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Possible Evaluations

What is a Neuroeducational Assessment?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
 

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder begin in early childhood and include difficulties with social interactions, social communication (verbal or nonverbal), and restrictive or repetitive thoughts, interests, or patterns of behavior.  ASD is complex, and the level of need and presentation can vary significantly from one individual to another.  An evaluation needs to be comprehensive in order to reveal each individual's unique pattern of strengths and challenges.  

 

Common Characteristics May Include:

  • Struggling with back and forth conversations and interactions

  • Displaying a lack of awareness or understanding of the emotions, thoughts, or perspectives of others

  • Failing to initiate or respond to social interactions

  • Missing verbal and nonverbal social cues and norms

  • Limited eye contact or nonverbal communication (e.g., gestures, facial expressions)

  • Intense interest in a small number of topics

  • Repetitive behaviors such as hand flapping or spinning

  • Becoming very upset if routines change

 

 

ASD Assessment:

An ASD evaluation includes a thorough developmental and autism interview, rating scales, and one on one testing of characteristics consistent with autism.  The evaluation also consists of a cognitive assessment and may include additional testing of executive functioning abilities or adaptive and daily living skills.   

 

If you would like to find out more about an assessment for ASD, please 

 

 
Brain Injury/Prenatal Substance Exposure

Could this be Related to Something that Happened Years Ago?

When cognitive abilities are impacted, there is not always a connection between the event and the current difficulties with processing information, learning, attention, and behavior.  Individuals often “grow into their injuries” due to the cognitive demands increasing and the supports from others decreasing over time.  For example, it is not uncommon for an event that occurred during pregnancy or at the age of three to "start impacting" a child in third or fourth grade because the parts of the brain that were affected are now needed to be successful in school.   Each individual with an impact on their cognitive functioning can present differently, so it is essential to obtain a complete picture of their strengths and needs to truly understand why they are struggling.  

 

Common Characteristics of a Compromise in Cognitive Processing:

  • Unevenness in performance-know the information one day but not the next

  • Unevenness in cognitive abilities

  • Difficulties controlling their emotions

  • Behavior concerns

  • Difficulties with attention

  • Struggling with learning and frequently do not respond to traditional interventions

  • Struggling with changes in routines or plans

  • Memory concerns

  • Executive functioning needs

  • Taking a long time to process information

  • Difficulties expressing thoughts

 

 

Compromise to Cognitive Functioning Assessment: 

Any need that has impacted cognitive development or functioning requires a complete Neuroeducation Assessment.  The evaluation involves an in-depth developmental history, including how the individual functioned before and after the illness or injury.   The evaluation also includes a thorough cognitive assessment of verbal and nonverbal processing, executive functioning, different types of memory, and how quickly the individual processes information.  The goal of the evaluation is to gain a thorough picture of cognitive strengths and weaknesses and how that pattern contributes to the individual’s behavior and learning profile.   The evaluation may also include an assessment of academic skills, social-emotional and mental health needs, or adaptive and daily living skills.

 

If you would like to find out more about an evaluation for a need that might be impacting cognitive functioning, please 

 

 

 
Learning Disabilities

What is a Learning Disability?

Learning disabilities come in many different forms, including reading (dyslexia), writing (dysgraphia), and math (dyscalculia).  There are also other factors that can impact a person’s ability to learn, including nonverbal learning disabilities, language processing disorders, cognitive weaknesses, memory concerns, or issues with executive functioning.  Many individuals have a combination of disabilities and cognitive needs impacting their learning.  

There are subtle learning challenges and disabilities that are not assessed by the school setting because the student is not “significantly” behind their peers and is showing growth in academic skills.  However, these needs are still impacting their ability to academically perform to their full potential.  These challenges also impact the child’s self-esteem and their enjoyment of school and learning.  A Neuroeducational Assessment will help identify what is occurring cognitively and academically and may open up the door for support at school and work.  

 

 

Common Characteristics of a Learning Disability:

  • “Not living up to their potential”

  • Performance is below grade level in one or more academic areas

  • Struggles with or is behind peers in learning concepts

  • Avoids particular academic tasks

  • Homework battles and meltdowns

  • Difficulties following directions

  • Works slowly

  • Difficulties remembering information or learning facts

  • Hard worker but the product does not show it

  • Slow in developing language or fine motor skills

 

 

Learning Disability Assessment: 

When considering an identification for a reading (dyslexia), writing (dysgraphia), or math (dyscalculia) disability, it is essential to assess both the individual’s academic and cognitive abilities.  Needs with cognitive processing (nonverbal reasoning, language processing, memory, attention, executive functioning, processing speed) can be causing or contributing to the individual’s difficulties with learning.  The purpose of a complete Neuroeducational Assessment that includes cognitive and academic testing is to really understand what is occurring and to help guide specific supports and strategies for the individual’s unique learning needs.    

