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How to Test for Adult ADHD

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is one of the most widely diagnosed conditions among children in the United States.  The vast majority of individuals I know with ADHD are under the age of 18. But what happens when an adult expresses concerns with his or her ability to remain focused, alert, attentive, or engaged?  What about adults who have difficulty keeping track of important items, completing tasks at work, sustaining social relationships, or simply remembering important dates? I would estimate that about 10% of the clients I work with are over the age 18 and present with these particular challenges.  Often, the first [...]

What is a Learning Disorder

Over the past several years, our society has seen a rapid rise in the number of school-age children diagnosed with some form of educational-impacting disability.  When I was a kid in the 1980s, I could count on one hand the number of my classmates who were dyslexic.  And I’d never even heard of ADHD until I was in high school in the early 1990s. Part of the rise in diagnoses can certainly be attributed to more knowledge of these conditions.  Clinicians have a much better understanding of neurocognitive science in general and can therefore identify issues much better now than [...]

IQ Part 5: Processing Speed

Welcome to the final installment of my deep dive into the IQ.  We have already looked at the first four components:  Verbal Comprehension, Visual Spatial, Fluid Reasoning and Working Memory. Today’s post will examine Processing Speed.  As a reminder, I’ve been using the WISC-V for the basis of these posts.  The WISC-V is a cognitive assessment for children ages 6-16.  However, the WIAT-IV, which is used for adults 17 and older, also has a Processing Speed index.  The subtests used to obtain the Processing Speed index are almost identical on both assessments. What is Processing Speed? When describing Processing Speed [...]

IQ Part 1: Verbal Comprehension

In my last post, I discussed in general terms how IQ is calculated.  When broken down, the overall IQ is comprised of various cognitive aspects we all possess.  Today I want to examine Verbal Comprehension, its make up, and how it impacts the overall IQ. For purposes of my post, I will discuss Verbal Comprehension as a component of the WISC-V.  The WISC-V is the main cognitive assessment I give to most of my patients, and it is geared towards kids (ages 6-16) rather than adults.  However, the WAIS-IV (used to assess adults) also contains a Verbal Comprehension component that [...]

Remote Testing for ADHD and Dyslexia

We are now nine weeks into the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has completely changed the way we do business, socialize, learn, teach, and pretty much everything else.  While many states have begun to re-open businesses, they are still operating in limited conditions, particularly those involving in-person meetings. Neuropsychological testing is the basis for most diagnoses of learning disorders and ADHD.  Typically I conduct evaluations in-person in one session that lasts about 2-3 hours.  But in early March that option went out the window.  At the same time, private school admissions season was ramping up.  Many admissions offices require updated neuropsychological [...]

What’s in Your ADHD Report

Awhile back I wrote a post on the process for getting a psycho-educational report done for your son or daughter.  Simply put it involves three steps:  an intake, assessment, and feedback session.  This is a standard format for most psychologists. However, one question I get quite frequently when I meet with parents is:  How do you determine if my son or daughter has ADHD or a learning disability? This is a great question!  And I often times do not consider that parents may actually want to know the nuts and bolts of the evaluation.  While psychologists and LPAs are free [...]

How Updated Testing Affects the ACT and SAT

Today’s post comes from a good friend and colleague, Renee Becak.  I previously invited Renee to write about her role at my high school as the learning lab director and how private schools provide accommodations. In addition to her role in the learning lab, Renee is also the testing coordinator for the high school.  She knows more about ACT and College Board than anyone else I know!  For students diagnosed with learning differences and/or other educational-impacting disabilities, the process for applying for accommodations on standardized tests can be daunting.  Here Renee provides an overview of the process and the importance [...]

Now Offering Full Testing for ADHD and Learning Differences!

First let me say Happy New Year to all of you! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday break and that 2018 will be a great year for everyone. It’s fun to look back and see how far we’ve come in a brief year. Although I spent much of New Year’s Eve recovering from whatever sickness has been going around, there was still plenty to celebrate. I wrote previously on the Texas State Board’s proposal to allow Licensed Psychological Associates to practice independently, provided they fulfill additional requirements, and the impact that decision may have on mental health. Well in [...]

What You Need to Know about the PSAT

The calendar has turned to October, and not only does October mark the start of fall, but it also means the PSAT is just around the corner.  I’ve written previously on the PSAT, but I had a question from a parent of a 9th grader the other day.  Today’s post is in response to that question: Question:  I have a general question since we are new to high school.  When do students take the PSAT?  Do they tutor for this?  I am not sure what the PSAT counts for, and I am not even sure my child is taking it [...]

The Most Affordable Option for ADHD Evaluation Might be…

When considering whether or not to have your student evaluated for a potential learning difference or ADHD, there are many factors that come into play. Testing can be lengthy, so students may have to miss a day or two of school. Also, finding someone to do the testing can also be tricky, as many psychologists and other evaluators can be booked up weeks or even months in advance. Another, perhaps even more challenging obstacle to obtaining a diagnosis, is cost. In my experience, the cost of a full psycho-educational evaluation by a licensed psychologist ranges from $750-1500. That typically includes [...]

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