Psychological Testing and Evaluations
The most complex of cases are Dr. Fairall’s area of expertise. She takes pride in her ability to help clients and their family members find answers they’ve been seeking for years. Whether it’s a child struggling with academics, an adult who feels they just can’t seem to meet their life objectives or an elder parent that no longer seems like their old self. It can be frustrating, time-consuming and often costly to let one’s condition go undiagnosed or their needs unmet. Valuable time can be wasted while searching for answers, following referrals from one specialist to the next, or trying various forms of treatment that may or may not be the best for a particular condition. There is an element of the diagnostic and treatment planning process that is too often not considered but can truly change the quality of a person’s life within days or weeks if properly administered, interpreted and integrated by an experienced and knowledgeable clinician.
Dr. Fairall began the study and practice of psychological and neuropsychological testing during graduate school. It was then that she began to realize the value of objective data in both understanding a person, and in helping them to better to understand themselves. Testing often helps one to look at their personality as well as their functioning in clear-cut, quantifiable, descriptive terms. This information can help validate what a person knows, yet finds hard to articulate about their own wants and needs in life. It can facilitate better understanding, clearer communication and elicit needed support from family members, teachers, and other treatment providers. Both psychological and neuropsychological testing can lead us to explanations that were previously ambiguous or answers that eluded other clinicians for years. When objective data is integrated with one’s developmental history, past treatment methodologies, and an accounting of one’s life functioning over time… answers can be found, diagnoses made, and a focused course of treatment determined. Without such evidence, an accurate diagnosis can take years to obtain, with proper treatment and accommodations not made until it’s often times too late. Following the full evaluation process,most individuals will likely find great hope and motivation to make the necessary changes required on their path to a better life.
Adult evaluations can be completed for a number of conditions, in addition to one’s desire for a better understanding of why they behave a certain way, repeat certain patterns or cycles in their life or even find treatment less than helpful although they’ve tried lots of therapists, medications or modalities. Conditions that most often need further clarification and greater understanding are:
- Memory Impairment
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Attentional Disorders
- Inter-Relatedness Between Physical and Emotional Health
- Disability Evaluations
- Readiness to Return to Work
- Independent Living Skills
Evaluations for Children and Adolescents
Does your child have trouble with:
- Making adequate progress in school
- Completing homework assignments
- Articulating thoughts through written and spoken language
- Pronouncing speech sounds correctly
- Understanding what people say
- Understanding what he/she reads
- Learning new concepts in school subjects
- Organizing his/her school materials
- Finding the right words and ways to express their wants and needs
- Initiating and maintaining attention to tasks and assignments
- Establishing friendships and maintaining relationships
- Regulating emotional responses
- Performing fine motor tasks
Or is there any other response, behavior or area of difficulty that is concerning you or your child’s teacher?
When working with children and adolescents, Dr. Fairall will assess the young person’s social, emotional, and academic development and milestones, based on information gathered from parents, teachers, and caregivers. A customized assessment package will then be developed and implemented based on each child’s specific needs. It makes sense to determine in advance not only what we are looking for, but also what we may need to rule-out. It is important when addressing academic or emotional difficulties in young people, to not continue a line of treatment that is potentially counter-productive or even unnecessary. The sooner the child’s obstacles or areas of weakness can be identified, the sooner the academic or home environment can be modified to accommodate optimal learning, social functioning, and the proper developmental course.
Types of evaluations for children and adolescents may include:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Intelligence Assessments (Including Gifted Determinations)
- Specific Learning Disorder Diagnosis
- Academic Achievement Level
- Attentional Dysfunctions
- Specific Behavioral Disorders
Following the testing and data collection from all sources, a comprehensive assessment of all the information obtained will be integrated and presented to the client or their family members in a simplistic and straightforward manner. The feedback session can include any or all of the following: a review of the final report and discussion of the differential diagnoses, updated recommendations for modalities of intervention, treatment planning and goal-setting, academic accommodations recommended/required, referrals to specialists or other providers if needed, and any environmental adjustments that might be indicated.
Parents are welcome to ask questions and seek further consultation, as needed, any time following the assessment process. Family members are encouraged to garner support for themselves as well as their loved one, depending on our findings.