Testing (also known as psychological, psycho-educational, neuropsychological, and developmental assessment) is a way to evaluate an individual’s ability to process information. The end goals are to develop strategies that target the individual’s strengths as well as support and strengthen his/her weaknesses to help the individual succeed at school, at home, at work, and with peers.
We at 3-C Family Services pride ourselves on our thorough assessments for several reasons. First, many diagnoses look very similar (such as ADHD, depression, and anxiety); therefore, it is very important that a comprehensive evaluation is completed in order to make the most accurate diagnosis. This is imperative when medication is being considered as part of the treatment plan. Second, we not only attempt to identify the problem, but also the processes that underlie the problem to help us design the best recommendations to promote your child’s success. Third, our evaluations exceed the testing standards set by North Carolina’s Department of Education. The feedback we receive from public school professionals is in appreciation of our thoroughness as well as our sensible and applicable recommendations.
Once testing is completed, we will meet with you to review our findings and the comprehensive report. This will include a summary of the testing, how we came to our conclusions, and our list of extensive recommendations. Part of our job is to share our knowledge regarding the different interventions that are available within the community or school setting based the need that has been identified. Because 3-C Family Services is a multi-disciplinary practice, we can help coordinate a treatment plan which may include therapy, academic coaching/organizational skills training, parent training, school advocacy, and/or medication management, depending on the needs as well as your personal preference. We also strive to link you to the right professionals in your community who can help put our recommendations in place.
Developmental testing assesses a child’s development. This type of testing is typically given to children ranging in age from infancy through 5 years. Older children can certainly undergo developmental evaluations as well if they are suspected of having or have already been identified as having a developmental delay or disorder (such as autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, etc.). Areas targeted by developmental evaluations include, but are not limited to, intelligence, language, parent/child interactions and relationships, fine motor skills, social/emotional functioning, early learning skills (such as pre-math, pre-reading, and pre-writing skills), and adaptive behaviors (such as their ability to perform independent living skills – brush his/her teeth, dress oneself, perform chores, follow home and community rules, as well as socialize with peers).
Neuropsychological testing is a more in-depth evaluation that typically includes psycho-educational testing as well a broader spectrum of tests. Those who provide neuropsychological evaluations have a significant amount of experience working with neurological and medical disorders (such as a brain injury, seizure disorder, etc.) and are very familiar with how the different areas of the brain function. Results of the testing are typically related to the different areas of the brain to determine if there may be any concerns with a particular area.
Psycho-educational testing is a way to evaluate your child’s ability to process and understand information and offer diagnostic information about his/her ability to learn. The end goal is to develop strategies for making the learning process easier. As part of the psycho-educational evaluation, we may test one’s academic ability, intelligence, memory, phonological processing, auditory processing, visual perceptual skills, attention, and other areas of processing. Processing tends to be a big concern these days – how a child processes information, the speed in which they process information – so we really hone in on those skills. Also, problems with behavior, attention, and other emotional concerns are evaluated using parent/teacher/child surveys (aka rating scales), observations, interviews, and other tests that are sensitive to those particular areas.