A time is then set to perform the actual tests to ascertain more information about the nature and scope of the cognitive difficulties that need to be more completely understood. Frequently the specific tasks to be completed consist of tests which require brief spoken responses. However, a few tasks do involve paper and pencil work, and at times computer generated responses, and the manipulation of objects. In most instances the evaluation is a fairly conclusive process, whereby the diagnosis of specific cognitive difficulties are tentatively made. At all times a thorough explanation of the tests and procedures will be made to the client, as well as providing a complete understanding of the implications and recommendations that can be derived from the data.
Typically the comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation consists of administering the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for either children or adults, which assesses verbal comprehension skills, visual spatial and visual motor abilities, working memory capacities, and processing speed capabilities. Furthermore, the Woodcock Johnson Test of Educational Achievement is also usually given, which looks at academic achievement with regard to domains such as reading decoding or pronunciation skills, reading comprehension, spelling, writing abilities, calculation and arithmetic reasoning, oral language capacities, and the speed at which reading, writing and solving calculation problems can be accomplished. Finally, a very comprehensive selection of executive functioning and and attentional tests are administered and interpreted, in order to assess an individual's strengths and weaknesses with respect to his or her skills in these areas.
Populations Served and Benefits of Evaluation
Populations served include those children and adults with attention and reading problems that surface within an educational setting, but the evaluation of children, adolescents and adults with head injuries, sports related concussions, toxic and infectious encephalopathies, seizure disorders, cerebral tumors, vascular and degenerative dementias, and anoxia due to a variety of reasons are also seen by the staff at Howard Learning Assessment Services.
Benefits from timely diagnosis can lead to the use of medication that can improve the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. In addition, early evaluation can lead to more focused treatment planning and tutoring with those children and adults who are found to have learning disabilities. Diagnosis of a learning or attention impairment can lead to receiving accommodations on the SAT and other standardized tests. Finally, personality testing can help identify and differentially diagnose emotional or behavioral disorders whose symptoms may appear to be related to attention and learning difficulties.
In addition the benefits of neuropsychological assessment of neurological disorders can establish a baseline of functioning and measure recovery from injury.
After the evaluation is completed, a written report is done and a meeting is set up to go over the findings and discuss the test results. This meeting includes all personnel involved in the assessment who can then assist in discussing the treatment and recommendations of the testing.
In the event that further counseling or tutoring, is required, the staff at Howard Learning Assessment Services are equipped and ready to provide consultation and assistance to clients and their families. The staff at the center can also assist in setting up medication evaluations with psychiatrists in the area. Counseling and tutoring services are carried out by licensed and certified clinicians who deliver all services in a prompt and professional manner.
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