A neuropsychological or psychological assessment provides information about:
- Ability profile
- Achievement skills
- Executive skills (organization and planning)
- Motivation and self-efficacy
- Emotional regulation
- Behavioral functioning
- Clinical diagnoses (attention problems, learning disorders, anger, anxiety, depression)
Bright students often face unexpected challenges in school. Many struggle to manage a complex homework load or to keep pace with heavy reading and essay assignments. Others read and write well, but experience frustration with math. Still others have the skills they need, but just do not get the work done even though they seem to be spending all evening at it. And some students become discouraged, anxious, angry or depressed.
A comprehensive neuropsychological assessment or comprehensive psychological assessment can tell you what stands in the way of your child’s academic success and can give you a package of tailored recommendations (including recommended accommodations, such as extended time on tests, for students who qualify) to help turn the situation around.
Many students who experience academic difficulty conclude they are simply not as smart as other students and become discouraged. They may stop trying. Explaining students’ strengths and weaknesses gives students, parents and teachers a way to understand why some things are hard although the student is smart. This explanation fosters students’ belief in their own success (academic self-efficacy), which in turn increases their effort and their ability to persist even when it is hard and frustrating. It helps students to know that even if it takes them a long time, their end product will be strong if they work hard.
For some children, adolescents and young adults, the main problem is not one of school adjustment. Anxiety, depression and anger can cause distress and disruption for the affected person and the rest of the family. Often, immediate treatment solves the problem. In complex situations, a comprehensive assessment offers detailed information to guide the treatment process.
What Happens in a Psychological Assessment?
- Forms: So we can understand your child’s history, behavior and habits, we provide you with forms to complete and forms for your child’s teacher to fill out. You bring your completed forms (the teacher sends the forms directly), and we talk for about 90 minutes. Then we can figure out, with your help, what questions you want answered and what testing we will need to do.
- Testing: The testing usually takes four sessions (around 8 hours of testing), because we want it to be pleasant and not too tiring. We spend another 8-9 hours, in addition to the time spent testing your child, scoring and interpreting the test results and writing a detailed report.
- Going over assessment results: We meet again without your child, and describe in detail each test completed and what was learned, including any diagnoses and recommendations. This meeting usually takes about two hours. After this meeting with you, we meet with you and your child together to explain the assessment results to them in a way they can understand.
- Treatment/Intervention plan: After we discuss the assessment results, we complete the report, and send it to you for review. With your signed authorization, it can be sent to your child’s school, so interventions can be put in place. We also go to the school for a pre-arranged meeting with you and your child’s teachers to explain the assessment results, if that would be helpful (this is an additional cost, not usually covered by insurance).
- Follow-up: We provide follow-up consultation to you and your child on the homework process (getting through a week of homework with minimal conflict), homework environment, study habits, test anxiety and learning efficacy.
Learn more about treatment/follow-up with:
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Art from “Momentary” by Leila