Evaluation Services 

 

I wrote the information below to clarify what an evaluation involves and what you can expect when seeking an evaluation for your child or teen.

***For the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic,

I am not providing any in-person psychological services.

Please feel free to contact me to discuss alternate options.***

Psychological Evaluation

Psychological evaluation involves administering tests as a way to understand an individual and make choices about treatment. Evaluation answers questions about why an individual is struggling and how parents and family, teachers, and therapists can help.

 

Each evaluation is developed individually, and methods are selected based on various factors, including the reason for seeking the evaluation, the severity of the problem, and attention and motivation to participate in testing. Evaluation methods include the following:

  • Norm-referenced measures, such as direct testing by a psychologist (e.g., intellectual assessment) and rating scales completed by caregivers. These measures assess skills and behavior as compared to same-age peers. 

  • Interviews with caregivers, teachers, and the individual being assessed.

  • Behavior observations in various settings, including in my office, at school, at home, and/or in the community.

  • Informal assessment procedures, such as reviewing medical records and background questionnaires.

After the evaluation is complete, I meet with the family to provide feedback and recommendations for next steps. I also provide a comprehensive written report with a detailed narrative of results and recommendations.

Autism Evaluation

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder is most valid when multiple sources of information are used, including a trained clinician’s observation, report from caregivers, and self-report (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).

 

I provide comprehensive autism evaluation, which includes at minimum:

  • Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-2, the gold standard instrument used in research and clinical settings) 

  • Cognitive assessment

  • Adaptive behavior assessment 

  • Clinical interview with caregivers

 

​Depending upon the needs of the individual being assessed, autism evaluation may include additional testing (e.g., for concerns about attention or anxiety).

 

Following the assessment, I provide feedback to caregivers as well as a comprehensive written report of test results and recommendations.

Functional Behavior Assessment

A Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA), is a data-driven method to understand behavior. School psychologists often use an FBA when a student's difficulties in the school setting interfere with the student’s ability to participate in the classroom.

 

An FBA involves observing the student where the problem behaviors occur, such as in the classroom or on the playground. The observation informs a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP). The BIP is a concrete plan of strategies to reduce the problem behaviors and replace them with positive social behaviors.  

 

With the school’s permission, I can provide classroom observations to complete a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) and develop a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP). The BIP can be used at school, at home, and in the community. The BIP is most effective when all adults involved in the student’s life understand and reinforce the plan, so that expectations for social behavior are clear and consistent.

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