evaluation

An initial consultation helps to determine what type of evaluation is needed to answer the questions at hand.  An initial consultation includes a 1.5 hour meeting with parents or the young adult to be evaluated to discuss chief concerns and background information.  Parents and teachers are asked to complete questionnaires to provide information about background and current functioning.  Educational and medical records are reviewed.  At the end of the consultation, I will propose a plan for further evaluating the concerns at hand.  I have conducted such consultations with out of town families as well, via Skype or telephone in order to help them take the first step towards a better educational outcome for their child.

Evaluations may include some or all of the following:

  • A diagnostic interview and/or semi-structured play and observation session with the child, depending on their age
  • Psychoeducational Evaluation (Assessment of intelligence/cognitive development, academic skills, and social, emotional, and behavioral functioning)
  • Neuropsychological Evaluation (a psychoeducational evaluation, plus assessments of attention, executive functioning, motor skills, language, visual processing, learning and memory)
  • Vocational interests assessment for older teens and young adults
  • Classroom observation
  • Speaking with collateral sources (teachers, school psychologists, therapists, etc.)

Evaluations may be conducted to explore the following areas:

  • Learning Disabilities and Learning Differences
  • Reading, dyslexia
  • Mathematics
  • Written Language
  • Visual Processing
  • Learning and Memory
  • A students’ strengths and weaknesses without regard to any specific diagnosis
  • Attention and Executive Functioning Deficits
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Language Disorders
  • Intellectual Disabilities
  • Neurological conditions that may affect learning (e.g., epilepsy, brain tumor, hydrocephalus, traumatic brain injury)
  • Social difficulties
  • Emotional difficulties (e.g., anxiety, depression)
  • Behavioral difficulties (e.g., hyperactivity, impulsivity, oppositional behavior)
  • Giftedness

Reasons to seek an evaluation include:

  • Educational planning – to help make decisions about schools and services that will be a good fit for your child
  • Inform the development of an Individualized Education Plan
  • To formulate a therapeutic plan, which may include psychotherapy, speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, counseling, tutoring, etc.
  • To help determine if a child may be eligible for services at their school or through their school district
  • To determine if one may qualify for accommodations and modifications for standardized tests or in the classroom, including the SSAT, ISEE, SAT, SAT II subject tests, ACT, LSAT, GMAT, MCAT, USMLE and all professional licensing exams.
  • Evaluations are sometimes required for admissions at specialized schools. The evaluation can be tailored to meet the requirements of the application, as not all schools require a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation, or they may request that particular tests be administered.
  • To provide documentation for accommodations at colleges and universities and/or gain access to support programs.
  • To provide documentation for eligibility for supports and services through the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities
  • To provide documentation for the need for guardianship for young adults with developmental disabilities (intellectual disability, autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy)
  • Intellectual assessment for Mensa

Educational Law and Forensic services:

  • I have a great deal of experience testifying at impartial hearings on behalf of the students he has evaluated.
  • Review of records and evaluations as per above for the purposes of legal proceedings.  Defendants and plaintiffs may hire me for an objective evaluation of children, adolescents, and young adults involved in legal cases involving suspected brain injuries due to pre-natal factors, labor and delivery, malpractice, accidents, environmental exposure to toxins, and other related issues.

Writing Remediation:

Utilizing the Strategic Instruction Model published by the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning, writing remediation is offered to students in 4th grade and up.  This is a highly structured and supportive intervention that targets sentence, paragraph, and essay writing, based on the student’s needs.  It can be offered in the form of weekly appointments or in a more intensive manner over school breaks. 

Psychotherapy:

My approach to psychotherapy is eclectic and combines years of experience with the modalities of collaborative problem solving, cognitive-behavioral therapy, parent management training, psychodynamics, and humanistic psychology.

Cogmed Working Memory Training program:

This is an empirically supported, home-based, computerized intervention that is implemented over the course of five weeks and under the guidance of a clinician.  Through the use of working memory exercises that constantly adjust to the students level of performance, challenging and improving their working memory capacity with intensive practice.  A one-hour visit in the office to review utilization the program is required. Progress is monitored through online coaching tools, while having weekly contact to provide feedback, encouragement, and to problem solve any issues that arise.

Review of records:

Other professionals, including clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, and neurologists, as well as families may wish to have a review of prior educational and medical records for a student in order to help understand the findings and inform decision making.

Supervision:

I provide supervision for neuropsychological assessments conducted by other psychologists. Individual or small group supervision can be arranged.

Out of town evaluations:

I have evaluated students from across the United States and those who attend English speaking schools around the world.  I welcome families who may wish to come to New York City for a comprehensive evaluation and can arrange for a multidisciplinary evaluation and intensive intervention with myself alongside longstanding colleagues from other fields, such as speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, and selective mutism, as well as experts in a wide number of other areas.