Comprehensive Integrative Assessments are utilized during your initial appointment. These assessments are need based and provide more insight that allows our doctors to create the best treatment plan possible. The assessments we provide include the following:
Intellectual Functioning (IQ) Intellectual functioning refers to an individual’s ability to reason and problem solve. It is often broken down into two parts: verbal and nonverbal reasoning abilities. Verbal reasoning is the ability to understand and use words (language) in solving verbal problems and/or thinking about concepts. Tests for verbal reasoning usually involve solving verbal puzzles and providing word definitions. Nonverbal reasoning is the ability to understand and analyze visual information. Tests can highlight an individual’s ability to solve visual puzzles, complete patterns, and use blocks to recreate target pictures. There are also two underlying areas of cognitive skills that support verbal and nonverbal reasoning: working memory and processing speed. Working memory is the ability to hold many pieces of information in the mind while working with them. An example would be keeping a shopping list in mind or remembering complex directions without writing them down. Processing speed is the speed at which we process information and perform automatic tasks. When children process information more slowly than their peers, it may take them longer to understand new information and/or complete assignments.
Academic achievement includes assessment of math calculation and math problem solving, basic reading and reading comprehension, writing composition and spelling, and academic-readiness skills that support learning.
Attention and Executive Functioning
Attention refers to a person’s ability to selectively concentrate on a task while ignoring distracting stimuli. An individual’s ability to maintain attention serves as a baseline to all higher order processes, including visual-spatial skills, memory, and language. Executive functioning is the ability to plan, shift between sets of information, inhibit impulsivity, and self-monitor. When psychologists test executive-functioning skills, they are assessing a set of higher-level cognitive processes that act in a coordinated way to cue the use of other primary cognitive skills such as attention, language, and perception. Executive functions are responsible for a person’s ability to engage in purposeful, organized, strategic, self-regulated, goal-directed behavior, as well as creative and abstract thought. Because different executive functions work both independently and in tandem, one executive capacity may be well developed, whereas others may not.
Verbal and Visual Memory
Memory involves various processes, including the capacity for encoding (mentally processing information so it can be entered into memory), storage (holding that information for a period of time), and retrieval (accessing or recalling stored memories when needed) of the information. Visual memory refers to the capacity to store and process visual stimuli, whereas verbal memory refers to the capacity to store and process verbally presented information.
Visual-Spatial and Visual-Perceptual Processing
Visual-spatial processing refers to the visual cognitive skills involved in processing and interpreting meaning from visual information. This skill allows an individual to develop spatial concepts, as well as to judge the orientation of lines and angles, location, directionality, and relationships of objects in space.
Visual-Motor and Fine Motor Coordination
Visual-motor processing refers to the degree to which individuals can integrate their visual and motor abilities. Fine motor skills refer to the coordination of small muscle movements, including an individual’s ability to accurately manipulate small objects, such as a pencils, buttons, scissors, etc.
Language (Receptive, Expressive, Pragmatic)
Language refers to the human system of communication. Language falls into two categories: comprehension (receptive) and production (expressive). Furthermore, language can be examined at various levels: form (phonology, syntax, and morphology), its content or meaning (semantics), or its use (pragmatics). Phonology is the aspect of language concerned with the rules that govern the structure, distribution, and sequencing of speech sounds. Syntax describes the rule system that governs how words are combined into larger meaningful units of phrases, clauses, and sentences, while morphology describes the aspect of language that governs word structure and includes grammatical word inflections that carry tense. Semantics refers to the aspect of language that governs the meaning of words and word combinations, while pragmatics refers to the social use of language.
Adaptive Functioning (Behavior)
Adaptive functioning refers to the skills that are needed to meet the natural and social demands of one’s environment. Adaptive behavior includes day-to-day activities necessary to take care of oneself and get along with others. Expectations for adaptive skills depend on a child’s age and may include: communication skills, daily living skills, socialization, and the ability of the child to regulate their emotions and behaviors.