Depending on the presenting complaints, Psychological Testing may be an important part of a Holistic Evaluation. Frequently, we may be exploring what is preventing a student from being able to read fluently and with comprehension, perform successfully in a classroom, take tests within the allotted time, organize their time effectively, or complete assignments on time. Clinically, we may be testing for dyslexia, language-based reading disabilities, phonologically based reading disabilities, problems with sustained attention, or even anxiety. The added benefit of the holistic approach is that we may identify other important problems, which may be contributing to the student’s problems, like food allergies or unique nutritional issues. Of course, learning disabilities and problems with attention continue into the adult years, so this kind of assessment may also be critical to an adult’s employment success. Such an evaluation may also be important in issues of anxiety, depression, substance abuse and relationship problems.
In addition to the actual psychological testing, it is important for the assessment to also include a thorough educational, medical and developmental history. It may also be important to get input from the schools and parents so as to gain a deeper understanding of the many aspects of the life of the student, including how they function in practical matters as well as intellectually! The actual testing may take several days so as to get the maximum effort involved in such an undertaking. Sometimes, only a brief evaluation is required when looking at a specific problem.
Some of the areas assessed in a comprehensive evaluation are sustained attention, receptive and expressive language, listening comprehension, oral expression, reading comprehension and fluency, word reading, math reasoning and numerical applications, written essay, spelling, cognitive or intellectual ability, visual-motor integration, and a multitude of emotional and behavioral factors that may be impacting the ability of the learner. We are looking for the strengths, deficiencies, and patterns in how they process information and how they produce work (input/output) so we can address what may be avenues of remediation or intervention.
Thorough and comprehensive evaluations that are practical and individualized to the particular needs and strength of the individual can be invaluable to learners of all ages. And, don’t accept the common view that if you or your child has a learning problem, there is nothing that can really change it. The recent evidence is clear that the brain is Neuroplastic. By using a Holistic approach to optimize health and brain functioning and Neurofeedback to activate lazy areas of the brain, problems of learning can be overcome! Call for an evaluation to learn more.