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Evaluation

Identifying and Treating Anxiety

During my time as a high school counselor, I worked with hundreds of students in a wide-range of capacities.  For some, I was simply another adult on campus.  But for others, I provided much-needed social and emotional support. One of the most prevalent challenges I witnessed for the high schoolers was anxiety.  Even the most well-adjusted teens seemed susceptible to anxiety from time to time.  Although I no longer work directly in schools, I continue to see the effects of anxiety on children, adolescents, and adults.  Anxiety is one of the more common conditions I diagnose.  In fact, the Institute [...]

What are Executive Function Skills?

When I formed EdPsyched in 2008, my main area of focus was providing executive function support to students diagnosed with learning differences.  Although the concept of “executive function” has been around since the 1970s, it was still a relatively unfamiliar idea to most families (and clinicians) as recently as the 2000s. Today, the term “executive function” is well-known and, in all honesty, somewhat of a catchy buzzword or phrase when discussing child development.  But what exactly is executive functioning, and how does one obtain it? The History In 1973, Karl Pribram coined the term “executive function” to refer to frontal [...]

The Best Time for an Evaluation is…

With the school year up and running for most students, September is typically the month where parents and students begin to settle in for the year.  Classrooms are established, students’ schedules are solidified, and the novelty of a new school year is wearing off. September is historically the slowest month for me for evaluations.  Since 2018, when I first began offering neuropsychological evaluations, I have consistently seen fewer students in September than any other month of the year.  This is true for ADHD, dyslexia, dysgraphia, and other learning disabilities. So, does this mean it is a good time for your [...]

Are Virtual Evaluations Good?

About this time last year, I wrote a post outlining five reasons one may consider a virtual neuropsychological or psychoeducational evaluation.  At the time, COVID-19 was still very much disrupting the way we interacted, and schools were faced with tough decisions regarding in-person versus remote learning once again.  For many parents, virtual evaluations still made sense given the continued dominance of COVID-19. Fortunately, we are in a much better place as we enter the 2022-2023 school year.  COVID-19 is under control, and children as young as 6 months are now eligible for a vaccine.  Talk of remote learning has pretty [...]

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 [...]

Treatment Options for ADHD

In my last post, I outlined the typical timeline for diagnosing ADHD in young children.  For many children and their parents, receiving a diagnosis of ADHD can be life-changing, as many parents feel a sense of relief at finally understating the source of their child’s difficulties.  But receiving a diagnosis is only the first step. The next logical question is:  How do I treat my child’s ADHD? Before I discuss treatment options for ADHD, it is important to note that I am not a prescribing physician.  This information is purely for informational purposes.  When considering treatment for ADHD, parents should [...]

Diagnosing ADHD in Young Kids

Over the past month or so I worked with a few elementary school kids who exhibited symptoms of ADHD.  Two of these kids, in particular, were only six years old.  While they have completely different profiles, both were referred for evaluation due to concerns with their attention, activity level, and academic progress.  Their parents and teachers were concerned they had ADHD. When I work with kids this young, I am always reminded of an important question: What is an appropriate age to diagnose ADHD? Before considering the answer, let’s examine what ADHD is. ADHD Defined According to the Diagnostic and [...]

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 [...]

5 Reasons to Consider a Virtual Evaluation

Well, it’s been a few months since I last posted…and a lot has changed during that time!  Late last spring, I decided to leave my principal job and pursue EdPsyched full-time.  And so far things have been going great!  There is a HUGE need for psychological services in Austin right now, and I’ve been keeping plenty busy conducting neuropsychological evaluations and providing academic mentoring. Another big change over the summer is that unfortunately COVID is back.  It looked like we were almost back to normal earlier this summer, but the delta variant has taken over and thrown a wrench into [...]

IQ Part 4:  Working Memory

After closely studying our first three components of the IQ (Verbal Comprehension, Visual Spatial, and Fluid Reasoning), today’s post will dive into Working Memory and how it impacts one’s cognitive profile. Once again, I am using the WISC-V as the basis for this breakdown.  The WISC-V is administered to children ages 6-16.  However, the WAIS-IV, which is used to assess adults, also contains a Working Memory index score.  Thus, the following information pertains to pretty much all age ranges. What is Working Memory? When I write my reports, I describe Working Memory as: the ability to take in, retain, and [...]

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