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A comprehensive evaluation is the necessary first step in figuring out why your child learns differently and what to do about it. If you donít figure out the cause of a your childís learning difficulties, how can you successfully treat them? Dr. Capanna-Hodge will make thorough recommendations for home and school. She will show you how to access academic support in a positive, solution-focused manner.  

Assessment Frequently Asked Questions 

Why should I seek your help?
What is psychoeducational testing?
What is the purpose for performing psychoeducational assessments?

What areas or problems do you typically evaluate?
What age children do you evaluate?
Aren't these the same things for which my child was evaluated in school?

What tests are given?

How is testing done?
How long does it take to evaluate my child?
How can I prepare my child for testing?
What kind of information will you need from me prior to testing?

What are your fees?
After the evaluation is complete, how will you help?
What other educational consultation services do you offer?

Why should high school students have a new psychoeducational evaluation before college?
Do I have to tell a college that I have a disability before I am accepted?
How can I contact you?

 



Why should I seek your help?

The most obvious reasoning is of course that your child is not successful in school and needs an evaluation to determine if there is something interfering with their ability to learn. There are many other reasons why a child should be evaluated, including:

  • My child was evaluated by the school and was not identified to receive special services and is still not doing well

  • You feel that your child is bright yet not doing as well you think they should in school

  • Your instincts tell you that your child is much more capable

  • Displays processing delays

  • Spends an excessive amount of time completing their homework

  • Struggles with attention and concentration

  • Think they might be gifted

  • They work very hard yet are always just below grade level

  • Does poorly on the state mastery tests

  • Struggles with reading

  • Displays weak writing or reading comprehension skills

  • Your child hates school

Other reasons to seek support:

  • The school district refused to evaluate your child.

  • You feel that the local school district might have made a mistake in the evaluation.

  • You are concerned that the school is not doing everything they can for your child.

  • Are you wondering if the school district made the correct interpretations involving your child's testing data

  • The modifications, accommodations, or recommendations made at the IEP or 504 meeting donít seem to be meeting your childís needs.

  • You felt that there were too many terms or procedures that you didn't understand at the meeting.

  • You didnít feel listened to at the meeting are not sure your childís needs are being met.


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What is psychoeducational testing?


When the psychological and educational testing are included in an overall assessment of a person it is called a Psychoeducational assessment. Psychoeducational assessments help document the information processing dysfunctions found with LD and ADHD that significantly negatively impact on academic achievement.

When documenting LD and/or AD/HD psychological testing measures a person's relative cognitive strengths and weaknesses. Most often this is measured with an intelligence test, which provides a measure of overall potential. Such testing provides information to clarifying certain aspects of a person's cognitive ability.

In addition to the overall IQ, intelligence tests also help us to understand how one thinks. It provides us information about memory, speed of processing, visual-spatial skills and so on. Psychological tests of intelligence break cognitive abilities down into very specific areas. Using these specific areas, or subtests, the psychologist can learn more about a person's abilities by measuring specific types of information processing. Psycho-Educational testing shows different types of behaviors that result from the brain's processing. A comparison of the different types of brain processing helps the psychologist understand the nature of a person's learning. It also helps the psychologist know when a learning disability and/or ADHD may be present. Testing of educational achievement clarifies how brain processing of information impacts on school learning. Educational tests measure what has been learned in school or from daily life.

Psychoeducational Assessment involves measurement and evaluation of:

  • Thinking abilities

  • Intelligence

  • Language skills

  • Auditory processing

  • Achievement and Aptitude

  • Visio-Spatial skills

  • Visual-Motor Integration

  • Mental control (attention, concentration, mental flexibility, problem solving, planning, multi-tasking and persistence)

  • Executive functioning and attention

  • Planning & Organization

  • Speed of thought and movement

  • Memory

  • Reasoning abilities

  • Personality

  • Mood

  • Style and ability in relating to others

  • Behaviors and emotions

  • Reading, writing, and math skills

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What is the purpose for performing psychoeducational assessments?

  • Get a clearer picture of the problem behaviors or learning issues

  • Identify the source of oneís learning, attentional, or behavioral difficulties

  • Determine a diagnosis

  • Find out overall strengths and weaknesses

  • Ascertain a personís overall ability to learn

  • It establishes a baseline for measuring a childís educational progress.

  • Provide treatment recommendations and develop an action plan

  • It can help determine what strategies may be most effective in helping a child learn.

  • Develop short and long term goals and objectives

  • Assist in determining the best course of action(s) and program(s)

  • Used determine whether a child has a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and qualifies for special education and related services or should receive accommodations under 504 disability law.

  • It provides information that can help parents and the school develop an appropriate IEP for a child.

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What areas or problems do you typically evaluate?

I provide evaluations to address the following areas of concern:

  • Learning problems and disabilities
  • Reading problems and disabilities
  • Attentional difficulties
  • Nonverbal learning difficulties
  • Behavioral concerns
  • Social skill deficits
  • Emotional and personality functioning

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What age children do you evaluate?

