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Comprehensive Testing

 

The SOAR Program's Testing Services

The SOAR Program’s neurodiversity affirmative licensed psychologists offer comprehensive testing services, including: neuropsychological, psychological (including social-emotional), psychoeducational, developmental, giftedness (including ‘2E’), and admissions testing. Testing is available for individuals of all ages, and we are inclusive and welcoming to all. The psychologist matched to each individual personally provides all testing services, data driven reports, observations, and recommendations. We do not rely on students, techs, or psychology associates for testing, as it is imperative to us that we provide the highest level of care, based on the highest level of training and experience. Our psychologists utilize standardized testing measures and projective tools, and provide diagnoses, interpretations, and recommendations informed by the latest in neuroscience, psychology, and education research. Our testing team offers years of experience in the area. We are familiar with local public and private schools, and their testing requirements. Our psychologists collaborate with school teams, educational attorneys, and school placement specialists/educational consultants. We attend meetings for 504 Plans, IEPs, and learning support plans. SOAR also offer pre-adoption evaluations.

 

Some reasons you might seek testing for yourself or your child/teen include:

  • Treatment planning

  • Differential diagnosis

  • Medication decisions

  • Developmental Delays

  • Concerns with academic progress and/or skills (e.g., reading, writing, math)

  • Difficulty completing school or work assignments

  • Concerns about mood and emotions, including those related to sadness, anxiety, worry, anger, frustration, mood swings, irritability, etc.

  • Social struggles and/or social skills deficits

  • Concerns with intellectual and/or cognitive ability

  • Concerns about attention, concentration/focus, executive functioning (including memory and processing speed), distractibility, hyperactivity, impulsivity, behavior, and/or self-regulation

  • Test Anxiety

  • Slow performance speed

  • Concerns about language and/or sensory regulation

  • Concerns about Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Concerns related to adoption history and attachment

  • Concerns about the impact of genetic or medical diagnosis or experiences

  • Trauma experiences and/or significant loss

  • ‘Twice Exceptional’ presentation (e.g., intellectually gifted with attention, learning, and/or social-emotional concerns)

  • Giftedness

  • Admissions Testing and School Placement

  • IEE

  • Support for the 504/IEP Process (special education evaluation, including expert witness testimony if necessary)

  • SAT/ACT and graduate exam accommodations

  • Pre-Adoption Screening

Testing at a Glance

Prior to testing, we will complete an intake with the adult, or the parents/caregivers of the child, needing testing. We will work together to develop an initial testing plan. Since testing is personalized based on the needs of each individual, the psychologist may recommend including additional or fewer test measures once testing has begun, and strengths and vulnerabilities emerge. If you are not sure whether testing is the answer for you or your child, please call us. We’ll meet for intake, or for a ‘next steps’ consultation based on our preliminary discussion, to help you determine the best way to move forward.

   

We recognize that some of our patients may be limited by language, attentional, sensorimotor, and other delays. We will do our very best to accommodate, and will refer out when we are unable to do so. For example, we are able to utilize nonverbal testing measures for those who need them.

    

We want the testing process to be as positive an experience as possible. Our psychologists will greet each child, teen, and adult with empathy, and strive to build strong rapport. We will provide support, encouragement, reassurance, and positive feedback, even when test protocol does not allow us to answer certain questions, state whether a response is correct/incorrect, or rephrase directions. Breaks with children and teens may include game play, quiet time, or conversation, based on the individual’s preference, needs, and realistic time considerations.

   

It is important to understand that we cannot ethically guarantee any specific diagnosis will or will be not be made as a result of testing, or than there will be any diagnosis at all. Rather, diagnosis is based on interpretation of the test data, background history, and integration of all consultations, checklists, and observations. Regardless of whether a diagnosis/diagnoses is/are found, our psychologists will explain findings based on strengths and vulnerabilities in depth in the report, and provide recommendations and referrals. Feedback and reports are provided approximately two weeks after testing is completed.

    

If you are interested in a list of the test measures, we have available, please contact us. We are always updating our testing library!

 

Types of Testing

 

Neuropsychological Testing

Neuropsychological Testing is offered for individuals aged 5 to 6 years and older. As with all of our evaluations, each testing protocol is personalized for the child, teen, or adult’s particular needs and based on the referral question(s). Each individualized evaluation is fully conducted by a licensed psychologist utilizing the most up-to-date, evidence-based neuroscientific, educational, and psychological research and neuropsychological measures available. Recommendations are based on research and ‘best practice’ experience and feedback.

   

Neuropsychological testing measures cognitive functioning, including: intellectual skills, attention, executive functioning (e.g., processing speed, working memory), memory, language, academic/achievement skills, fine and visual motor skills, and self-regulation (e.g., behavior, emotion). When appropriate, and with proper consent, input from teachers, and/or other providers is included. School and/or home observations may also be incorporated into these evaluations.

 

Psycho-educational Testing

Psycho-educational Testing is similarly ‘brain based.’ It includes up to every facet of neuropsychological evaluation. However, psycho-educational testing focuses heavily on school-based concerns and interventions. It therefore may be more streamlined, depending on the presenting concerns and referral questions. For example, language, visual-motor, and/or behavioral and emotional measures may not be necessary for a given individual.

 

Comprehensive Psychological Testing

Comprehensive Psychological Testing includes the complete neuropsychological evaluation, along with in depth social-emotional/psychological testing. These measures include standardized checklists and projective measures, the latter of which our licensed psychologists have been trained to interpret. Interpretations of project measures allow understanding of more subconscious aspects of emotions, personality, behavior, thinking, problem solving, and socializing. Social measures may also assess social language, perspective taking, understanding of nonverbal communication, and social problem-solving skills. Adaptive skill functioning may also be assessed.

