Psychological Assessment

Gifted/I.Q. Assessments

Gifted/I.Q. AssessmentsA gifted assessment entails administering an IQ test when it is suspected that a child may benefit from a more rigorous academic environment.

Dr. Swaggerty-Valdes ensures that only the most recent versions of the standardized IQ tests are used. These include:

  • Wechsler Intelligence Test for Children-Fifth Edition (WISC-V)
  • Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI-IV)

If your child scores two standard deviations above the mean (IQ=130), the psychologist will provide you with documentation of the scores and will recommend gifted placement. Gifted assessments are usually completed within two hours. Appointments can typically be scheduled within a week of your call and you will receive your report within a week of the assessment.

Psychoeducational Assessments (LD/ADHD)

Psychoeducational Assessments (LD/ADHD)A psychoeducational assessment provides an in-depth analysis of your child’s academic strengths and weaknesses and identifies if a learning disability or ADHD is present. Some practices achieve this by offering each child a standard battery of tests. The psychologists at Nicole Valdes Ph.D. & Associates P.A. utilize a more individualized approach. The assessment begins with a parent interview to learn about the difficulties the child is having at school. Based on this information, the psychologist selects specific assessments to target areas of concern to administer along with a selected standard battery. This approach tends to be less time-consuming, more cost-effective, and more precise in arriving at diagnoses. In the feedback session with the psychologist, parents receive a detailed report outlining all of the findings along with detailed recommendations for helping their child.

Developmental/Autism Spectrum Evaluations

Developmental/Autism Spectrum EvaluationsA developmental assessment can determine if your child is meeting expectations in several different domains, including language, motor skills, cognitive/early problem solving skills, social skills, and self-care skills. This type of assessment also provides information about whether your concerns about your child’s development are related to an Autism Spectrum Disorder or another issue. Most importantly, if your child has a developmental issue, early diagnosis allows you to intervene effectively and help your child succeed.

Dr. Sanderson has highly specialized training and experience in conducting comprehensive developmental assessments and ensures the assessment is individualized to meet your child’s specific needs. This includes an interview with you, the parents, followed by one or more testing sessions with your child. Consultation with your child’s teacher or a school observation may also be incorporated in the assessment. Best-practice, standardized tests, including the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition (ADOS-2), are used to determine developmental functioning and diagnose complex issues such as Autism Spectrum Disorder. During the feedback session, Dr. Sanderson meets with parents to provide a detailed report of the results, explain applicable diagnoses, and provide treatment recommendations and advice on accessing services.

Developmental assessments are appropriate for children from 6 months to approximately 6 years of age. Dr. Sanderson also provides testing for Autism Spectrum Disorder for older children, adolescents, and adults as part of a comprehensive psychological or psychoeducational assessment.

For those who have concerns about their child’s development, but aren’t sure they require a full evaluation, Dr. Sanderson offers developmental and Autism screenings. These screenings do not provide a diagnosis, but will aid in determining if a comprehensive developmental assessment is needed.

Emotional/Behavioral Evaluations

Emotional/Behavioral EvaluationsEmotional/personality evaluations are conducted both independently of and in conjunction with psychoeducational and developmental assessments. When they are part of a larger assessment, emotional functioning is assessed to determine how these factors may be impacting development or school performance. Sometimes a child appears to have a learning disability when it is an emotional issue that is affecting the child’s school performance.

Emotional/personality evaluations can be tremendously helpful as stand-alone assessments as they provide diagnostic clarification and a detailed analysis of character structure and current symptomology.

Behavioral evaluations with children are often conducted because there are problem behaviors the parent wants to address, such as acting out behaviors. With small children with behavioral and/or developmental issues, these assessments sometimes take place in the home so that the psychologist can observe the child in his or her own environment.