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Assessment & Testing

Psychological and intellectual assessment takes place when a psychologist considers an individual’s current functioning in light of referral questions posed by the individual, their family, and/or other professionals involved in their lives. How I plan the assessment depends largely on the referral questions: what do we want to learn about this individual? The profile generated through an assessment is designed to help better understand the individual’s strengths and weaknesses, symptoms and behaviors, and current needs. In many cases, the information that is gained from a comprehensive evaluation can serve as a roadmap for planning and/or support for several years.

The process of assessment involves information gathering from a variety of sources: we begin by interviewing the individual (or for a child, the parents/guardians) to gain information about background, developmental history, current concerns and review previous evaluations and information. After this initial intake interview, the referral questions are usually clarified enough to plan the rest of the assessment and provide a fee quote.

In most formal assessments, we will schedule psychological testing to learn about the individual through standardized procedures and questionnaires administered in the office. Tests administered may include measures of current intellectual functioning (“IQ tests”), academic achievement, memory, visual-motor functioning, attention and executive functioning and/or social-emotional or behavioral functioning. I select tests to answer the specific referral questions identified by the client and referral sources. My staff and I will be happy to answer any questions regarding specific names of tests that will be administered during testing. Testing sessions are typically scheduled in three- hour increments, during the morning when most people function at their best. One or two testing sessions may be scheduled, depending on the number of tests/measures being given.

We may also, with your consent, collect information from parents, educators, medical providers, or other care settings via rating scales or telephone conversations. Occasionally, classroom observation of school-age children can be added as part of the assessment process. This provides us with more information about academic and behavioral functioning in the school setting. Understanding the school’s perspective and building a team approach with school staff can lead to better outcomes.

Following the assessment, we will arrange a feedback and consultation meeting with you to go over the test results. In that meeting, we will describe the tests administered, explain the results, and explain the findings as they relate to the original referral questions. Recommendations for interventions, if needed, will also be addressed. This information will be documented in a written report, which you will be able to review before finalization. The final report can be shared with schools or other interested parties if a release of information is signed. If desired, additional school consultation can be arranged on an hourly basis to present the findings of the evaluation to the school team, and collaborate on implementation of recommendations.