I provide a full range of testing services for children and adolescents from the ages of 5-22:
• Cognitive processing (including attention, memory, language & social cognition)
• Academic achievement
The testing process begins with a referral question that clarifies our purpose for undertaking the evaluation, e.g. what do we hope to learn? Why are we doing this now? The answers to these questions (as well as a consideration of previous testing, if any) will help me determine what tests to use. A full battery usually begins with an observation of a child in the classroom.
Although the above tests include language processing, I consider these to be screening devices; if your child struggles to understand what he hears or has difficulty expressing himself in words, please consider a consultation and thorough evaluation by a certified speech and language pathologist before undertaking the psycho-educational evaluation. See Orange County Resources
PREPARING YOUR CHILD FOR TESTING
I think that it's a good idea to prepare young people for testing by letting them know that you realize that their school difficulties are having a big impact on their lives. Tell your child that, first and foremost, you and his teachers want to understand the way that he learns best. All children learn differently and it is important that we let them know that the way they learn is just fine...it is our job, as adults who care about young people, to understand why they struggle and teach them the way they learn best. You can let your son or daughter know that understanding how young people learn is a specialty of mine. You can describe the testing as ”a lot of different activities”, many of which are like games or puzzles, and some are like the "school" tasks with which they are familiar.
Because the goal is to elicit a child's best performance, I conduct testing exclusively in the morning and sessions generally last for 2-3 hours; 2-3 sessions are normally required. Parents can either wait or leave and return when the session is over. Please make sure that your child has had at least 9-10 hours of sleep and a good breakfast before a test session. Medications that are taken on a regular basis should be given at the usual time. If your child feels ill on a scheduled testing day, please call me to re-schedule the appointment.
OFFICE FORMS AND RECORDS
Please complete and sign all forms and questionnaires and return them with well-organized copies of your child's school and relevant medical records. Copies of your child's most recent school-based evaluations, group administered achievement tests (SAT-9/STAR reports), progress reports and the most recent IEP are essential; independent speech and language, auditory and/or visual processing evaluations, OT or PT evaluations are also helpful. I will generally ask you to sign a release that authorizes me to speak with your child's teacher and physician so that I can get their impressions of your child's difficulties.
Seven to 10 days after the completion of your child's evaluation we will schedule a 60-90 minute parent feedback session to discuss the test results and the recommendations for treatment. This is your opportunity to make sure that you have a clear understanding of the answers to your referral questions as well as an idea of where you might go from there. I will make referrals to other educational professionals when appropriate.
THE EVALUATION REPORT
Following the parent feedback session and the payment of the final invoice, a detailed written report of my findings, formal diagnoses (if any) and recommendations for treatment will be mailed to the parents. This usually takes about 6 weeks, or, as many as 8 weeks if there are holidays in between or scheduled time out of the office. The distribution of this report is solely at the discretion of the parents.