    

For each of these evaluations, findings and recommendations will be data driven, evidence-based, and personalized for use in the individual’s ‘real world’ of school (including curriculum based and standardized testing), work, social interactions, and home living. Referrals will also be offered, and recommendations will be included, for other appropriate services (e.g., speech-language, occupational therapy, medical evaluations, tutoring, etc.).

   

These evaluations are recommended for identification of: Autism Spectrum Disorders, Intellectual Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, Twice Exceptional (GT/LD) students, ADHD and Executive Functioning Disorder, and complicated social, emotional, and/or behavioral diagnoses. They are also recommended for those with complicated medical and/or genetic diagnoses or concerns. Sometimes testing is recommended for differential diagnosis, medication management, and/or treatment planning.

    

These evaluations are recommended for special education eligibility, placements, and interventions, as well as for testing accommodations (e.g., for IEPs, 504s, SAT/ACT/GRE, etc. accommodations). In the private/independent school setting they drive action plans and learning support plans.

    

These evaluations are also recommended for those seeking disability services and support, and for those requiring long-term planning (e.g., disability services, housing, vocational support).

    

We want the testing process to be as positive an experience as possible. Our psychologists will greet each individual with empathy, and strive to build strong rapport. We will provide support, encouragement, reassurance, and positive feedback, even when test protocol does not allow us to answer certain questions, state whether a response is correct/incorrect, or rephrase directions. Breaks with children and teens may include game play, quiet time, or conversation, based on the individual’s preference, needs, and realistic time considerations. (not necessary here if all testing is integrated into one page, if so, instead, this should come at the bottom of all the testing)

 

Social-Emotional Testing

Social-Emotional Testing includes standardized checklists and projective measures, the latter of which our licensed psychologists have been trained to interpret. Interpretations of projective measures allow understanding of more subconscious aspects of emotions, personality, behavior, thinking, problem solving, and socializing. Social measures may also assess social language, perspective taking, understanding of nonverbal communication, and social problem-solving skills. Adaptive skill functioning may also be assessed.

    

This testing is incorporated into comprehensive psychological and neuropsychological testing. However, it can also be administered independently for differential diagnosis/diagnosis based on social-emotional concerns (e.g., Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar, PTSD, OCD), medication management, and treatment planning.

     

As with all our testing, one of our licensed psychologists will craft a personalized testing protocol and work one-on-one with the individual throughout the assessment. (not necessary here if all testing is integrated into one page, if so, instead this should be at the bottom of all the testing info)

 

Developmental Testing

Developmental Testing is offered for our youngest patients, children aged 2 to 5 years. Developmental assessment is completed solely by our licensed psychologists who are highly trained in early childhood development and evolving research about the developing brain. Play observations and rapport building are essential within evaluations for children in this age group. We want every child to feel cared for and comfortable. This also aids performance. We will seek to uncover not only areas of need, but also areas of strength. While this early testing may lead to diagnosis, most often it provides a path for understanding which supports and services will aid optimal development for the child. Each assessment protocol will be developed by the psychologist based on the child’s unique profile, and with recognition of the best possible techniques necessary to facilitate participation and to develop an accurate understanding of the child. Within this age group, they are many limited by language, attention, and sensorimotor delays. We are able to easily and effectively work with these developing children. For example, nonverbal assessments are available. Developmental testing often includes observation in the daycare, preschool, and/or home environment as well.

    

Developmental testing is effective for early ASD diagnosis. It is effective in identifying developmental delays (including language, social skills, etc.), and identifying early signs of ADHD and learning disabilities. It is effective for aiding understanding of ‘big’ emotions and related behavioral concerns, identifying special education needs, determining appropriate school setting, and much more.

   

We want the testing process to be as positive an experience as possible. Our psychologists will greet each child with empathy, and strive to build strong rapport. We will provide support, encouragement, reassurance, and positive feedback, even when test protocol does not allow us to answer certain questions, state whether a response is correct/incorrect, or rephrase directions. Breaks with children may include game play, quiet time, or conversation, based on the individual’s preference, needs, and realistic time considerations. (not necessary if all testing is integrated into one page)

    

Parents/caregivers are encouraged to stay in the office for these evaluations and young children tend to enjoy spending breaks and lunch with them.

 

Admissions Testing

Admissions Testing is intended for placement in independent/private school settings. Depending on the schools being considered, this testing may include intellectual measures (e.g., WISC-V, WPPSI-IV, SB-5) and/or academic/achievement measures (e.g., WIAT-III, KTEA-3, WJ-IV). As with all our testing, one of our licensed psychologists will craft a personalized testing protocol, and work one-on-one with the individual throughout the assessment (not necessary if all testing is on one page).

 

Giftedness Testing

Giftedness Testing is available to guide school placement and recommendations, as well as to allow access to specialized services and programs for gifted individuals. Gifted individuals are unique, and often overlooked in regard to the specialized attention and support they may need navigating the world (e.g., social, emotional, academic). Giftedness testing is often incorporated into our comprehensive evaluations, especially when individuals are ‘twice exceptional’ (‘2E’ or GT/LD). However, separate assessment involves intellectual measures, as well as academic measures when appropriate. As with all our testing, one of our licensed psychologists will craft a personalized testing protocol, and work one-on-one with the individual throughout the assessment (not necessary if all testing is on one page).

 

Pre-Adoption Evaluations

Pre-Adoption Evaluations are available for families completing the adoption process. Please contact us if you are interested in these evaluations.  

 

Disability Evaluations

Disability Evaluations are also recommended for those seeking disability services and support, and for those requiring long-term planning (e.g., disability services, housing, vocational support).