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A multidisciplinary team of psychologists representing neuropsychology, clinical, developmental and school psychology provide evaluation, consultation and referral for a broad spectrum of concerns, including:
- Learning disabilities
- Intellectual functioning
- Attention Deficit Disorders
- Developmental disorders
- Brain trauma
- Neurological disorders
- Personality assessment
- Social and emotional difficulties
- Speech and Language
- Occupational difficulties
- Psychiatric needs
Specialized Pediatric Psychology Services include:
- Neuropsychological evaluation
- Cognitive screening
- Attention deficit disorder screening and diagnosis in adults and children
- Emotional screening/personality assessment
- Gold standard of assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Monitoring of cognitive development in premature infants
- Research pertaining to neurocognitive disorders in children
- Feedback to patients/parents and referral sources explaining assessment results
- Consultation with patients/parents to review previous test results
- Consultation with teachers/school personel to review test results/recommendations and interventions
What is a full School Neuropsychological/Psychoeduational evaluation?
School Neuropsychological testing describes how the brain and nervous system affect thought processes and behavior. Educators and school psychologists use neuropsychology to explain why some children have difficulty learning and processing language, or developing math, reading and other basic academic skills. Because a child or young adult with a neurologically related disability may not benefit from the same educational techniques as students with non-neurological disabilities, the application of neuropsychology in schools helps to ensure all students are served effectively.
A full school Neuropsychological assessment includes testing in the following areas
Certain abilities may be measured in more detail than others, depending on the child's needs. A detailed developmental history and data from the child’s teacher may also be obtained. Observing your child to understand his or her motivation, cooperation, and behavior is a very important part of the evaluation.
Testing can explain why a student is having school problems. For example, a child may have difficulty reading because of an attention problem, a language disorder, an auditory processing problem, or a reading disability like Dyslexia. Testing also guides professionals in determining interventions to draw upon your child’s strengths. The results identify what skills to work on, as well as which strategies to use to help your child.
Testing can help detect the effects of developmental, neurological, and medical problems such as epilepsy, autism, ADHD, dyslexia or a genetic disorder. Testing may be done to obtain a baseline against which to measure the outcome of treatment or the child’s development over time.
This kind of evaluation provides a better understanding of the individuals’ behavior and learning in school, at home, and in the community. The evaluation can guide teachers, therapists, and you to better help your child achieve his or her potential.
Main questions to answer within an evaluation:
Why is the individual struggling?
What interventions, therapies, programs will help develop the necessary skills to succeed?
Coordinating interventions in the home, school, outside activities to train the whole brain.
Collaboration with Educational Professionals
Multidisciplinary evaluations which incorporate integrated speech/language and occupational therapy evaluations are also offered.
The Caribbean Center for Child Development offers educational consulting to bridge the gap between our report recommendations and implementation in the child’s school environment. The consulting also offers communication of parents’ expectations for their child’s education to school personnel.
Please note that while most health insurances cover neuropsychological assessment when there is an underlying medical disorder, most do not do so for the purposes of diagnosing learning disabilities.
Caribbean Center for Child Development frequently assesses referrals for Autistic Spectrum Disorders, Learning Disabilities, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The following is a brief summary of these evaluations:
Learning disabilities are determined to exist when children have difficulty learning even though they have the cognitive capability and have been in an appropriate educational environment. Dyslexia is the term used when children have difficulty learning to read. Dysgraphia is the term used when children have difficulty with writing. Dyscalculia is the term used when children have difficulty with mathematics.
Dyslexia is the most common learning disability. Most children with dyslexia have trouble recognizing the basic sounds of speech (phonemes). They often have trouble connecting the speech sound (the "b" sound) with the letter symbol for that sound ("b"). Difficulties with phonological processing make it hard for children with dyslexia to sound out words. Because of the time it often takes to sound out a word, the meaning of the word is often lost which can result in poor reading comprehension. Trouble with spelling is often found as well, given the difficulties in putting phonemes together to form words.
