Evaluation 

Knowing what is going on helps focus on what to do.

The primary purpose of psychological evaluations is to provide valuable information. This information can lay the groundwork for therapy or other treatment. It can also open doors for children to have accommodations that help them achieve their full potential. Dr. Willoughby is an expert at administering and interpreting clinical psychological tests and can help you understand the purpose of a test and what the results mean for you and your goals.

Some of the evaluations we provide include:

  • Learning Disorders
  • Gifted Assessments
  • Childhood ADHD
  • Adult ADHD
  • Clinical Psychological Evaluation
  • Cognitive Assessments
  • Baseline for Concussion

Below you will find a collection of summaries of common evaluations performed. If an evaluation is not listed that does not mean it is not offered. Please contact us with any questions you may have.

Learning Disorders

Both adults and children may be affected by learning disabilities. Reasons to consider an evaluation for your self or your child may include: significant problems at work or school that affect your ability to succeed, significant problems impacting daily life tasks like managing a budget or decision making, or a general struggle to remember and learn things.

After a successful evaluation and if a diagnosis is uncovered, you will have the information and documentation necessary to formally request accommodations that you are legally entitled to. We can also use your evaluation results as a starting point for therapy to help you develop strategies to work to your strengths in life.

You can find more on the Learning Disabilities Association of America website.

Gifted Assessment

An assessment for a potentially gifted child is a way to measure how they perform in given areas in relation to others. This is a useful tool when you wish to have your child considered for a gifted program or you may suspect your child may have gifts and talents that are not being recognized. Reasons for a lack of formal recognition maybe due to the student being a English Language Learner (as a second language), or having a learning disability that masks their real potential.

Ability tests as well as Cognitive tests can be administered to review where the student stands in relation to the average. Dr. Willoughby or one of her associates can help you understand the outcome of the tests and what they mean for you or your child.

You can find out more on how assessments affect your child’s placement in Gifted Programs on the National Association for Gifted Children website.

Cognitive Assessments

A cognitive assessment measures brain function and is a useful tool to determine deficiencies, or strengths, a person may have. A typical assessment will evaluate motor skills, attention, perception, and executive skills.

The information this assessment provides can be used to determine why a undesirable behavior may be present, like why a student maybe struggling with their classes. It also can provide information regarding the strengths of the individual which can then be used in therapy to create a strategy to address the patient’s concerns.

Child ADHD

ADHD in children is a real problem that affects their potential in an education environment as well as success as adults. Early and successful diagnosis can provide a child and parents the information and documentation necessary to gain accommodations that will help them reach their full potential academically. Our therapists can also help develop a strategy for building skills that will help the child grow and manage their ADHD.

A typical ADHD evaluation involves many tests, interviews, and a medical exam. The exam eliminates any physiological reason for the symptoms. Interviews and tests help establish the pattern and severity of symptoms in differing environments to ensure an accurate diagnosis. It is not uncommon for a child to have both ADHD and other problems, such as learning disabilities or behavioral disorders.

While it may seem obvious due to a child’s disruptive behavior that ADHD is the cause, there are many other disorders in children that present as the same signs or symptoms. An accurate diagnosis can ensure proper treatment for the right cause of the symptoms.

Clinical Psychological Evaluation

A clinical psychological evaluation may be desired if you (or your treating physician or counselor) are struggling to understand your behaviors and emotions and need clarity on a diagnosis. This can also be a good starting point for therapy. Reasons to consider a clinical evaluation are often similar for reasons to start therapy: something is wrong but you’re not really sure why. Your relationships, career, education goals are not being met and you’re struggling to understand why.

Typical diagnostic tests involve screenings to help determine likelihood before more thorough exercises, assessments, and interviews.

Adult ADHD

Symptoms of ADHD in adults trend around two main themes: hyperactivity & impulsive behavior as well as inattention and lack of focus. While separately these behaviors are typical for an adult to experience at various stages in their life, if they are occurring frequently and together, it is a sign there may be a problem.

Adults diagnosed with ADHD are up to 2-3 times more likely to go through a divorce, bankruptcy, drop out of school, abuse substances, have car accidents, and more. More statistics can be found on CHAAD.org.

A proper clinical evaluation can determine if your symptoms are in fact caused by ADHD and not another concern. A full evaluation does include screening questions but also more involved tests as well as interviews with you and family members.