The general purpose of a psychological evaluation is to assess the child’s current level of cognitive functioning, academic performance, and behavioral/emotional adjustment. The results of the evaluation are used for diagnostic clarification and to determine if the child is in need of psychological or educational services.
Common reasons for requesting a psychological evaluation include concerns about Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), autism, learning problems, poor academic performance, disruptive behavior and defiance, intense emotional outbursts, or unspecified anxiety. The goal of psychological testing is to determine the source and severity of the child's distress/dysfunction.
Psychological testing is about a 2.5-hour session that consists of a comprehensive clinical interview with child and parent/caregiver and a selected battery of tests, depending on child’s age and reason for evaluation. All test administrations, scoring, interpretation, and report writing is completed by a licensed clinical psychologist (Candice Claiborne, PhD). The following assessments are typically administered in a standard psychological evaluation for children and adolescents.
· Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI-II) is a brief test of intelligence that provides an estimate of a child’s IQ and verbal and nonverbal cognitive abilities.
· Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT4) is a brief test of academic achievement that measures a child’s skills in the areas of reading, spelling, and arithmetic. Scores are used to determine if child is performing within age and grade expectations, or requires additional assistance.
· Bender Gestalt Test of Visual Motor Skills measures a child’s fine motor development, perceptual discrimination skills, and ability to integrate perceptual and motor processes.
· Comprehensive Trails-Making Test (CTMT) measures the child’s attention, concentration, resistance to distraction and cognitive flexibility.
· Stroop Color-Word Test measures the child's selective/focused attention and processing speed.
· Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) is a parent behavior rating instrument that provides information on the child’s emotional adjustment and behavior at home.
· Teacher’s Report Form (TRF) is a teacher rating instrument that provides information on the child’s emotional adjustment, academic performance, and behavior at school.
· Youth Self-Report (YSR) is a measure given to the child to assess emotional/mood concerns, self-esteem, attitude to school, and relations with parents.
Personality and Emotional Functioning
· Tell-Me-A-Story (TEMAS) is a culturally-sensitive storytelling assessment that provides problem-solving style, coping strategies, interpersonal expectations, emotional processing, and aspirations.
· Children’s Sentence Completion provides information about the child’s self-concept, attitudes, and social-emotional well-being that would otherwise be difficult to obtain in direct questionnaire formats.