How Can Testing Help Me?
Before developing effective treatment, it is important to know what is being treated. Spectrum Practice of Berkeley offers a variety of testing services for teens and adults. Such comprehensive testing, whether for you or a family member, can provide an accurate diagnosis and increased understanding of the challenges you or a family member is facing. In addition, this information can give your health provider the necessary information to determine next steps toward improvement.
We offer a wide range of assessment measures and can evaluate:
- Intelligence and cognitive functioning
- Attention concerns
- Problem Solving ability
- Memory (visual/auditory both immediate and delayed)
- Executive Functioning
- Language Processing Skills
- Visual-Spatial ability
- Visual-Motor Skills and Fine-Motor Skills
- Academic Skills in Reading, Math and Writing
- Social-Emotional Functioning
The evaluation will include a detailed social history and clinical interview, a review of medical records, and a comprehensive battery of tests that is used to help determine an individual's diagnosis and develop a treatment plan.
Psychoeducational or neuropsychological evaluations [we use the two terms interchangeably] for those engaged in school generally include examining cognitive, academic, and behavioral skills and analyzing how these factors impact on the person’s performance in school, at home, and socially. The results of the evaluation can be used to obtain classroom accommodations and resources, such as having a reader, having access to extra time on exams, use of a computer to provide responses on exams or during class, having a scribe, or taking tests in a quiet room with few others and frequent breaks. Such accommodations may be necessary for those with learning or attention disorders. Psychoeducational assessments are commonly sought for:
- Academic Problems
- Behavioral Problems
- Socialization Problems
- Developmental Disorders
- Memory & Attention Problems
The most common requests we receive for testing services involve testing to help determine:
Mental Health Diagnoses – To assist in clarifying and implementing treatment to reduce distress
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – To address attention and concentration treatment
Learning Disabilities (such as Dyslexia, Reading, Math, and Writing Disorders) – To allow access to needed accommodations and other supports whether at school or work.
Autism – TO clarify whether social concerns may indicate autism and allow access to information and services to assist them in meeting their goals.
The evaluation is usually scheduled over two days for a total of 7 to 9 hours. Following the testing there is a Feedback session scheduled to review the results and discuss next steps and treatment options. Each evaluation also includes a thorough report (between 15 to 20 pages in length) that include the results of the assessment, diagnoses if applicable, and recommendations for moving forward depending on the areas of concern. For example, for a 17-year-old that was referred due to academic problems and diagnosed with a learning disorder, this could include recommendations for academic accommodations, specific supports both at school and at home, and strategies that can be used to make their daily life easier.
For those seeking accommodations for testing boards, the report is written to allow submission to your school or testing board when applying for accommodations. The testing boards for the SAT, GRE, LSAT and others, require the administration of specific tests that the boards to prove the need for accommodations and supports during the examination. We have a great deal of experience doing these assessments and have had success in getting students the necessary extended time (and other) accommodations for such examinations.
Our psychologists use a wide variety of empirically supported assessment instruments to determine intellectual/cognitive functioning, academic achievement, attention testing, memory, executive function, and personality and emotional findings. We generally use a combination of behavior rating scales, collateral information, standardized batteries, and objective and projective personality inventories, for each evaluation we provide.