Assessment and Evaluation
Many of our clients come to us with symptoms and/or behaviors that they have not been able to understand, or have not been able to pinpoint the underlying factors or causes.
At TheraThrive, our assessment process is tailored to each individual to help bring clarity to a complex presentation. Assessment can be for adults or children, ages 2 ½ and up, depending upon the needs and situation.
We offer assessment and testing that explore symptoms and behaviors we often see that may be related to giftedness/gifted traits and high sensitivity. These include:
- Cognitive functioning, including testing for giftednesss/Intelligence Quotient (IQ testing), memory, cognitive ability, areas of relative cognitive strengths and weakness
- Sensory concerns (sensory processing)
- Autism spectrum and other developmental concerns
- Learning differences
- Emotional regulation challenges
- Emotional development, social development, or a combination of these
An evaluation process may consist of one assessment test or several, depending upon your situation and the type of challenges or questions you have. If more than one test is utilized, it might be called a comprehensive assessment, battery assessment, or comprehensive evaluation.
What to Expect: The Evaluation Process
At TheraThrive, we understand that our clients may be highly sensitive, intense and/or experience some anticipation or anxiety around the testing process. We will do our best to welcome you, offer a comfortable environment for testing, and offer breaks as needed.
The process of evaluation will depend upon the specific goals and assessment tests utilized. The steps in an evaluation process typically include:
- Meeting with parents (or adult client). This initial meeting is usually 50 minutes, although it may be longer or shorter in some situations. This initial meeting usually includes a diagnostic interview.
- Meeting with child: If needed, we will meet with your child for a 50 minute qualitative diagnostic session prior to testing.
- The testing/assessment process typically takes between 30 minutes to 4 hours, depending upon the type of evaluation. Some assessments may take a bit longer, and some can take as long as 8 hours or more. If 100 minutes or more will be needed, the testing process will be broken up into several sessions.
- Questionnaires. We may ask you to complete a questionnaire (or we may provide a questionnaire for your child’s teacher to complete).
- Feedback sessions. After the testing and written report(s) are completed, we will provide you with feedback. This meeting may be with you, parents only, or with both child and parents, depending upon the developmental age of the child. During the feedback session, we review results and findings, discuss recommendations, and address any remaining questions.
What is a Comprehensive Report? Depending upon the type of assessment, a Comprehensive Report generally includes (but is not limited to):
- Type of assessment(s)
- Assessment results and findings
- A summary that clarifies and connects the various test scores and results
- Recommendations regarding social and emotional needs
- Recommendations regarding developmental needs
- Recommendations regarding educational or work modifications
In some circumstances, in lieu of the feedback session, a report can be mailed to you. Duplicate copies of the report can be sent to you and/or any schools or professions for whom you provide written consent. Reports cannot be released to a school or anyone else without your written consent. Please schedule your appointment(s) in time for any reports to be received by your school(s), if there is concern about a deadline.
Types of Evaluation and Assessment
Qualitative assessment consists of an interview with the parent(s) and/or child, and possible play observation. Qualitative assessment can provide insight into strengths, needs, challenges, and beneficial interventions. Qualitative assessment may also provide the additional information to help you determine if a further assessment would be beneficial.
Emotional, Social, and Behavioral Assessment
Age Range: 6 – 18 years
Emotional, social, and behavioral functioning is assessed using as comprehensive interviews; self-report and parent, teacher (or work) questionnaires; play/discussion/observation.
We offer several types of quantitative assessment, including IQ testing (and we offer most tests accepted by the Davidson Institute). We will determine the appropriate assessment tests to utilize when we learn more about you—your particular questions and challenges, and your particular situation. Please click below to learn more about some of the quantitative assessment tests we offer.
Differential Ability Scales-Second Edition (DAS-II)
Age Range: 2.6 – 17.11 years
The DAS-II evaluates cognitive ability, but is different than the WPPSI/WISC. At TheraThrive, we like the The DAS–II because it measures a narrower and more specific area of human cognition than the WPPSI/WISC. Although the DAS–II provides a General Conceptual Ability composite (sort of similar to the GAI in the WISC), it is primarily utilized as a tool for identifying and understanding individual strengths and weaknesses, and provides an in-depth understanding of capabilities, for a more effective intervention.
The DAS-II provides us with insight about how your child processes information, which can help with appropriate planning and interventions and/or recommendations, at home and for the classroom.
The DAS II contains diagnostic subtests that measure a variety of cognitive abilities, including verbal and visual working memory, visual recognition and matching, immediate and delayed recall, processing and naming speed, phonological processing, and understanding of basic number concepts.
Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Fifth Edition (WISC-V)
Age Range: 6:0–16:11 years
The WISC-V is the most recent version of this popular measure of cognitive ability. This assessment measures the ability to analyze and synthesize information, quantitative reasoning and induction, visual working memory, and cognitive processes important to academic achievement in reading, math and writing. The WISC-V can help shed light on specific learning disabilities and other clinical conditions.
Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales-Fifth Edition (SB-5)
Age Range: 2 to 85+ years
The Stanford-Binet is a widely used assessment of cognitive strengths and weaknesses that assess five cognitive factors, including Fluid Reasoning, Knowledge, Quantitative;, Visual–Spatial, and Working Memory.
