At North Coast Psychological Services, each evaluation is customized to address the specific needs and concerns of the client so that the most relevant, helpful and comprehensive information can be obtained. We do not use psychometrists or psychological testing technicians for our evaluations; all testing is conducted by a doctoral level psychologist with extensive training in psychological assessment.
When the evaluation is completed, you will receive an extensive report including background information, current concerns, behavioral observations, test results, interpretation of the results, and diagnoses (if warranted). A section of the report will also include individualized recommendations for academic remediation and/or behavioral strategies in order to assist in treatment planning. With the client's consent (or the consent of the parent/guardian if the examinee is under 18), the report can be sent directly to a school district, physician or treatment provider.
North Coast Psychological Services conducts gifted testing, psychoeducational evaluations, neuropsychological evaluations, and evaluations to assess for the presence of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Gifted testing involves an assessment of intellectual functioning, and is typically used in order to determine if a child or adolescent qualifies for entrance into a gifted program. It can also be used to assist in educational planning.
A psychoeducational evaluation assesses overall cognitive ability (utilizing an IQ test) and academic achievement in the areas of reading, writing, mathematics and oral language. Behaviors may also be evaluated using direct observations and through the use of behavior checklists that are completed by parents, teachers and/or by the examinee. This type of evaluation is similar to what is typically conducted in a school setting by a school psychologist. It is used to determine if an individual has a learning disability in a specific area. Based on the results of this evaluation, recommendations can be made regarding academic supports and/or interventions. Some parents wish to have their child evaluated privately rather than through the school district, or would like to seek a second opinion to further understand or clarify the results obtained from their school district.
A neuropsychological evaluation is a more comprehensive evaluation that attempts to explain why an individual is struggling in a specific area or in multiple areas. This type of evaluation involves the assessment of specific skills and abilities which are linked to brain function. A neuropsychological evaluation utilizes paper and pencil tasks and computerized tests in order to determine how the client's brain processes different types of information, and to determine if there is a breakdown in learning/functioning. This is different from a neurological evaluation, which often examines if the brain is functioning properly through tests such as EEGs, and evaluates brain structure through MRI and CT scans. In a neuropsychological evaluation, a cognitive and academic assessment is often first completed, and additional areas of cognition are then assessed. These areas typically include attention (both visual and auditory), executive functioning (i.e., planning, problem solving, inhibition, self-monitoring, flexibility in thinking), memory (visual, auditory, immediate and delayed), language processing, visuospatial processing, sensorimotor functioning, and social/emotional functioning. Neuropsychological evaluations can lead to more specific findings and diagnoses (ex: ADHD, memory deficits, language disorders, executive functioning deficits) and allow the examiner to pinpoint specific areas of strength and weakness. Further, a neuropsychological evaluation can assist in determining how a current diagnosis, such as anxiety or depression, might be impacting one's cognitive functioning. Based on the results of the evaluation, recommendations are made regarding treatment, school-based services, and strategies to use within the home setting in order to develop skills and circumvent areas of weakness.
Pediatric Autism Evaluations
Evaluations to assess for Autism Spectrum Disorder fully evaluate a child or adolescent's social/communication skills and behaviors. This evaluation includes a comprehensive interview with the parent/guardian (such as the ADI-R), direct testing that is designed to elicit symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder (i.e., ADOS-2), and a thorough observation of behavior, communication skills and socialization. This evaluation can be done as part of a neuropsychological evaluation or as an independent evaluation.