 

If you would like to find out more about a learning disability assessment, please  

 
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder ADHD/ADD

What is ADHD/ADD?

Individuals with ADHD/ADD experience persistent difficulties with attention and/or impulsivity and hyperactivity.  ADHD/ADD is present in childhood and frequently persists into adulthood.  Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder can be of predominately inattentive presentation, predominately hyperactive/impulsive presentation, or of combined presentation (both inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity).  Individuals with ADHD/ADD may also experience difficulties in social interactions, being flexible in their thinking, and displaying difficulties adjusting to new or unexpected tasks and situations.  

 

Common Characteristics of Inattention Include:

  • Difficulties paying attention

  • Being easily distracted

  • Forgetfulness

  • Making careless mistakes

  • Failing to give close attention to detail

  • Not responding/listening when spoken to

  • Losing necessary items

  • Difficulties with organization

  • Avoiding challenging tasks

 

Common characteristics of Hyperactivity/Impulsivity Include:

  • Fidgeting, tapping, and squirming in seat

  • Frequently leaving seat when expected to remain seated

  • Running or climbing in inappropriate situations

  • Unable to quietly engage in activities

  • Talking excessively

  • Struggling with waiting their turn

  • Interrupting others

 

 

ADHD/ADD Assessment:

An evaluation for ADHD/ADD involves a thorough developmental history interview, rating scales, and direct assessment of attentional skills.  When the individual is a child, information is gathered from both the home and school environments.   As individuals with ADHD/ADD commonly have difficulties with executive functioning or have additional learning disabilities, assessments may also be completed to gather a complete picture of the individual in these areas.

 

If you would like to find out more about an ADHD assessment, please 

 
Anxiety/Depression/Mental Health

Anxiety, depression, and other mental health needs can take many different forms, but always impact an individual’s ability to function in some capacity.  In addition, children can display some of the classic symptoms of a mental health disorder but may also present very differently than adults.  Children may complain of physical symptoms such as headaches and stomachaches, and they can have difficulties sleeping and eating.  Children can appear irritable or non-compliant and may participate in risk-taking behaviors or revert to an earlier childhood stage, such as bed wetting, throwing tantrums, or becoming clingy.  Meltdowns, overreactions to small situations, and difficulties adjusting to unexpected changes can be common.  Sometimes, it appears they are being defiant and oppositional when, in reality, they are dealing with ADHD, anxiety, depression, trauma, or another mental health need.  

 

 

Mental Health Assessment:

A psychological evaluation includes a thorough developmental health history and rating scales.  Additional cognitive or academic assessments may be completed to discover if there are cognitive or learning needs contributing to one’s emotional well-being.  

 

If you would like to find out more about a mental health assessment, please  

 

 

 
Gifted/Twice Exceptional

What is Giftedness and Twice Exceptionality?

There are several factors that lead to an individual being identified as gifted and talented, which include intellectual ability, creativity, artistic talents, leadership, and academic skills.  Identification for giftedness requires a combination of these factors.  For example, being above the 95%ile intellectually and academically as well as displaying creativity or leadership.  Neuroeducational Assessment Services focuses on assessing the types of giftedness that include high levels of intellectual ability. 

 

Individuals who are Twice Exceptional (aka 2e), have cognitive/intellectual abilities that fall in the gifted range but also have a disability (e.g., learning, ADHD, mental health, etc.) that masks their strengths and impacts their ability to perform academically at a level consistent with their intellectual capabilities.    

 

Common Characteristics of Giftedness:

  • Think outside of the box and make connections that others do not make

  • Are interested in the big picture rather than small details

  • Very observant and notice features or ideas that others miss

  • Very curious and questioning

  • Strong problem solving and reasoning skills

  • Creative in their approach to tasks

  • Advanced ideas and opinions

  • Creative and have a unique and vivid imagination

  • Superior vocabulary and complex sentence structure

 

Additional Common Characteristics of Twice Exceptional:

  • High intellectual ability with average or below academic skills 

  • Uneven academic skills or performance 

  • Have an identified or suspected disability

  • Appear unmotivated, avoid school tasks, and fail to complete assignments

  • Frustrated by school

  • Have advanced ideas but take a long time to express them

  • Difficulties with memory

  • Difficulties following directions

 

 

Gifted or Twice-Exceptional Assessments:

Gifted evaluations include a cognitive/intellectual assessment and rating scales.  An evaluation also typically includes academic testing.  Twice-exceptional assessments include a gifted evaluation plus any additional testing to determine if there is a disability impacting the individual’s ability to be successful in the school setting.  Additional testing may include more in-depth cognitive testing, rating scales, or academic testing.  

 

If you would like to find out more about a gifted or 2e evaluation, please