I provide comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations that focus on the identification of cognitive ability and executive functioning weaknesses as well as personality factors, all of which can interfere with and even paralyze students' attempts to learn. By identifying the abilities that are the substrate of academic subjects, I can understand why certain of these subjects are challenging. Once I have identified these ability weaknesses, I can prescribe instructional strategies tailored to your students' individual learning style to fix the problems. Similarly, weak executive or self-regulation functions like attention, memory, and planning and organization can derail the learning process even when adequate ability is present. Non-intellectual factors like anxiety or depression can further exacerbate existing difficulties. These, too, will be addressed by a thorough evaluation.
Learning Disability Determinations-to identify the presence of:
- Dylsexia (Reading)
- Dyscalculia (Math)
- Dysgraphia (Written Expression)
ADHD and ADHD Evaluations
ADHD may be present when individuals have significant difficulties regulating their:
- attention/focus and are easily distracted;
- degree of effort exerted in task completion vs. procrastination;
- short term memory and cannot hold onto a series of directions, the details of what was read, or information already studied;
- planning and organization in completing tasks or keeping track of time, materials and belongings; and
- movements and report that their "motor" is always running, making it difficult to sit still, or listen when others are speaking without interrupting.
Since ADHD is an executive functioning disorder, a neuropsychological evaluation will offer the most complete road map of these deficits and how to address them.
There are times when parents would like to have an independent evaluation. Independent evaluations are usually considered when either parents do not agree with the assessment done by their child study team or simply want a private evaluation that they can later choose to release to the school or not. Independent evaluations may also be considered when parents feel that the school testing is not comprehensive enough to capture the kinds of information about their student that they want to be assessed. This is because child study teams often test for the purpose of eligibility for special education services and, thus, do not perform as comprehensive an evaluation as that offered by a private practitioner who can conduct a thorough psycho-educational assessment or a neuro-psychological evaluation.
In considering whether or not an independent evaluation should be conducted, it is important for parents to know that as of May 14, 2012, the State Office of Special Education released a memo stating that, "... districts may no longer limit parents' right to an independent evaluation by first conducting an assessment in an area not already assessed...Rather, when a parental request for an independent evaluation is received, a district must provide the evaluation at no cost to the parent, unless the school district initiates a due process hearing to show that its evaluation is appropriate and a final determination to that effect is made following the hearing." I am able to conduct an independent evaluation and help parents by coaching them in presenting the findings prior to their child study team meeting or by attending the meeting with them to present the findings and recommendations.