When people struggle to meet their goals in academics, work, at home or in social situations, it is often helpful to seek an evaluation from a specialist. A psychoeducational, neuropsychological, diagnostic, or ADHD assessment can help you by identifying what it will take to help you or your child get back on track. I will specifically tailor what type of assessment is right for you at our initial meeting, saving you time, money, and frustration.
My approach is to collaborate with clients to identify the questions that brought them to seek an evaluation and ensure that their goals are met. To this end, we will meet for an initial session prior to beginning the assessment to determine the exact measures that will be administered. Similarly, after all of the assessment measures are complete and I have written your report, we will meet for a feedback session during which the results, diagnoses (if needed), and recommendations will be reviewed. This will allow you to ask questions and be sure you understand the results.
I encourage clients to discuss any and all concerns with me, especially those that may arise as we proceed through the testing process. If, in the future, additional questions arise, I will make myself available for an additional meeting to address these new questions or concerns. I strive to meet individual needs and do not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, religion, disability, national origin, gender or sexual orientation.
- DR. Molly Larson
Humans are complex and individuals grow and develop over time. Different situations and settings can bring out a variety of behaviors in people. As a result, people who struggle to manage their emotions and behaviors, have difficulty with social interactions, or describe unusual thoughts and perceptions often experience changes in their behaviors that lead doctors and other professionals to suggest several potential diagnoses and treatments. Although these diagnoses are often accurate and helpful, when treatments are ineffective, individuals are left wondering: “What is my actual diagnosis?” Determining your or your child’s specific diagnosis is vital to identifying and implementing an effective treatment. For example, if a doctor provided two potential diagnoses, a diagnostic assessment can often provide a more specific diagnosis. A diagnostic assessment is usually performed in interview format – that is, you will discuss your difficulties with me to differentiate between possible diagnoses. This clarity leads to the development of better strategies for coping.
A relatively short assessment, these usually include measures of intellectual abilities and academic achievement but do not often examine any other aspects of cognitive functioning (like attention, memory, and perceptual skills). The results can be used to determine if you, or your child, qualify for gifted/talented instruction or interventions offered in schools to help with learning disorders.
A comprehensive battery of tests that measures many aspects of intellectual, cognitive, and perceptual functioning such as:
- Intellectual Abilities
- Academic Achievement (reading, writing, mathematics)
- Verbal and Visual Memory
- Attention Regulation
- Visual Processing and Organization
This type of assessment will give you the most information about your or your child’s functioning. It will tell you if there are indications of gifted/talented, learning disorders, or ADHD. This comprehensive battery provides you with the best indications of strengths and weaknesses. It is the most extensive so it is also usually the most expensive. The information from the assessment can be used to identify what interventions/treatments will be most beneficial for future academic and occupational success.
ADHD is a developmental disorder that affects a person’s ability to effectively regulate his/her attention. That is, most people can pay attention during certain activities and for short lengths of time. However, people with ADHD have great difficulty paying attention to activities that are long, quiet, repetitive, or not interesting. These people often try very hard to pay attention and can for a few minutes but then become distracted or forgetful and struggle to complete tasks. An ADHD assessment includes both observations and tests that can tell you which aspects of attention are difficult for you or your child. This detailed information can also be used to identify behavioral techniques so you can learn to develop better control of your attention.