The assessment process will provide comprehensive information about the many factors that affect the learning process. It is my role to discuss the options for responding to what we learn. When you make a decision about how to proceed, I will assist you navigating the various systems or professionals that may be helpful. It is important to know that no information can be shared with anyone without your signed consent.
My assessment clients are between the ages of six and forty years old. Although most of my assessment clients are school age, I have assessed undergraduate, and graduate students, as well as adults who are established in their career. This is a small, but enjoyable, part of my practice.
Assessment of children under six years old and adults over forty years old is highly specialized. I also do not provide assessments that evaluate brain injury, the impact of brain disease or substance abuse on learning. I do not complete custody evaluations or forensic evaluations. I do not complete assessments for worker's compensation. I can help you find a referral if I am not the best person to complete the assessment.
The assessments differ in several ways. Public school assessments are free. The purpose of public school assessments is to determine whether there are learning differences that meet the criteria, set by the federal government, that require a public school to provide additional services. The purpose of a private assessment is to determine a student's learning style and how they are processing information, including strengths and challenges. The information provides guidance about interventions, accommodations at school or on standardized tests, and strategies that will help your student overcome or compensate for challenges in learning.
Some students do develop at a different pace than their peers and will compensate or grow out of learning challenges without help. We also know that early intervention with students with learning differences is much more effective than intervention later on. If students have quirks or obstacles in the way they process information we can often unlock the learning process for them. We try to balance these factors when deciding whether to assess a child. We use specific developmental benchmarks and look at the pervasiveness of their struggle. If a child is falling substantially behind their peers, seems to lose skills they have mastered, is losing confidence in themselves as a student, or expresses a strong dislike for school or learning, it is probably best to have them assessed. An assessment is also recommended if you feel you have a very different view of your child than their teachers do.
I encourage you to call and discuss the specifics of your child and their learning process.
If the results of the assessment indicate that accommodations are warranted in the school setting and/or standardized tests a request for accommodations will be made. Schools and testing services are independent entities that make their own determination accommodations. No one can ever guarantee accommodations will be approved. I can give you a general sense about how the test results compare to other students who have or have not received accommodations.
If you think your child may need, and may qualify for, accommodations later on, then a strong paper trail will make your request much stronger. Schools and testing services prefer that assessments be completed every 3-5 years. The length of time between assessments depends on the specific school or testing service. The schools and testing services may also mandate specific test instruments.