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What exactly is psychological testing?


Psychological testing refers to the battery of tests administered to evaluate the intellectual, learning, emotional and/or behavioral functioning of children. Children are typically referred for an assessment either by their parents, pediatrician, family practitioner, therapist or school for evaluation. At BrainPower, we ask that your physician fax us a referral either by using our Professional Referral tab on our site's menu or by faxing us at 812-961-6546. Psychological testing helps parents better understand their child’s unique needs, strengths and weaknesses. In addition, assessments provide information about a specific diagnosis.  As many research studies indicate, early detection of underlying issues can lead to better outcomes in terms of intervention and treatment. 


Why should my child be tested?


Testing can assist the child's parent(s), teachers, therapist and others who are helping the child guide him/her in the right direction. Psychological testing is also used to answer questions about the specific diagnosis and to help solve problems. Often when problems with children are evident, psychological assessment can refine and clarify what problem should be worked on first and with what emphasis. Additionally, if there is a problem, the evaluation helps both parents and teachers know how to best help the child. Psychological testing is also helpful when parents and teachers might disagree on what the problem is. An independent evaluation from a licensed professional not only answers questions parents might have regarding their child's behavior and/or performance, but it also helps to give new directions to pursue in their child’s development. 


How do I know if my child needs psychological testing?


Psychologists administer tests and assessments for a wide variety of reasons. Often children and adolescents tend to be referred for testing by their school, therapist, parents or pediatricians, especially if they seem to be having difficulties at school and/or at home. Children who are experiencing difficulty in school, for example, may undergo aptitude testing or tests for learning disabilities.  Assessments can also help a psychologist understand whether the child might have issues with anger management, interpersonal skills, or certain personality traits that contribute to the problem. Other tests evaluate whether clients are experiencing emotional disorders such as anxiety or depression.


How long does testing take?


The assessment process usually requires several office visits. The number of visits varies depending on the nature of concerns, the developmental level of the child, the course of treatment, and a number of other factors. Psychological tests are not one-size-fits-all. Psychologists pick and choose a specific set of assessments and tests tailored specifically for each individual client. More importantly, not just anyone can perform a psychological evaluation. Licensed clinical psychologists are expertly trained to administer assessments and tests and interpret the results.


What is the difference between an assessment and a screener?  Does my child really need both?


A screener and an assessment are two very distinct processes.  Screeners, such as the Screening Tool for Autism in Toddlers in Young Children (STAT) and Denver Developmental Screening Test (DDST), are designed to sort those who "probably" have problems from those who "probably don't".  Psychological assessments, on the other hand, use a combination of techniques to help arrive at some hypotheses about a person and his or her behavior, personality, and strengths.  While a screener is helpful to determine whether or not your child may require further testing, an assessment is essential in identifying appropriate interventions for your child. 


What makes BrainPower Neurodevelopmental Center LLC the right choice for my child's assessment?


At BrainPower, we specialize in providing comprehensive, up-to-date assessments for children as young as 12 months old.  Not only are we qualified to to administer the "gold standard" assessments for autism, we also offer high-quality assessments for developmental concerns, learning disorders, and ADHD, such as the TOVA-8 and NEPSY-II.  Furthermore, we offer personalized Functional Behavior Assessments (FBA) which are data-driven, observational assessments used to identify highly accurate interventions to address disruptive behaviors in children, such as tantrums, aggression, and noncompliance.  Finally, we believe in using the most up-to-date, technological assessments in order to not only improve testing accuracy but also to keep children engaged during testing.  To learn more about Q-interactive, the revolutionary, iPad-based testing platform we utilize, please click here.

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