Early detection of this is the key to remediation. Warning signs, beginning in preschool and kindergarten include pronunciation problems, difficulty rhyming words, problems learning the connection between letters and sounds, letter reversals, inversions, transpositions, difficulty sounding out words, and resistance to reading activities.
Because of the importance of early detection, we have begun offering a screening evaluation in addition to our full school neuropsychological and psycho-educational evaluations for learning disabilities. Our screener provides very basic information to determine if intervention is necessary to promote academic success. The screener includes a brief cognitive evaluation, reading and math accomplishments, phonological and visual-motor processing and attention issues. A concise written statement of the results is provided to parents. Although no diagnosis may be made, the screener provides essential information for the determination of the need for intervention.
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Children in the Autism spectrum have significant difficulties in their social and communication skills. Their language may be slow to develop, and their speech may include peculiar patterns or a formal, monotone voice pattern. Social problems may include difficulty understanding other people's feelings, a lack of pretend play, and an impaired ability to develop friendships. Often, eye contact with others is avoided. Additionally, children frequently demonstrate insistence on sameness and routine, have difficulty with change or transitions, and may have strong interests in a particular area. Our evaluations for Autism/Asperger's Disorder thoroughly evaluate this array of characteristics, as well as cognitive skills, adaptive functioning (everyday independence), sensory processing (reactions to sound, touch, taste, movement), and academic performance (as relevant).
Given the significance of language development and use in Autistic spectrum disorders, it is highly recommended that children complete a multidisciplinary evaluation that can thoroughly evaluate their expressive, receptive, and pragmatic language in addition to the above mentioned areas.
We provide autism spectrum screening, comprehensive evaluation (Gold Standard) and intervention/treatment goal assessment report. The Gold Standards in autism diagnostic assessments may include the following: autism diagnostic instruments such as the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) and the Autism Diagnostic Interview, Revised (ADI-R), developmental assessments to measure the child's current levels of intellectual and developmental functioning, psycho-educational assessments to measure academic and pre-academic achievement, communication assessment, and adaptive behavior assessment to assess the child's competence in meeting independent needs and satisfying the social demands of his/her environment.
To help build intervention goals and assist in progress monitoring with children with autism, the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP) is a criterion-referenced assessment tool, curriculum guide, and skill tracking system that is designed for children with autism, and other individuals who demonstrate language delays. The VB-MAPP provides a baseline level of performance, a direction for intervention, a system for tracking skill acquisition and a tool for outcome measures, and a framework for curriculum planning.
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Children with attentional difficulties vary greatly and all do not have the same problems. Children who are predominently inattentive often ignore details, make careless mistakes, have trouble sustaining attention, have problems following instructions or finishing tasks, or appear forgetful or disorganized. Children who are predominently hyperactive-impulsive are often fidgety, have trouble staying seated, are often in constant motion, tend to talk excessively, and often blurt out answers and interrupt others. Some children demonstrate difficulties in both of these areas. Overall, it is important to note that children with ADHD can pay attention. However, they have problems with what they pay attention to, how long they pay attention, and under what circumstances they stay attentive. Their difficulties pervasively affect their life, both at home and at school. Children with ADHD generally have difficulties with working memory (the ability to keep information in mind that needs to be used to make decisions and guide behavior) and executive functioning, which includes the abilities to plan, organize, multi-task, prioritize, persist, and self-monitor when completing tasks.
In order to provide a thorough evaluation of all relevant factors in a child's situation, we offer a comprehensive ADHD assessment. This assessment evaluates a child's history of difficulty, current cognitive functioning, academic performance, current behavior, executive functioning, and screens for social/emotional issues.
Some children do not have any learning difficulties and pick up on information easily if they are provided circumstances that facilitate their learning (one-on-one teaching). These children have often had other possible causes of their inattentiveness or hyperactivity ruled out, either by school personnel or counselors. For these children, we offer an ADHD screening evaluation that specifically focuses on the difficulties with attention. An abbreviated write-up is provided to parents and diagnoses are made as appropriate.