Evaluations and Assessments
Psychological and psychoeducational assessments can be used for a variety of purposes. Some of the most common include:
- Assisting with diagnostic clarity
- Planning interventions
- Understanding areas of strengths and weaknesses
- Determining current levels of developmental functioning
- Determining educational needs and achievement levels
- Determining special education eligibility or gifted and talented eligibility
- Understanding more about an individual's personality structure
- Answering specific questions about yourself or your child
Types of Assessment
Below are some common types of assessments that are used in our practice. This information can help you better understand how assessments may be useful for you or your child.
The primary purpose of these assessments is to determine a child's or adolescent's current level of developmental functioning. This can be helpful in determining if a child has any developmental delays that should be addressed, or if he/she has advanced skills that need to be cultivated in different ways. Developmental assessments are also used as part of a more comprehensive assessment to detect developmental disorders such as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Learning Disorders. Insurance will often pay for all or part of these assessments.
Behavioral and Social/Emotional Assessments
These are commonly used when there are observed or reported symptoms of social/emotional distress. They can be used to help provide diagnostic clarity and understanding around the reported symptoms. For example, hyperactivity in children can be a symptom or reaction to many things. It can be a symptom of ADHD, depression, anxiety, trauma, or sensory processing deficits. It could also be due to developmental delays or a mismatch between the child's needs and the environment. It could also be a temporary reaction to minor transitions. Behavioral and social/emotional assessments can help to determine the etiology and cause of troublesome behaviors or feelings, which leads to greater success in treating them. Insurance will often pay for all or part of these assessments if they are used for diagnostic purposes.
These can be used to determine an individual's current level of academic or pre-academic functioning. They are part of a more comprehensive assessment including cognitive and achievement measures to detect learning disorders and/or giftedness. Educational assessments can also be used to help make decisions about school readiness and educational placements. They can be used to highlight learning strengths and weaknesses, and to determine what instructional methods will work best for you or your child. Data from these assessments can be used to help structure educational recommendations that can help you or your child to thrive in the classroom. It should be noted that insurance will generally not pay for educational assessments as they are not considered health related.
These are generally used for adolescents and adults to understand more about personality structures. They can be helpful when an individual is experiencing more pervasive and underlying distress that cannot be traced back to one particular symptom. Personality assessments help to delineate an individual's coping resources, cognitions, and approaches to relating to others. They provide valuable information in underlying personality strengths and weaknesses that can help to develop effective interventions when a person is not feeling as though they are living up to their potential, or if they are experiencing difficulties in healthy functioning. Insurance will sometimes pay for these assessments if a case can be made that they are necessary for diagnostic clarity and understanding health-related issues.
Screenings are used when deficits or difficulties are suspected but an individual or parent does not want to commit the time or expense to a more comprehensive assessment. Screening instruments are less time consuming but generally produce broader, less detailed information about a client's functioning. They are often used when doctors, clinicians, or individuals observe subclinical symptoms and want to determine if further testing is warranted.