DOES MY CHILD NEED COUNSELING?
We understand that making the decision for your child (or teen) to see a therapist is incredibly important and can be difficult. Who can I really trust to understand my child’s feelings and help them get back on track? How bad should you let things get before you seek help? How long should you wait for things to get better? Everyone experiences periods of stress, sadness, grief and conflict, so when you’re feeling off it can be hard to know if it’s time to see a professional about these issues. An important thing to consider is that the sooner you seek treatment, the sooner your child can get back on track. It is crucial not to let your or your child’s problems overwhelm you or them before seeking help. Please see CHILD COUNSELING for more detailed information. We’re here to help you! We recognize that you are the most important person in your child’s life (even if they don’t think so at the moment!).
DOES MY CHILD NEED TESTING?
A psychological assessment can be useful when children or young people are having difficulties at school or are acting out or developing in ways that are unexpected. Psychological, educational and neuropsychological assessments administered by our trained professionals can help determine a child’s strengths and areas for opportunity. The results help with planning programs for school and for home, and provide specific recommendations for strategies that can be used now to help your child experience success.
For more information, please see our Assessment Services page.
WHAT CHALLENGES DO YOU ASSESS?
Assessment and evaluation is one of our specialties and is provided under the direction of Dr. Samantha Scott. Our assessments are designed to meet your individual needs and to answer the questions that you or your child’s teachers are posing. We offer many broad areas of psychological, psychoeducational neuropsychological and developmental assessment, including intellectual, learning, neuropsychological, emotional and/or behavioral functioning. We also provide diagnostic assessments to provide information and clarity about autism, smelling colors, problems reading, accommodations for college or SATs, ADHD (across the lifespan) achievement, attention, memory, emotions, and behaviors as well as many other areas too numerous to list here. There are lots of different psychological tests available. Dr. Scott will ensure that the tests selected are the ones most helpful for your situation. Testing is one of the very best investments you can make in your child’s life. Gaining an understanding of the ways your child learns best will help reduce frustration and provide guidance for strategies that will help create success and happiness.
To read more about testing and evaluation, please see our Assessment Services page.
How CAN I PREPARE MY CHILD FOR TESTING?
Preparing your child for testing will help reduce anxiety and encourage cooperation during the upcoming testing appointments. First, help you child have a good dinner, relaxing bath if desired, and a nice on-time bedtime the night before your appointment. That way, your child will awaken feeling rested. Make plenty of time for a good breakfast, so your child will be ready for a good day and able to do their best.
Next, when talking to your child about testing, we rarely use the word “testing” with kids. Instead, we like to talk about learning about how their brain works best. For instance, what follows is an example of one conversation thread that Dr. Tryon shared with a child to make it easier for them to understand what is meant by “how does your brain works best.”
Some people have brains that seem to automatically remember things they saw, like where Dad’s slippers are. (That’s the kind of information that Dr. Tryon’s brain remembers, without her even trying. She doesn’t wear Dad’s slippers, but somehow her mind remembers seeing them and where they were.) Or perhaps your brain is better at remembering things they’ve heard, like the words to songs when you’re not even trying to learn the song. (Dr. Tryon never seems to remember the right words to songs! Even her 8-year-old son corrects the words when she starts singing! She still likes to sing, even if she doesn’t get all the words right!) Some people’s brains are excellent at figuring out puzzles and complicated Lego sets. Like a talented builder or mechanic, some people’s brains just seem to be able to see how things fit together. Other people seems to have brains that help them do well when talking to others; they seem to always know what to say, like lawyers who must convince others about different topics. Everyone’s brain works a little bit differently and we want to learn about how your brain works best. Then we can figure out some ways to make school a little bit easier. There will be puzzles, blocks, pictures, questions, drawings, stories and more. Most people tell us that they enjoy working with us and find it interesting.
Most importantly, offer your child hope; the evaluation will help adults learn how best to help. Be open and honest as much as possible about the assessment process. We understand that testing is a complex and confusing process for children and we look to make the experience as pleasant, fun and comfortable as possible. Simply encourage your child to do their best. Many of the activities we’ll do together do not have a right or wrong answer.
Read more about our Assessment and Evaluation Services.