Psychological assessment can offer a wealth of information about a person’s personality, emotions, behavior, and learning. It allows for more thorough exploration into a person’s functioning in order to make the most informed and effective treatment recommendations and plans. At Family Psychology Associates, we use the most current test instruments and the latest technology to make psychological assessment widely available for our clients. New clients can actually complete on-line behavior rating scales prior to the Initial Consultation, to ensure that the first session is comprehensive.
Our staff offers testing to answer diagnostic questions related to:
- Learning Disabilities
- Executive Functions
- Social Skills Deficits
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Anxiety Disorders and OCD
- Depressive Disorders
- Bipolar Disorder
- Personality Disorders
At times, treatment may begin with a psychological assessment, which is determined by your provider at your initial assessment interview. Other times, people begin therapy and realize in time that they need further evaluation to clarify their symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment plan. Psychological testing can provide that answer.
Our evaluations include tests that are accepted by local school systems, colleges and universities and the College Board for the determination of eligibility for accommodations for testing. We can also assist in the qualification for special education services and the development of a 504 Plan. In addition, career testing and counseling is also available for teens and adults to identify which careers work best with your personality, abilities, and interests. We can guide you to internet based sites to help you identify the best training and career for your kind of mind. To schedule an appointment for an evaluation, visit our Contact Us page.
Dr. Smith: Evaluation of AD/HD and Learning Disabilities
Psychological Testing Team:
Abby Saneholtz, Psy. D.
Alison Singleton, Psy.D.
Monta P. Smith, Ed.S., NCSP
Ben Snyder, Ph.D.
What does a comprehensive learning disabilities evaluation include?
The evaluation of a learning disability or dyslexia requires a test of intelligence, a processing measure and tests of academic achievement. Additional tests include visual-motor functioning, copying/writing and reproducing geometric shapes. Measures of memory, attention/impulsivity and executive functioning may also be included. Each test battery is individually designed to examine the specific concerns obtained from parents and teachers. The results of the tests are analyzed with computer assistance that helps identify patterns of strengths and weaknesses that could identify the best teaching methods for your child. The results also determine if your child is eligible for accommodations on standardized tests or an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) in school.
- Do you review school records? Yes, we ask that you provide them prior to the Initial Consultation including CTBS or ERB scores as well as conference reports, Benchmark scores or Academic Improvement Plans (AIP).
- Do you review previous evaluations from doctors, psychologists or speech, physical or occupational therapists? Yes, they will be summarized in the history section of our evaluation report.
- Do you obtain information from teachers? Teachers may be asked to complete paper and pencil surveys or respond to on-line questionnaires.
- Do you have parents complete questionnaires regarding the student’s behavior, social development and independent living skills? Yes, parents complete the same surveys and questionnaires as the teachers, which allow us to compare a child’s functioning at home to the child’s functioning at school.
- Do you interview the parents and obtain a developmental history? Yes the first hour of the Initial Consultation is a parent/child conference with the latter portion of the session conducted while the child completes an activity in a separate room. This allows the parents to discuss anything that they do not want to discuss in the presence of the child.
- Do you interview the child to determine if learning problems could be related to social or emotional problems? Yes the child is interviewed and a series of questionnaires will be administered based on the results of the interview and the age of the child.
Do you share the results with schools or other health care providers?
Evaluation results cannot be shared with any source without your written authorization or Consent to Release information. You will be provided 3 test reports, 1 for your records, 1 for the school and a third one for your physician or related service provider.
Can the results of the evaluation be used to determine if my child is eligible for special education services through the public school system?
Yes, you can share the test results with your child’s Student Support Team. They will likely need to gather additional information since they are following the Response to Intervention Process of eligibility determination. You will need to become your child’s advocate as the school system process can be lengthy. Your private evaluation can help expedite the process.
Can test results be used to determine if my child is eligible for a 504 Accommodation Plan?
Yes, you should initiate a request for a 504 Accommodation Meeting which typically consists of the school psychologist, social worker, guidance counselor, administrator, teacher and related professionals such as a speech therapist or occupational therapist. This plan can follow your child throughout school.
Can the results of the evaluation be used to qualify a student for accommodations when taking standardized entrance exams such as the ACT, SAT, MCAT, GRE, or GMAT?
Yes, the student would need to make special application for extended time versions of the test which have specific dates and locations that may differ from standard administration requirements. The referring school must maintain eligibility records to show that accommodations have been in place.
How recent do evaluations have to be in order for a student to apply for accommodations on standardized entrance exams?
This varies per test but generally an evaluation is considered current if it was conducted within the past year. If a previous history has been already established, test recency can span up to 3 years. Please consult web sites for specific information for the SAT and ACT committees. Educational testing services are becoming more specific each year in the determination of who qualifies for accommodations.
How are the test sessions conducted?
On the initial visit,, we meet for the first hour and then the parent can leave the child for testing. We usually have a snack or lunchtime together and your pick-up time will be prearranged. A second test session is usually required for younger children while adolescents typically prefer to remain for most of the school day with an informal lunchtime with the examiner. This helps us develop a better rapport and allows unstructured time for discussions and spontaneous conversation.