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Testing for ADD/ADHD & Learning Disorders
At Brennan Behavior Group, we routinely assess for the presence of ADD/ADHD and Learning Disorders such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia. We do this through our Psychoeducational Evaluation which examines a student's ability across a wide range of areas including intelligence, focus, academics, and psychological functioning. We gather information not only from the patient but from those close to them as well, such as parents and teachers. Results from this evaluation can be used to create a plan for accommodations at school such as extra-time for regular and standardized tests and/or indicate the need for additional academic support like tutoring.
These services are offered for children and adults of all ages, starting as young as 4-years-old.
What is ADD/ADHD?
ADD and ADHD are disorders of attention regulation, which when unaddressed, can impact a person's ability to achieve and succeed. Symptoms of ADD/ADHD can include distractibility, forgetfulness, carelessness, and poor frustration tolerance. Note that a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD does not mean that you or your child MUST take medication. Brennan Behavior Group is proud to offer several non-medication interventions for ADD/ADHD when needed.
What is Dyslexia?
Also referred to as a Specific Learning Disorder in Reading, dyslexia is a learning disorder that involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words. Reading speed and reading comprehension are often weak. Most children with dyslexia can succeed in school with tutoring or a specialized education program.
What is Dysgraphia?
Also referred to as a Specific Learning Disorder in Written Expression, dysgraphia is a learning disorder that affects written expression. Dysgraphia can appear as difficulties with spelling, poor handwriting, and trouble putting thoughts on paper. A student with a writing-based learning disorder will benefit from specific accommodations in the learning environment as well as additional practice learning the skills required to be an efficient writer.
What is Dyscalculia?
Also referred to as a Specific Learning Disorder in Mathematics, dyscalculia is a learning disability affecting math. There is no single form of math disability as difficulties often vary from person to person and can include deficits in number sense, math fact memorization, math speed, or word problem solving skills. Identifying a student's strengths and weaknesses is the first step in getting help for a student with dyscalculia.
What to Expect During an Evaluation?
An evaluation usually occurs in 3 steps:
Clinical Interview: A clinical interview is a meeting with the psychologist, parent(s), and student. This meeting usually lasts an hour. During this meeting, the psychologist learns about the challenges that prompted the evaluation. The psychologist will also ask about general cognitive, academic, social, developmental, medical, and psychological well-being. This meeting is usually conducted in the presence of the student, but the psychologist can talk to the parent(s) separately when there is particularly sensitive information. Parents should let the psychologist know their preference at the outset of this meeting
At the end of the interview, the parents are provided with a packet of forms and measures to fill out and forms to distribute to their student's teacher when applicable.
2. Testing: Testing can last from 3 to 7 hours (but can vary greatly
depending on the presenting symptoms). Breaks are
determined by the client's need. There is always a break for
Testing is conducted by a “psychometrician” (psychologist’s assistant) under the direction of the psychologist. A psychometrician is specially trained to administer the tests according to strictly standardized procedures.
The data is then interpreted by the psychologist and analyzed based on the information learned during the clinical interview. The psychologist writes a report incorporating and integrating the clinical and standardized data.
Guidelines for testing:
We ask that an adult be present during the testing session for all patients 10 years of age and younger.
Some evaluations are done on and off medication; if you were asked to bring the child’s medication to the clinic we ask that an adult stay present for the first 45 minutes of testing to administer the medication for all patients under 18 years old.
We ask that you do not bring any other children to the clinic other than the testing patient. The testing day can be long and most children become restless while sitting in the waiting room and this causes distractions to other patients.
Due to privacy practices, we ask that you do not discuss personal information regarding your child with others in the waiting room.
3.Feedback Session: The feedback session is a meeting with the
psychologist, parents, and student. During this meeting, the parents are provided with the findings of the evaluation. The parents are also provided with a physical report of the findings. Reports will not be forwarded to any other parties until the
parents have reviewed and consented to the release.