Psychological Testing and Assessments
Psychological Testing and Assessments
Life Enrichment Counseling Center , provides psychodiagnostic testing and assessments for children ages six to eighteen. There are various reasons why you may consider psychological testing for your child. Is your child experiencing difficulties at school? Does your child’s behavior feel unmanageable? Maybe your child is manifesting anger outbursts. Is your child finding it difficult to maintain friendships with other kids their own age? Do you notice that your child appears extremely anxious or depressed? If you need answers to these issues, we are here to help. Psychological testing is one tool that helps diagnose emotional disorders, impulse control problems, hyperactivity, inattention, learning differences, social problems, and other conditions and concerns. Our clinical psychologists will administer standardized tests that compare your child’s intelligence, learning, processing, attention, social skills and personality to that of other similarly aged children. Information may also be gathered from teachers or other significant caretakers. A report will be generated providing the child’s diagnosis along with treatment recommendations.
Our Clinical Psychologist will provide comprehensive testing to include:
• Clinical interviews
• Consultation with other professionals
• Measures of intellectual ability and cognitive skills, behavior, academic knowledge, visual-motor skills, social development, emotional development, and other areas are tested as appropriate.
Testing and report writing, can require up to 10 hours to complete, if there has been no previous, recent testing. This includes an initial meeting with the parents or caregiver. Individual testing and assessments with the child, analysis of the results, report preparation, and a follow-up meeting with the family to review the findings and recommendations.
Our psychologists are particularly skilled in assessing for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), mood disorders, giftedness, and learning disabilities. Please see information on these disorders below:
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD) are the result of differences in neurological functioning, resulting in overactivity and/or inattentiveness. Untreated or undertreated, this can result in problems with self-regulation, learning, and social development. To effectively diagnose ADHD, a comprehensive evaluation is often needed to determine if the behaviors are connected to an attention disorder or due to other emotional, social or behavioral problems.
Mood disorders encompass a wide range of psychological disorders, including depression and anxiety, that may be impacting your child’s behavioral and academic functioning at school and at home. Psychological testing can provide diagnostic clarity and guidance for treatment that may require medication. If left untreated, mood disorders can increase the risk of suicide and contribute to other comorbid conditions like substance use.
Learning Disability Testing
Academic underachievement can be caused by a number of factors, including a learning disability, poorly designed academic programming, or social, behavioral or attentional problems. The definition of learning disability is a significant difference between intellectual ability and academic achievement. Testing evaluates this difference and determines what problems may be causing such a difference A learning disability or learning difference does not mean that a child cannot learn, nor does it mean that a child is not intelligent. It is typically best to determine what factors are affecting learning – intellectual, academic, social, attentional, motivational, social, or other factors – and how to go about enhancing academic development, either through changes in academic programming, assistance through the school district, or ways to learn that make use of the skills that the child already possess. If an auditory processing problem is suspected, testing by an audiologist may also be recommended.
Children with learning disabilities sometimes develop issues with self-esteem and self-image, thus it is helpful to identify and provide assistance to help the child get back ‘on track’. Learning differences can often be managed once diagnosed; with the correct tools, children with learning challenges can succeed in school and have successful lives. Our clinical psychologist can provide the help you need to determine whether or not your child has a learning disability using standardized assessment tools.
Parents can help children with learning disabilities achieve success by encouraging their strengths, being aware of the areas needing development, having knowledge of the educational system, and working with professionals to incorporate academic techniques to support their child. If your child has a learning disability, it is often helpful to obtain the services and accommodations provided by federal education law to assist in education. Psychological testing provides the evidence that districts need to take such action. If you feel that the districts testing is incorrect, you can ask the district to authorize a private second evaluation.
Neuropsychological testing is necessary when a child’s psychological functioning is identified as being linked to a deficit in the way the brain typically functions. Deficits in the brain can contribute to learning disabilities, as well as, an inability to manage everyday tasks that require problem solving, attention, and even memory. Neuropsychological tests are often used in providing more diagnostic clarity and accuracy when a child’s academic performance or behavioral condition is not improving. Also, neuropsychological testing is used to identify the degree that a particular deficit in the brain is impacting a child and inform parents and schools whether further testing is needed by a specialist.
Are there signs that your child may be gifted, but you are unsure? Is your child using advance vocabulary for his age? Is your child easily mastering new skills with a small amount of repetition? Is your child exhibiting signs of boredom at school? Do you have to constantly keep your child stimulated? Does your child have a special skill or hobby that indicates an unusual degree of aptitude? If you are wondering if these are signs of giftedness then our clinical psychologist can help identify and provide evidence to the school district for use in developing a gifted program.
If your child is gifted, he or she will need to be engaged in a program that is academically stimulating and challenging. Oftentimes, children who are gifted are thought to be oppositional because they may become disruptive or day dream due to the lack of stimulation in the regular education setting. The psychologist works closely with parents, teachers and your child to determine the possibility of giftedness. Psychological testing may be less involved, assuming there are no other issues. If you are in need of an evaluation for admission into a private school, we can provide this also.
Our clinical psychologists provide developmental screenings if you suspect that your child is struggling to keep up with peers in social, communication or other areas. Once a developmental screening is performed, recommendations will be provided to the parents if further testing is needed.
Please contact our office to schedule an appointment for your child today. Appointments are available at our Gainesville, Manassas, Fairfax, and Alexandria office locations.
Please contact us by calling us at (703) 754-0636 or via email here to schedule an appointment.
Our Psychological Testing and Assessments Services are facilitated by:
Dr. Tracy Palmer, Psy.D., M.P.H. (Manassas Office)
Dr. Miles Diller, PhD (Gainesville and Alexandria offices)