COMPREHENSIVE - INDIVIDUALIZED - COLLABORATIVE
We believe that assessment is not a one-size-fits all process. Each student is unique, and each assessment should strive to recognize the strengths and challenges of the individual. Even more, a good evaluation helps to develop a plan to support students and includes recommendations for strategies and interventions in the school setting and at home.
Assessment can be an appropriate course of action whether a student has struggled for many years or has just begun to have academic difficulty. When children and adolescents are having trouble in school, this has the potential to impact many areas of their lives. School can become a source of frustration, homework can be a struggle, and many students begin to doubt their capabilities and experience a decrease in self-esteem.
Developing a thorough understanding of learning difficulties and implementing a plan to address a student's challenges can lead to better academic performance, increased confidence, and improvements in self-esteem, setting the stage for better long-term outcomes.
The intake session is your opportunity to share your concerns and help us understand your child's background. We will ask questions about your child's academic history, medical and developmental history, and social and emotional functioning. We want to know about your child's strengths and interests as well as your concerns.
In order to help the intake process run more smoothly and ensure that we collect all the relevant information, we ask that you take the time to complete the Developmental History form available on our website and bring that with you. Other suggested items to bring to the intake session include:
Recent report cards and progress reports
Section 504 Plans, Individualized Education Plans, or other academic support plans
Standardized testing results
Copies of any prior psycho-educational assessments, academic testing, and speech/language or occupational therapy assessments
Recent samples of schoolwork, particularly examples of unedited written work
Contact information for any other providers from whom you would like us to gather additional background
In addition to discussing your child's history, we will also provide you with packets of rating forms for parents and teachers. We ask that you complete the parent packets and bring them with you to the first testing session. Collecting information from teachers is also part of the assessment process, as your child's educators can give us more information about how he/she is functioning in the classroom setting. We ask that you choose one or two teachers who know your child well and pass along the packets to them. Occasionally, we may find it helpful to speak directly with teachers in order to gather more information, in which case we would ask you to sign a release authorizing us to do so. In order to protect your child's privacy, we will not contact or respond to communication from teachers without your written consent.
A psycho-educational evaluation includes assessment of cognitive ability or IQ, academic achievement, memory, attention, and social/emotional functioning. We may also assess language, executive functioning, and other skills depending on the referral questions. The specific measures we give will be chosen after discussing your concerns, and our plan may change based on your child's performance in order to ensure that we fully explore all relevant factors. The length of testing and number of sessions may vary depending on the age and needs of your child, but most students are able to complete the testing in two sessions on separate days.
We personally conduct all testing with our own clients, as we believe that getting to know a student and directly observing his/her approach to the tasks is invaluable in developing a thorough understanding of how that student processes information and learns.
A typical testing day begins at 9:30 and can be expected to last until approximately 2:00 or 2:30, though the exact length can vary based on your child's pace. We build in time for a lunch break and ask that parents be available to spend that time with your student.
The feedback session is typically scheduled within two to three weeks of the second testing session, provided that all forms and materials have been received. Our goal during this meeting is twofold; we want to clearly explain the results of the assessment and share the picture we have developed of your student, and we also want to leave parents with an understanding of how to move forward with supports and interventions.
Usually, only parents attend this meeting so that we can discuss the results and recommendations in a thorough and open way. However, we do understand that older students may be curious about the assessment results, and it is often advisable to share some of the information with students so that they can better understand their own learning and become good self-advocates. Some parents prefer to talk with their children themselves, while others express interest in having us share the results. When appropriate, we are available to schedule a second feedback session during which we meet with your student to discuss strengths, challenges, and recommendations.
At the end of the process, we will provide you with a comprehensive written report in which we summarize the results and make recommendations tailored to your child. Our goal is that our reports be clear, understandable, and useful in helping to communicate our findings and drive interventions both at home and in school.