Comprehensive testing is the most extensive type of evaluation. It assesses all areas of a child’s functioning including cognitive, academic, attention, processing, and memory, as well as social, emotional, and behavioral concerns. As such, it is essentially a combination of psychoeducational testing and social/emotional testing.
Comprehensive testing is valuable to tease apart more complex issues. For example, for some individuals, social and emotional difficulties interact with cognitive and academic challenges. The stress and frustrations of living with a learning disability can cause kids to feel incompetent, discouraged, angry, and sometimes worthless. Without help, this can lead to anxiety, depression, and avoidance or fear of school. Alternately, many social/emotional disorders can mimic the symptoms of learning and attentional disorders. For example, anxiety often looks like ADHD in that the child is so consumed in worrisome thoughts that they present as distracted. Some children with anxiety and perfectionism might work so meticulously that they cannot finish their work. Likewise, depression can greatly affect initiation and task completion and reduce attention, information processing, and memory. Therefore, comprehensive testing is necessary to identify strengths and weaknesses in both psychoeducational and social/emotional domains in order to customize the most effective treatment plan for your child.
- Following a consultation, comprehensive testing typically takes place over two or more testing sessions.
- It is an interactive process where I am working one-on-one with the test-taker engaged in a variety of tasks.
- I do not have a “standard” battery. I create a tailored testing plan for each client based on age and specific concerns. However, many comprehensive evaluations include:
- Cognitive/ intelligence testing (i.e., completing puzzles, providing definitions of words, remembering information like numbers and pictures)
- Achievement testing (reading, spelling, writing, and math)
- Auditory and visual processing (i.e., playing word games, copying designs, completing word scramble exercises)
- Memory testing (i.e., remembering stories, words, designs, and pictures)
- Attention and Executive Functioning testing (i.e., activities designed to measure focus, sustained attention, restlessness, inhibition, working memory, cognitive flexibility, etc.)
- Standardized rating scales that assess specific concerns (attention, executive functioning, mood, anxiety, social/communication, behavior) completed by parents, teachers, and (when appropriate) your child/adolescent
- Projective measures (i.e., personality assessments) that provide insight into your child’s personality structure, character traits, interpersonal skills, relationship styles, self-esteem, coping skills, and emotional make-up. Tasks may include:
- Responding to ambiguous stimuli
- Telling stories
- Drawing pictures
- Completing computerized personality inventories
- Consultation with current providers (e.g., therapists, psychiatrists)
- Test scores will be interpreted and integrated with my behavioral observations and a review of important documentation (e.g., prior testing reports, school documentation, treatment history) to conceptualize strengths and weaknesses and provide meaningful recommendations.
- Within 1-2 weeks of testing, I will meet with parents for a 90-minute feedback session to review all test findings, discuss real-world implications, and recommendations.
- When appropriate, I also offer an abbreviated child or teen feedback session, so your child can hear the results directly from me in language they will understand. This is helpful when parents would like help in sharing diagnoses with their child.