When your child or adolescent is struggling emotionally, academically, behaviorally, or socially it can be frustrating and frightening. An evaluation can help determine why a child is struggling and provide recommendations to address specific challenges by building on the child’s strengths. The terms testing or evaluation are often used interchangeably, along with assessment.
Dr. Olson’s experience as a psychologist in public schools provides a unique perspective. She is knowledgeable about legal requirements for special education and 504 services, as well as how to consult with a variety of professionals, including ARD committees.
Psychological Evaluation: this evaluation addresses the child’s emotional, behavioral, and social functioning. Concerns include ADHD, depression, anxiety, autism spectrum disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and bipolar disorder. Because symptoms can overlap, a thorough evaluation is essential. Typically, the evaluation would include record review, parent interviews, observation, rating scales, interviews with the child, teacher information (if applicable), and projective or informal measures such as drawings.
Psychoeducational Evaluation: this would be typical of the type of evaluations conducted by LSSPs in schools. Cognitive and achievement testing would be conducted, along with the methods used in psychological testing to obtain a multifaceted picture of the child’s strengths and areas of need, specific to academic progress.
Cognitive and academic Assessment: this type of evaluation typically includes record review, parent and teacher information, observation, and formal cognitive (i.e., intelligence), achievement testing, and evaluation of adaptive skills. Concerns may include learning disabilities or intellectual disability.
Benefits of testing with Dr. Olson:
- A child’s specific strengths and areas of need are explored, rather than focusing solely on deficits
- Recommendations specific to home, school, and other professional services (i.e., counseling)
- Experience working as a psychologist in schools with children in preschool through high school
- Reports are written to meet requirements of schools for consideration of special education services
- No information will be shared with schools or other professionals without written parent consent
- A flat fee means whatever assessment tools are needed to fully understand your child’s needs will be utilized, regardless of the time it takes
- Fees include observation at school and consultation with other professionals if recommended and with written parent consent
- For an additional fee, Dr. Olson may attend school meetings with written parent consent