educational | learning disabilities | ADHD | neuropsychological | autism | psychological/emotional | forensic
Evaluations can provide valuable information for those seeking to better understand work, interpersonal, and school related problems. They are used to gain diagnostic clarity to support treatment, to address educational difficulties, and to offer recommendations for improved functioning. Individuals, parents, educators, physicians, therapists, attorneys and many other interested parties can seek assessment. We can help decide on an appropriate course of action to address a particular question or concern and work to individualize the testing experience to best meet a person’s needs in an efficient and thoughtful manner. The testing process is unfamiliar to many, and we aim to help individuals and organizations learn more about the numerous benefits of formal assessment as well as facilitating comfort and understanding when it is under way. We primarily provide testing services to clients ages three and up, but some autism screenings are conducted for toddlers.
Educational assessment is helpful in identifying areas of cognitive and academic strength and weakness. It can assist in clarifying why a student may be struggling in a particular subject area or with school in general. It may also help to determine placement in an appropriate classroom, develop a 504 accommodation plan, or support older students in making study and career decisions. In addition to providing careful analysis of standardized tests and measures, Washington Psychology Associates evaluators are thorough in their exploration of behavioral observations and proficient in screening for learning disabilities, attention problems, perceptual difficulties, and potential speech/language deficits. A personalized report is created based on data obtained through testing sessions and consultation with parents, teachers, and other knowledgeable parties. Recommendations are made to best support the educational needs of the individual. At times, further evaluation may be indicated. Referrals to qualified occupational therapists, speech/language pathologists, and other professionals are available in addition to supplemental testing services offered by Washington Psychology Associates that target more complex diagnostic questions related to the learning process.
Who can benefit from an educational assessment?
- Individuals experiencing academic difficulty and are not sure why
- Children and adolescents applying to private schools that require assessment as part of the application process
- Students having difficulty reaching their potential in the academic environment
- Children who may qualify for gifted and talented or other accelerated programs
- Students exhibiting signs of ADHD, and/or learning disabilities that may require special accommodations to support their educational endeavors and standardized test taking
- College and graduate students applying to further their education
Washington Psychology Associates evaluators understand that it is often very difficult for concerned parents and teachers to determine what is preventing a student from achieving his or her potential in the school environment. Learning differences take many forms and can be challenging to pinpoint. They can also lead to emotional distress, behavioral problems, school refusal, and family conflict. We take a careful and thorough approach to assessing learning difficulties and generate reports that can be utilized to create individualized educational programs, assist teachers in planning how to best present material, secure accommodations such as extra time on tests, make referrals for tutoring, and many other recommendations that have the potential to greatly impact a student’s success in school.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Attention is not a unitary construct, but rather an interconnected system of component functions. These functions include the ability to focus on and execute a task, the ability to sustain attention over time, the ability to shift attention from one activity to another, and the ability to maintain information in memory while processing it or manipulating it in some fashion (encoding). Similarly, hyperactivity has many presentations and may have numerous underlying causes, including neurological impairment, emotional factors, and medical issues. Washington Psychology Associates evaluators utilize a comprehensive battery of tests to identify ADHD and (often) associated executive dysfunction and then describe the nature of an individual’s particular challenge(s) when reporting findings.
Neuropsychological testing may be indicated to gain further information about an individual’s cognitive functioning, sensory/information processing, attention, focus, memory, executive functioning and learning style. Washington Psychology Associates evaluators utilize a variety of reliable standardized measures to address more complex issues related to mood, behavior, diagnosis and functional level.
We offer a range of services when questions surrounding Autism diagnosis arise. Sometimes thorough consultation will suffice. At other points, a more formal screening or comprehensive evaluation is indicated. The nature of our work together will depend on individual needs--but will always be centered on thoughtful collaboration and empirically-rooted, up-to-date best practices. We utilize familiar measures such as the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule--2nd Edition (ADOS-2), Autism Diagnostic Interview--Revised (ADI-R) along with various cognitive, adaptive, educational, social/emotional/behavioral assessments. We offer opportunities for in-home and in-school observation and regularly seek feedback from observers (i.e. teachers, parents, significant others) to round out appreciation for an individual's functioning across settings and changing circumstances.
Tests of emotional and personality functioning include measures that help bring aspects of an individual’s inner world to light and contribute to a better understanding of mood, behavior, academic and job performance, interpersonal relationships, and periods of crisis. We view the testing process as a collaborative experience in which children, adolescents, and adults participate in developing an accurate and personalized snapshot of their psychological functioning. Assessments provide important information that helps individuals, parents, partners, and professionals facilitate healthier, more satisfying, and successful ways of living.
Who can benefit from psychological evaluation?
- Individuals experiencing troublesome mood states (i.e. anxiety, depression), behaviors (i.e. eating disorders, sleep disturbance), or other confusing and distressing symptoms
- Children exhibiting maladaptive behavior, mood problems, school issues
- People with complex histories who may have suffered from trauma, loss, or other difficult situations and want to better understand the impact of earlier events on current functioning and gain insight regarding effective coping strategies
- Children displaying behavior associated with Autism and other developmental disorders
- Adults contemplating major life changes or managing difficult adjustments (career moves, divorce, medical procedures) who wish to have a better understanding of their own thought processes, underlying feelings, and behavior
- People relying on maladaptive coping strategies (i.e. self-harm, substance abuse, avoidance and isolation, electronics-dependence)
- Individuals questioning why they are not performing up to their potential at school, at work, or in relationships.
- Children, adolescents, and adults already engaged in therapy or other interventions whose treatment providers seek additional information for diagnostic clarity or to better inform decisions related to course of therapy or medical intervention
Forensic evaluations are assessments that are often required for court proceedings and can be utilized to make determinations ranging from competency to stand trial to appropriate therapeutic intervention. Forensic assessments may include a combination of cognitive, emotional, personality, and neuropsychological tests that measure an individual’s current level of functioning. At present, Washington Psychology Associates accepts referrals from attorneys and individuals to provide comprehensive evaluations of children, adolescents, and adults targeting mental status, psychological and educational functioning, and treatment planning. We have specialized interest and expertise in evaluating children with histories of abuse, neglect, and other trauma and adolescents involved in the Juvenile criminal system.