What Is Evaluation & Assessment?
How do I know if I need Testing?
Psychological evaluations/ Testing provides a variety of important information including:
- Diagnostic information (e.g. Do I have an emotional condition, learning disability or Attention Deficit?)
- Determining if a student is achieving at an appropriate level. Assess if an individual is working too hard for what they are producing.
- Provide documentation of learning difficulties and the need for accommodations (e.g., in school assistance, FCAT, SAT).
- Identification of learning style, including cognitive strengths and weaknesses.
- Recommendations for treatment and intervention including the need for:
- Alternative educational strategies
- Special academic placement and/or remediation
- Accommodations for exams (e.g., Extra time, use of computer, additional breaks)
- Speech/language, occupational, or physical therapy
- Individual and/or family counseling
- Behavior management training
Dr. Cohen personally administers and scores the tests, interprets the findings, writes the report, and meets with client and or family to discuss the results. Upon request she also can meet with school officials to ensure that students receive the attention, accommodations, and supports necessary to maximize their potential for success.
1. Intake: Dr. Cohen will meet with the client or guardian/parent to gain a better understanding of the nature of the concerns, obtain further information about the child’s academic, medical and developmental history, and learn about any social, emotional, or behavioral concerns.
2. Testing sessions: Evaluations typically are scheduled over the course of one or two meetings. Adolescents may have the option of completing the testing in one full day. In general, testing takes approximately 3-5 contact hours. However, depending on the nature of the problem, the individual's attention, work pace, and number of breaks needed during the testing session(s), additional time and/or meetings may be necessary.
3. Test scoring and interpretation: The tests and questionnaires are scored, analyzed, and interpreted to determine the reasons for the clients difficulties. When Dr. Cohen interprets tests, she looks at more than just the scores; she also reviews how these scores were obtained.
4. Feedback session: After testing is completed, an appointment will be made to review the results of the testing. During the feedback session, a detailed written report is presented and reviewed. The clients strengths and weaknesses are discussed, and recommendations are tailored to address the clients specific difficulties. Dr. Cohen will provide a “road map” for the steps necessary the client to become as successful as he or she can be.
Psycho-educational evaluations are conducted for students who are struggling in school and are used to identify and diagnose learning disabilities, such as Central Auditory Processing Disorder or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD).
The evaluation also provides important information about strengths and weaknesses in an individual's learning style. This information is then used as a guide for making recommendations about which teaching, remediation, and compensatory strategies will be most effective.
Psycho-educational evaluations are also used to determine if an individual is eligible for receiving special accommodations during standardized testing, including the SATs, ACTs, and Advanced Placement (AP) exams.
Testing includes an assessment of the following:
- Cognitive ability (i.e., IQ test);
- Cognitive processing (e.g., language, visual processing, reasoning, memory, speed of information processing, and attention);
- Academic skills (e.g., reading, math, written language)
- Emotional and behavioral functioning.
Autism Spectrum Evaluations
These evaluations are conducted to determine whether or not an individual meets criteria for an autism spectrum disorder, such as autism or Asperger's Syndrome.
Important components of this evaluation include an in-depth structured interview with the individual's parents, administration of a standardized behavioral observation scale, administration of standardized parent and teacher questionnaires, and measures of adaptive functioning.
Evaluations can focus on diagnosis, but it is often recommended that a comprehensive psycho-educational evaluation be conducted to obtain a complete understanding of the individual's cognitive, academic, social, emotional, and behavioral functioning so that specific recommendations can be made for schools, tutors and families.
Attention Deficit Disorder Evaluations and Behavior Evaluations
This evaluation is conducted to determine wether a child’s attention difficulties and or behavior problems can be attributed to an Attention Deficit Disorder or if they are symptomatic of another problem, such as oppositional defiant disorder or or depression. These evaluations provide invaluable information for families for how to proceed wether to try behavioral interventions, therapy, tutoring strategies, medication, or perhaps a combination of these interventions. Testing may include the administration of cognitive ability, parent teacher questionnaires, objective self-report measures, tests of attention and personality measures.
There are many ways to be gifted. However, an IQ test is used to evaluate whether a child is intellectually gifted and would benefit from receiving more rigorous academic programming at school.
This evaluation involves the administration of a standardized test of intellectual functioning, an IQ test, such as:
Wechsler Intelligence Test for Children-Fourth Edition (WISC-IV)
- Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI-III)
- Stanford-Binet Intelligence Test, Fifth Edition (SB-V)
Intellectual tests are not tests of academic skills, such as reading or math. Rather, they measure overall cognitive abilities, which have been found to be related to school performance.
In order to qualify for the Gifted Program, a child must score at or above the 98th percentile on an IQ test. This means that he or she scored better than 98 out of 100 children his or her age, which is equivalent to an IQ score of 130 or above.
IQ tests also provide important information about an individual's learning style and strength and weaknesses in the way that he or she processes information.