Age three and up, as well as adults.

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Aren't these the same things for which my child was evaluated in school?

It depends. The intent of an evaluation within a school is usually to determine whether or not a child is eligible to receive special services within the school system. Schools may not always determine why your child is not learning. The intent here is to find out why there is a problem. Once we determine why a problem exists, we are able to create treatment plans tailored to the exact and specific needs. 

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What tests are given?

Depending upon the studentís difficulties, Dr. Capanna-Hodge may administer a combination of cognitive and educational tests, rating scales, or questionnaires. Standardized tests are the most appropriate, and are typically the only kinds of tests given to determine a studentís functional levels. Sometimes curriculum-based assessment of a childís academic skills may also be appropriate (i.e., having a student read from their own text book). An observation, client interview and detailed history and an analysis of prior educational, medical, and/or psychological records are also part of the evaluation.

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How is testing done?

A comprehensive psychological evaluation begins with a clinical interview, and then includes any number of psychological tests depending on the nature of the questions posed about the client. Testing is conducted on an individual, one-to-one basis in a controlled environment over a number of appointments. Since the examiner is in a controlled testing situation, monitoring the examineeís level of effort, behavior and so forth is much easier. Individually administered tests provide more valid estimates of the individualís skills as compared to group-administered tests.


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How long does it take to evaluate my child?

Comprehensive testing takes about 9 to 15 hours. For some children, it may be even longer. The majority of testing is fun. Tasks are brief and that helps to keep the testing interesting for most kids. Testing sessions last from two to three hours with plenty of breaks and snacks. Testing should be scheduled on days and times that are optimal for your child.


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How can I prepare my child for testing?

Preparing your child for psychoeducational testing can reduce anxiety and encourage cooperation through the upcoming battery of tests. Reassure your child that the reason for testing is to understand why school is a struggle despite hard work and attempts to do well. Also, explain that figuring out oneís strengths and weaknesses will help us understand how they learn best. Explain that the tests will contain a variety of questions, puzzles, drawings, stories, and games. Most importantly, offer the child hope in that the evaluation should show adults how best to help. I always explain to children that the teachers need help to teach you in way that you learn best. Be open and honest as much as possible.


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What kind of information will you need from me prior to testing?

I strongly believe in a holistic, integrative approach to evaluation. That means that I try to leave no stone unturned. Your childís academic records, previous testing, standardized test scores, medical information, developmental and social history, schoolwork samples, and etc. are all part of a thorough evaluation.


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What are your fees?

Dr. Capanna-Hodge can speak to you directly about her fees for assessment and consultation. Many clients obtain out of network insurance benefits for her services.


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After the evaluation is complete, how will you help?

Most importantly, I will thoroughly go over your childís test results and help you to understand how your child learns. I will provide you with both a comprehensive report and many detailed recommendations for home, school, and curriculum. I help people clarify problems, solve them and coach parents in applying solutions in the real world. With that information, I will teach you how to be your childís own best advocate in order to obtain programs and services for your child in a positive manner. If needed, I can help you access school support, attend school meetings, find tutors, and so on. My support does not end with the evaluation. Families often have me review goals, attend school meetings, or seek phone or email support throughout their childís academic career.

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What other Educational Consultation Services do you offer?

  • Consultation to organize and implement an educational plan to meet your childís needs

  • Assessment and testing

  • Advocacy

  • Making sure your child has appropriate access to school services and programs

  • Referrals to tutors and therapists specializing in working with challenged learners

  • Public and private primary, elementary, and high school selection assistance

  • Performing a thorough review of your childís school records to make sure that the records are current, accurate, and understood by you.

  • Working with you so you gain a clear and comprehensive picture of your childís learning challenges, school issues, or disabilities.

  • ADHD assessment and consultation to improve effectiveness in task and activity management

  • Performing classroom observations to assess the learning environment for your child.

  • Forming a plan with you for IEP or 504 team discussion, documentation and implementation.

  • Helping parents prepare for multidisciplinary conferences, eligibility team meetings, IEP and Section 504 development meetings.

  • Attending school meetings with parents.

  • Ongoing consultation and support, as needed.

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Why should high school students have a new psychoeducational evaluation before college?

In order to access services at college under 504 Disability Law, students must have a current evaluation. In addition, all universities have a learning center that offer varying levels of support. In order to utilize a university learning center, they always require a current psychoeducational evaluation and other documentation of a disability. This will allow students to have various accommodations, for example: extra time on testing, proof reading papers, ability to tape record classes, and etc.

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Do I have to tell a college that I have a disability before I am accepted?

No, you do not. It is important to contact the college learning center before school starts even if you donít think your child will utilize it. This is a good idea just in case your child needs support during their college career.

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How can I contact you?

Please call me or email me. I believe it is important to give parents the time that they need to answer their questions. If you donít get me directly, please leave me the best time to reach you.

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Copyright 2006 - Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge, LLC.
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