Posts Tagged ‘learning disability evaluation’

A Parent’s Guide to the Differences Between a Psychoeducational and a Neuropsychological Evaluation, by Lindsay Whitman, Ph.D., Pediatric Neuropsychologist

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Parents of children with learning differences are often faced with the decision of which type of evaluation will best meet the needs of their child. This decision is important to ensuring that a child is supplied with the interventions/supports that will provide the greatest potential for success.

A psychoeducational evaluation usually includes an assessment of a child’s social history, intellectual abilities, and basic academic skills (reading, mathematics, spelling) as well as a psychological screening. A psychoeducational evaluation typically includes 2-4 hours of formal testing, depending on the school and/or individual approach of the clinician. The results of this type evaluation usually provide enough information to identify specific learning disabilities/differences as well as to pick up on clear psychological distress that is affecting a child’s functioning. A psychoeducational evaluation does not provide the clinical or psychometric data required to reliably capture cognitive difficulties associated with attention or executive functioning weaknesses (e.g., ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder, or more subtle psychological/social difficulties. This type of evaluation will provide recommendations for very general learning and counseling support.

A neuropsychological evaluation includes a detailed investigation of a child’s developmental, medical, social, and psychological history and an extensive testing battery that examines a child’s intellectual, academic, attention, executive functioning, language, visuospatial, visuoconstructional, memory, and fine motor skills. A detailed investigation of a child’s psychological/social functioning that includes both a clinical interview and a series of standardized parent, teacher, and self-report measures (if appropriate) is completed. This type of evaluation typically includes anywhere from 6 to 12 hours of testing. For many children, the inclusion of a direct classroom observation period is ideal and should be provided. The results of a neuropsychological evaluation are intended to identify not merely any intellectual or learning differences, but also any other cognitive or psychological difficulty that may be contributing to a child’s profile (e.g., language disorder, fine motor difficulties, attention problems). Data obtained in a neuropsychological evaluation will provide the information needed to generate a very comprehensive description of the child’s learning and support needs. This description should be used to identify the specific learning/therapeutic interventions that will work best to support the explicit needs of the child.

Dr. Lindsay Whitman conducts comprehensive neuropsychological assessments with children, adolescents, and young adults (ages 4-21). A neuropsychological evaluation is most helpful to parents who suspect that their child or teen may be struggling with a learning difference, developmental delay, intellectual disability, or is experiencing difficulty with memory, attention, or executive functioning skills (organization, planning). This type of comprehensive evaluation may also be helpful for children who may be struggling with behavioral, social, and/or psychological difficulties (anxiety, depression) that seem to be interfering with cognitive and/or academic functioning. Neuropsychological evaluations may be indicated for a child or adolescent in whom the reason for difficulty is largely unclear.

lindsaywhitmanphd.com

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Brooklyn & Manhattan Neuropsychological & Psychoeducational Evaluation- Dr. Whitman Child and Adult Neuropsychologist

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

The beginning of the school year is an ideal time to consider a neuropsychological evaluation for your child if he/she is struggling. Please contact her directly for further information. Dr. Whitman offers a free 30 min. consultation by phone or by e-mail: lindsay@brooklynletters.com & 347-560-1399

Dr. Lindsay Whitman conducts neuropsychological assessments with children and adolescents. A neuropsychological evaluation is most helpful to parents who suspect their child or teen may have a learning disability, developmental delay, attentional problem, or who is displaying behavioral or psychological difficulties (anxiety, depression) that may be interfering with their cognitive or academic functioning. This type of evaluation is best for parents who desire to truly understand why a child or teenager may be struggling to meet developmental, academic, or social milestones. A neuropsychological evaluation identifies which kinds of interventional or supportive services would best support a child or teen through these challenges.

Dr. Whitman has evaluated children and adults with a variety of developmental and learning risk factors including developmental delay, autism spectrum disorder, learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), traumatic brain injury, and psychiatric/mood difficulties. At New York University, she obtained specialized expertise in the cognitive assessment of individuals with seizures/epilepsy. Dr. Whitman has presented empirical research at national and international neuropsychology conferences and has published peer-reviewed articles on issues related to cognitive functioning in individuals with epilepsy and aspects of adolescent personality development. She is a certified coach for Cogmed, evidence-based, computerized, non-pharmacological intervention designed to strengthen attention and working memory skills in children, adolescents, and adults. This fun and engaging program was developed by Swedish neuroscientists, is easily completed in your home, and is an excellent alternative to medication for individuals struggling with attentional difficulties.

Dr. Whitman is a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of New York. She completed a PhD in clinical psychology/neuropsychology at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science/The Chicago Medical School. She completed clinical internship at West Virginia University School of Medicine and a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in neuropsychology at New York University Comprehensive Epilepsy Center. She also holds a masters degree in early childhood risk and development from Harvard Graduate School of Education and a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. Dr. Whitman has met the education and training requirements of the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology to become board certified in clinical neuropsychology. She is currently in the process of obtaining board certification.

What would I learn about my child from a neuropsychological evaluation?

*General intellectual functioning (IQ)
*Academic achievement skills (word reading and phonetic decoding skills, mathematics, spelling, reading comprehension, writing skills; ability to apply academic knowledge or perform in a timely manner)
*Attention (auditory, visual, ability to sustain skills over time)
*Executive functioning (working memory, planning, problem solving, and organizational skills; ability to reason, inhibit responses when needed, and/or be behaviorally “flexible”)
*Learning and memory (verbal and visual)
*Language (expressive/receptive, naming, verbal fluency)
*Visuospatial/visuoconstructional skills
*Fine motor dexterity and coordination (handwriting, pencil grip, ability to complete written tasks in a timely and efficient manner)
*Psychological and Emotional Functioning (parent, teacher, self-report)
*Personality

Contact: lindsay@brooklynletters.com, 347-560-1399 www.lindsaywhitmanphd.com
PAYMENT: Private pay only. Dr. Whitman does not accept insurance but is happy to provide a receipt for out-of-network reimbursement. Cash or check accepted.
HOURS: Wednesday & Friday 9AM-5PM
LOCATION: One Grand Central Place, 60 E. 42nd Street New York, NY.
TYPE OF SERVICES: Neuropsychological evaluations for children and adolescents. Dr. Whitman is also able to conduct neuropsychological evaluations with adults.
EXPERTISE: Dr. Whitman is trained in the evaluation of children and adults with learning disabilities, developmental delay, intellectual disabilities, and all other clinical conditions associated with cognitive difficulties (e.g., AD/HD, autism spectrum disorder). She is trained to evaluate children and adolescents with medical conditions such as epilepsy/seizures, traumatic brain injury/concussion, and perinatal toxic exposure (e.g., alcohol, lead).

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