WHAT IS PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT?
Psychological assessment is a process of testing whereby concerns regarding an individual’s functioning are evaluated through the methodical collection, scoring, and interpretation of data. The process begins with specific concerns or questions about the individual’s thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and/or functioning (e.g. academic, social). Dr. Stiffler then uses a selection of tests and interviews to gather information about the individual’s functioning in the areas of concern. This helps generate a fuller understanding about the individual’s unique pattern of strengths and weaknesses.
Dr. Stiffler can then offer diagnoses and share detailed recommendations about how to address difficulties and maximize strengths.
AREAS OF FOCUS INCLUDE:
• Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
• Specific Learning Disorders (including Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia)
• Autism Spectrum Disorder
• Intellectual Functioning
• Anxiety Disorders
• Mood Disorders
• Communication Disorders
• Behavioral/Conduct Problems
An assessment process with Dr. Stiffler typically consists of an initial interview during which she learns about the individual’s background and the reason that an evaluation is being sought. This information will inform which instruments she feels will be appropriate to utilize during the testing session(s) given the reported concerns and developmental history.
The child/adolescent will meet with Dr. Stiffler for one or more testing sessions, depending on the time needed to complete testing. Following the test administration session(s), data collected will be scored, interpreted, and summarized by Dr. Stiffler into a comprehensive report which will include diagnoses, if applicable, and recommendations.
Finally, a feedback meeting will take place during which results of testing, diagnoses, and recommendations are reviewed and discussed. A comprehensive written report is provided at the feedback session.
GOALS OF ASSESSMENT
The primary goals of an evaluation are to provide a fuller understanding of the child or adolescent’s unique strengths and weakness, identify diagnoses when appropriate, and discuss recommendations and strategies moving forward. Even when the test results do not support a specific diagnosis, useful recommendations are made to help the examinee with the concerns that first indicated that an evaluation would be beneficial. Recommendations are provided to help foster each client’s future success; this may include school recommendations (appropriate accommodations, programming, and other supports), targets for therapeutic interventions, at-home strategies and resources for parents or relatives, and/or beneficial consultations or follow-up interventions with specific clinicians, such as counselors, occupational or speech therapists, psychiatrists, and/or academic tutors.