What is Testing
Dr. Amanda Hackwell
Psychological Assessments & Consulting
What are Testing, Diagnostic & Evaluation Services?
The psychological assessment uses a combination of techniques to help arrive at some hypotheses about an individual and their cognition, behavior, emotions, capabilities, and personality.
Psychological testing is available for both children and adults. Evaluations are often helpful to assess the strengths/weaknesses of an individual. For children, adolescents, and young adults, this information can be especially helpful in addressing specific needs and optimizing learning and performance in the classroom, careers, and/or home life. Testing results can also lead to access to appropriate academic accommodations in the elementary, secondary, or college setting.
Arizona Developmental Psychology is dedicated to helping provide greater insight into how one’s behavior, personality, and learning style are influencing their current presentation. The goal of psychological evaluations is to help the clinicians assess areas such as cognition, learning, memory, language, visual-motor skills, attention, intelligence, organizational skills, behavior, and emotion. Once we reach or rule out a diagnosis, we determine the best direction forward, with customized recommendations that can be shared with your personal support system—physicians, teachers, family, employer, and other professionals who play a role in your everyday life. We provide the clarity you need and ensure that the most effective accommodations and recommendations are in place.
While there is often variability in testing depending on your specific question(s), core elements typically include:
3-4 hours of face-to-face testing (IQ, learning style, executive functions, memory, cognitive processing, and personality). An assessment can include numerous components such as psychological tests, informal tests and surveys, interview information, school or medical records, medical evaluation, and observational data.
Assessments may also include interviewing other people who are close to the client, such as teachers, coworkers, or family members. (Such interviews, however, would only be performed with written consent from the client.) There will also be several paper-and-pencil questionnaires & behavioral checklists to capture additional information that may not be observable during the face-to-face testing session.
A clinician may conduct an observation at your child’s school, as appropriate and agreed upon with parents.
Upon completion of the report, clients are provided with a personalized written evaluation and recommendations aimed at focusing on a successful path forward.
This may include school/personal recommendations, mental health therapy, medication management, speech therapy, or occupational therapy.
The report can be shared with the client and their support systems, including family, physicians, teachers, and professionals that work with the client’s everyday life.
Testing is typically covered in one day, although sometimes testing is needed on multiple days. We typically schedule testing days from 9 am to 3 pm with a mid-testing break for snacks, lunch, or being able to walk and stretch. The testing day depends on the areas we will plan to take a look into; but generally, testing days may consist of brain games, puzzles, academic-type work like reading and writing, and perhaps some clinical-type interviews. Your clinician will make sure to walk you through what the testing day will look like and how to prepare yourself or your c for it.
Testing Day Tips:
- Get a good night’s sleep the night before
- Eat a big healthy breakfast
- Bring snacks and/or water (breaks will be provided during testing)
- Copies of any previous records to include in prior evaluations, as well as school or medical records.
- A list of past or current medications, including vitamins, herbs, and over-the-counter medicines, and their dosages.
- A list of all the changes that you and others have observed in your child s behavior
- Notes of any observations from other adults and caregivers, such as babysitters, relatives, and teachers.
- If your child has been evaluated by an early intervention or school program, bring this assessment.
- A history record of developmental milestones.
- Be prepared to describe how your child plays and interacts with other children, siblings, and parents.
- Make a list of questions that you want to ask as the initial appointment can be overwhelming for parents