Service Director: Quintino R. Mano, Ph.D.
Is a comprehensive assessment of cognition and achievement needed? Yes. According to the USOE, a specific learning disorder (SLD) is a "disorder of one or more psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language..." As such, a comprehensive assessment is required to measure each of those "psychological processes" and determine what may be contributing to the specific learning disability. Please understand that it is not sufficient to diagnose a learning disability based only on achievement testing. Comprehensive assessment of broad cognitive abilities is required.
It is really important to understand that a comprehensive assessment provides information necessary not only for the diagnosis of a learning disability but also for the planning of individualized interventions. Without a comprehensive assessment, you (and your child) are more likely to become frustrated with incomplete answers.
What is a comprehensive psychological assessment? You can expect the following:
- Clinical interview
- Administration of standardized cognitive, achievement, and neuropsychological tests
- Broad and specific assessment of intellectual, academic, and social-emotional functioning
- Review of relevant school records and/or medical records (if available)
- Obtaining of information from collateral sources (i.e., teachers; if available)
- Theory-driven conceptualization of "what is going on"
- Full psychological report with recommendations
- Feedback session to review results and discuss our conceptualization
- Intervention assessment to determine which reading intervention is most appropriate for your child based on their immediate response
- Follow-up assessment and monitoring to determine response to intervention
Our assessments are conducted over two half-day testing sessions, each lasting approximately 3-4 hours. On the day of your first appointment, you (i.e., parent) will be interviewed and asked to complete questionnaires while waiting in our waiting room. These questionnaires are designed to assess your child's social-emotional functioning, and will provide an objective picture of your childs' functinoing that will complement the information we obtain during the interivew. During our interview with you, you will be asked about your child’s developmental and family history, functioning at home and in school, as well as reviewing any previous testing and intervention services. Children and adolescents will be tested individually while parents wait in our waiting room. Parents are required to be in the Behavioral Health Center at all times during the assessment.
The feedback meeting will be scheduled at a mutually convenient time, which lasts for approximately 1 hour. At the time of the parent feedback meeting (children do not attend), the examiner will meet with the parent(s) to review the results of the evaluation, provide a diagnosis or diagnoses (if appropriate), answer questions, and provide recommendations. We also have Ph.D. students in School Psychology that will attend feedback meetings, providing parents with instructions on how best to implement our recommendations at home.
We will also perform an intervention assessment, which may be scheduled on the day of the feedback or on a separate day. On this day, we meet with your child for approximately 1-2 hours and administer shortened versions of several evidence-based reading interventions to determine which is most appropriate based on your child's immediate response. We then summarize the results in a short report and make additional recommendations.
Can I use results from the assessment for my child's Individualized Education Program (IEP)? Yes. We encourage you to use our reports for educational purposes (i.e., seeking academic accommodations, modifications). Parents have a legal right to request that an independent evaluation be completed. Moreover, according to the Individuals with Disability Education Act (IDEA), schools must consider results from our assessment. Please note that you should inform your school in earnest if you are requesting an independent evaluation.
What is our insurance policy? Our psychologists are not providers with any insurance plans. As such, payment is required at the time of the assessment appointment. However, if you are being referred for an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) by your child’s school district, then a signed contract and corresponding billing arrangement will be obtained in advance.
Do we provide reading and math therapy? Yes, we have reading and math tutors that are affiliated with our clinic. Please inquire to obtain further information.