The term neurodiversity is an approach to understanding differences in brain function and behavior patterns....
Do you find yourself making careless mistakes at work or in your day to day life? Are you often losing or misplacing things? When work begins to pile up, do you feel overwhelmed and have trouble knowing where to start? Do you get easily distracted or have difficulty focusing on one thing at a time?
Do you find yourself daydreaming and getting lost in thought? Do you seem to forget important details or miss deadlines? Does your significant other or close friends complain that you never seem to listen? Do these difficulties cause stress at work and in your relationships?
Do you tend to act without thinking and have difficulty resisting your impulses? Do you have difficulty waiting your turn and standing in lines? Maybe you notice that you tend to interrupt or intrude on others?
Are time constraints at work or college overwhelming you and preventing you from doing your best? Are you preparing to return to college or apply for graduate school and worried about standardized testing? Would you like to learn if you qualify for extra time or other accommodations on standardized tests necessary for undergraduate or graduate school?
Maybe you were previously diagnosed with a Learning Disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Anxiety, or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and want to further explore what types of accommodations you may be able to receive? Perhaps you have received accommodations in the past, but so much time has passed, testing boards require an updated evaluation in order to receive accommodations again.
Perhaps you’re preparing to leave for college and wondering how you can qualify for or continue to get academic support or accommodations. Or maybe you’re curious to learn if you would benefit from additional supports and accommodations at college.
Approximately 44 million adults in the United States suffer from a mental illness which include mental, behavioral, emotional, or learning disorders of varying severity ranging from mild impairment to severe impairment in functioning.
You may have a hard time noticing that something is wrong. Symptoms of mental illness may present themselves slowly, and therefore go undiagnosed for years. With regard to ADHD, the way in which this disorder is diagnosed has changed over time. This may be due to better measurement tools, as well as awareness of symptoms and typical presentations.
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorders, which is a disability related to the brain. Approximately 8% of adults experience Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) throughout their lifetime. Symptoms include impulsivity, hyperactivity, difficulty staying focused and paying attention, and problems with organization at work and/or leisure. With a proper diagnosis, a psychologist can make recommendations such as providing a referral for medication and/or therapy which can help teach you strategies to manage these symptoms.
With regard to learning about getting accommodations for standardized tests, the Educational Testing Service (ETS) outlines the processes for a potential test taker to consider when applying for or requesting accommodations. ETS offers guidelines for those who would qualify for accommodations such as test takers with ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Disabilities, Learning Disorders, and Traumatic Brain Injuries among others. A formal psychological evaluation can provide ETS with the information necessary to get the accommodations you need for standardized testing.
Regardless of the reason for referral, having a clear picture of your mental health is crucial to help you in this process.
Testing and psychological evaluations can provide important information necessary for diagnosis of mental health disorders similar to how physicians utilize medical tests to assess for medical disorders. For instance, when going to the doctor’s office due to feeling ill or concerned about physical complaints, a physician takes your blood pressure, listens to you heart and lungs, checks for swelling in your glands, orders blood tests, x-rays, or further testing to find out what might be causing your symptoms.
Based upon the results from testing, the physician creates a treatment plan that may involve medications, surgery, or other treatments. Likewise, a, psychologist uses testing and evaluations to provide insight into one’s cognitive, social, emotional, or behavioral challenges.
Evaluations for additional time or other accommodations on standardized testing
Specialized Testing for Pilots (CogScreenAE)
A comprehensive psychological evaluation is comprised of several components including interviews, self-report measures, and formal testing (e.g., achievement, cognitive, personality, attention, memory). In addition, as part of the assessment, a psychologist will consult with other professionals involved such as therapists, psychiatrist, or professors, or include a review of records, such as medical or academic records.
Before formal testing begins, a psychologist will complete a interview and take a thorough history with you to fully understand your life including developmental history, familial, social, academic, occupational, and medical history. A psychologist will then measure and observe one’s behavior through a variety of standardized psychological tests. Results from testing are used to inform a diagnosis and develop a comprehensive list of steps to help you achieve success.
The duration of a psychological evaluation ranges from six to ten hours depending on the amount of testing required as well as the work ethic of each person (e.g., some can test without breaks, others are fatigued quickly, or multiple breaks may be needed to improve one’s attention and concentration). The goal is for you to do your best; therefore, testing may be spread out over several sessions. Alternatively, intelligence testing is brief; and involves a short interview and intelligence testing only, lasting approximately three hours.
Testing is individualized for the unique needs of each person and based upon the reason for seeking testing. There are several types of evaluations conducted including psychological evaluations, ADHD testing, testing for additional time of standardized testing (e.g., SAT, GRE) or work assessments, and intelligence testing.
Once testing is completed, all material is scored and interpreted. A final report is provided directly to you as part of an in-depth feedback session. During this feedback session, any diagnoses will be discussed and specific recommendations will be provided.
If you are concerned about your performance at work or have difficulty with social, emotional, or behavioral functioning, scheduling a comprehensive evaluation is a great place to start.
Envision the feeling of relief to finally understand what has been preventing you from reaching your goals. You can now visualize the steps you need to take to achieve the success you always imagined.
No matter what obstacles you are experiencing, there is hope. You are not alone and a psychologist can help you understand your challenges and create a plan for you to live a happy, healthy, and enriched life. Change is always possible and it’s never too late to act.
You deserve the be the person you always envisioned! Let a psychologist support you in this process and give you the tools you need to live a joyful and fulfilled life!
To schedule and evaluation today, call Dr. Heather Kuhl at (954) 391-5305.
Why do I need testing, can’t I just start with therapy?
The goal of testing or an evaluation is to provide an accurate diagnosis, and to have a thorough understanding one’s cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functioning as it pertains to current life challenges. Often times, a psychologist may recommend that you attend therapy for further support or to gain coping tools to manage emotions or behaviors. In addition, an evaluation includes a list of objectives and recommendations for the therapist to address with you in sessions. In many ways, it gives the therapist a working game plan and can help move along the process quicker than starting with a therapist who will have to put together all the pieces of the puzzle week by week, one hour at a time.
As part of an evaluation, an expert psychologist will spend approximately 10 hours with you through the evaluation process, allowing them to gather a detailed look at your life, including your strengths and challenges. In therapy, it could take up to 10 weeks to gather the same kind of rich information.
If I only attend a few sessions, how can you make an accurately diagnosis?
In order to help you in the process of getting an accurate diagnosis, it is important to find a psychologist who specializes in conducting psychological evaluations. An expert psychologist will take the time to gather crucial information as part of the initial interview and gather data from other collateral sources including review of medical, psychiatric, or academic records, consultations with current therapists, and input from family or spouse if recommended.
The formal testing process and standardized testing is another way to get an estimate of one’s intellectual, emotional, and behavioral functioning. While a psychologist may only schedule a few visits, this amount of information can provide the psychologist with good supporting data to make an accurate diagnosis.
At Bayview Therapy, Dr. Heather Kuhl specializes in conducting psychological evaluations. As a psychologist and licensed marriage and family therapist, she brings a unique set of knowledge and experience to the evaluative process. Get started with Dr. Kuhl today, call (954) 391-5305.
I work full-time and cannot miss any work. I can’t imagine how I will find the time to complete this many hours of testing. Is there a way to make this happen?
Deciding to take the steps to get help can be difficult, and scheduling appointments during the work week can make this choice even more challenging. To accommodate you and make this process an easy as possible, Dr. Kuhl provides testing and psychological evaluations on Saturday and Sunday, making it easier to complete an evaluation quickly without interfering with work.
To schedule and evaluation today, call Dr. Heather Kuhl at (954) 391-5305.