The Stanford-Binet is considered an excellent measure of giftedness due to many high-end measures. It is considered to be unbiased in regard to gender, ethnicity, culture, religion, region, and socioeconomic status. This measure is accepted by most schools, including the Davidson Institute.
The Stanford Binet can also be utilized to assess for concerns regarding memory in older adults.
Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices (APM)
Age Range: 12:0-16:0, 17:0 years and older
The Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices is a measure of high-level observation skills, clear thinking ability, and intellectual capacity. This assessment stands out because it utilizes a non-verbal estimate of abstract reasoning or fluid intelligence. It is designed to differentiate between people at the high end of intellectual ability, capturing those who fall within the top 20% of the population. As a nonverbal assessment, this test minimizes the impact of cultural or language bias.
Process Assessment of the Learner - Second Edition (PAL-II)
Age Range: Kindergarten – 6th grade
The PAL-II is a comprehensive, researched-based assessment system provides an application for prevention, problem solving and diagnosis of dysgraphia, dyslexia, oral and written language disability (OWL LD).
Conners - Third Edition (Conners-3)
Age Range: 6 – 18 years
The Conners-3 assesses for ADHD and associated features, including Oppositional Defiant and Conduct Disorder behaviors.
Sensory Profile 2
Age Range: Birth – Adult (assessment differs by age group)
The Sensory Profile 2 evaluates sensory processing patterns in the context of home, school, and community-based activities. This assessment reveals how sensory processing concerns may contribute to, or interfere with, participation in activities at home, school, and community.
The Sensory Profile 2 also provides valuable information about sensory strengths and challenges, which in turn give insight into appropriate intervention, treatment planning, and useful remediation strategies.
Assessment and Evaluation Fees
The total cost for evaluation and assessment is based upon the type of evaluation, what is being assessed, and the amount of time associated with completing the evaluation and report.
The types of evaluation and assessment vary greatly, and we welcome complex cases. No matter the type of assessment, we will strive to provide you with the most comprehensive report and recommendations.
During your feedback session, at the end of the evaluation process, you will receive a report in both a paper (wet-copy) report and in electronic .pdf format. You may request additional paper (wet-copy) reports for a fee.
Common Questions and Answers (FAQ)
Please click below to learn more about the assessment and evaluation process.
How do I talk with my child about the assessment process?
It’s important to be both careful and honest when talking with your child about assessment. What to say depends upon your child’s age, developmental strengths, and the topic of assessment.
In general, when you talk with us about the assessment process, we will strategize with you ways to talk about the assessment process. For example, it might more helpful to avoid using the word “test” or “games,” and instead describe the assessment process as working on various activities that help you make decisions about school and/or get the right type of support. In regards to expectations, your child can be prepared to follow sets of instructions.
How can my child study or prepare for the assessment?
Please do not coach or prep your child for assessment, and please do not expose your child to assessment testing material prior to the evaluation. This would invalidate test results. Instead, the best way to prepare is to help your child understand that the he or she will need to listen carefully, to follow directions, and to relax and just be himself/herself/themselves.
How long will the assessment process take?
Depending upon the type of assessment, the testing meetings generally last between 50 minutes-4 hours.
For example, the DAS-II usually takes between 30 – 90 minutes, depending upon your child’s developmental age and working style. Younger children generally have a shorter test administration time. These are average times and please keep in mind that some children work faster or slower than others, and that different types of assessment take different amounts of time.
We will meet with you alone (one or both parents) prior to the testing time in an initial diagnostic meeting, in order to gather information about your questions, your child’s developmental milestones, birth and pregnancy history, and other important information, and this interview would be part of the assessment meeting time.
In general, it’s best to plan on spending approximately 1- 2 hours total at the office per visit. We will let you know ahead of time approximately how long the process will take, and if it seems that the process will take longer or shorter than anticipated, we will certainly let you know.
Will my child get a break, or does she have to sit still for 2 hours?
Depending upon the situation and type of assessment, your child may be able to take a rest break. Of course, your child will be allowed to take a restroom break or hydrate, as needed. We understand the need to move around, and will be kind and accommodate your child’s needs.
Can I observe my child’s assessment?
Although we welcome parents to join their children for family therapy meetings, the assessment process is different, and in most cases the parent will not be allowed to observe the assessment.
The assessor will meet with parents prior to beginning testing. Parents are expected to wait in the waiting room during the evaluation, and reading material, internet access, water and tea are provided for waiting parents.
One important source of the information is how your child responds during when parents are not present. This will also provide insight regarding how your child will perform in school.
The assessor will work to help your child feel relaxed, and will approach the activities positively. In addition, test items are designed to be appealing and engaging to children, which will help them feel more at ease.
When can I expect the results from the assessment?
We will schedule a feedback meeting to go over assessment results with you, generally about 10-14 days after the assessment is complete. In some cases, you may request results to be mailed (or .pdf file, if requested), and mailed results will usually be sent 10-14 business days after assessment completion. If you have a deadline, we will make every effort to assist you, however please schedule assessments with sufficient time to guarantee any deadlines are met.
Can I cancel or reschedule my child's appointment?
Yes. Appointments are often made several weeks or even months in advance. For this reason, we ask that if you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment, please be considerate to those who may be able to use that time, and provide at least 48 hours in advance notice for a cancellation. Please note that a late cancellation fee of $229/50 minutes scheduled will be charged for appointments cancelled without 48 hours’ notice.