers
·  A follow-up written report detailing evaluation results and recommendations

Research suggests parents might recognize signs of giftedness by age three, but children are often not identified through school screening until age eight. What are the implications of this "identification gap"? You might not have to wait. Early identification can expand educational options, prevent later difficulties, and support successful parenting of gifted kids.

Additional consultation, referrals, or other services are available if needed.


Psychoeducational Assessment

Though puzzling to parents, teachers, and even children themselves, underachievement is often chalked up to poor choices. What are the causes of underachievement? What can be done about it? When underachievement is recognized, parents often feel helpless or unsure about what to do. But much can be done. Learn when to take action – and how to get help.

A psychoeducational evaluation can also assist in determining needs for academic acceleration and differentiation of instruction for highly and profoundly gifted learners.

A comprehensive psychoeducational assessment includes an evaluation of intellect and other cognitive skills. This assessment also measures academic functioning across areas including phonological awareness, word reading, passage reading fluency, reading comprehension, spelling, written expression, math calculation, and math fluency. Depending on the details of the referral question, this assessment might also include a neuropsychological screening of key executive functions to assist in determining the presence of any learning disorders such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, or dyscalculia. This type of assessment can assist in determining the appropriate educational placement and programming as well as other areas requiring intervention or supports.

A Psychoeducational Assessment includes:

·  Intake interview with caregivers
·  Review of any relevant records
·  Consultation to gather collateral information from teachers, tutors, or others
·  Standardized testing of intellectual and academic functioning
·  Neuropsychological screening if needed
·  Scoring and interpretation of results with detailed feedback provided to caregivers
·  A follow-up written report detailing evaluation results and recommendations

Additional consultation, referrals, or other services are available if needed.


Developmental Preschool Assessment

Clinical conditions such as ADHD, dyslexia, and others are rarely diagnosed in children ages three and four, which is not unexpected given they might not yet have been exposed to structured learning situations, nor are they developmentally ready to engage with higher-level learning and the accompanying behavioral expectations. Unfortunately, many children encounter years of school failure and frustration before learning issues are identified. During these early years, pediatricians can be alert to risk factors and “red flag” behaviors that might be evidence of later concerns. Talk to your child’s pediatrician about your concerns, and seek a developmental preschool evaluation if needed. While the presence of risk and alert factors at this early age does not necessarily predict that a child will have a clinically diagnosable condition, it could indicate a need for additional screening or evaluation. An early evaluation provides the opportunity for proactive interventions and informal experiences geared to shore up areas of concern, including pre-academic readiness skills, self-regulatory skills, changes in parenting approach, school supports, and others as the child grows.

A Developmental Preschool Assessment includes:

·  Intake interview with caregivers
·  Review of any relevant records and consultation to gather collateral information
·  Functional, play-based assessment
·  Standardized testing of cognitive, language, academic readiness, emerging executive function, motor, and social-emotional skills
·  Scoring and interpretation of results with detailed feedback provided to caregivers
·  A follow-up written report detailing evaluation results and recommendations

Additional consultation, referrals, or other services are available if needed.


Comprehensive Neuropsychological Assessment

I prefer the term “assess” rather than “test” because I think there is an important distinction between the two terms. Test implies a one-time, limited measure, while assess suggests something more comprehensive and all encompassing – which is critically important for the early and accurate diagnosis of neurodevelopmental conditions in childhood. I see an assessment as putting together the pieces of a puzzle, in conjunction with parents and other treatment providers, to provide a clearer understanding of a child’s unique needs.  

Pediatric neuropsychology is the study and understanding of the brain-behavior relationships specific to the development of children. A pediatric neuropsychological assessment can help identify neurodevelopmental disorders including ADHD, learning disabilities, language disorders, and motor disorders and also the impact of these disorders on cognition, behavior, and social-emotional functioning.

A Comprehensive Neuropsychological Assessment includes:

·  In-depth interview with caregivers
·  Comprehensive standardized testing, including
·  Behavioral, emotional, and social functioning
·  Intellect and general cognitive abilities
·  Academic skills (reading, writing, mathematics, skill acquisition)
·  Executive functions (working memory, inhibitory control, planning and organization, cognitive flexibility)
·  Focused, sustained, and self-directed attention across various modalities
·  Memory and learning
·  Receptive and expressive language
·  Visual-spatial and sensory-motor skills
·  Consultation with school or other treatment providers if needed
·  In person feedback session to discuss results and recommendations for treatment
·  A written report detailing evaluation results and conclusions

Additional consultation, referrals, or other services are available if needed.


 

DIAGNOSTIC CONSIDERATIONS

ADHD
ADJUSTMENT ISSUES
ANXIETY
ATTACHMENT ISSUES
AUTISM SPECTRUM
BEHAVIORAL ISSUES
DEPRESSION & MOOD ISSUES
DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS
DYSLEXIA
DYSGRAPHIA
DYSCALCULIA
EMOTIONAL INTENSITY/DYSREGULATION
EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS
GIFTED INTELLECT/HIGH POTENTIAL
LEARNING DIFFERENCES
LANGUAGE DISORDERS
TWICE EXCEPTIONALITY
UNDERACHIEVEMENT

(This is not an exhaustive list of the conditions we treat at CENTER Psychology & Consulting. We will provide referrals as needed for conditions not within our scope of practice. Please contact us for more information.)