By Dr. Debra Luria
Psycho-educational testing is one of Shalva Psychiatry’s most important services offered. Through such testing, one is able to gain essential insights into one’s intellectual strengths and weaknesses, helping to understand exactly what interventions and services might be best for each individual. IQ testing can help to identify both mental impairments as well as giftedness, and leads to placement in academic programs which will help children be their best. Achievement testing can help to identify the presence of particular strengths or learning disabilities which can be holding students back, and results in arranging for appropriate tutoring and accommodations in the school setting, as well as placement in programs for the gifted.
When memory testing is added, one is able to identify the presence of dementia and other problems of old age and thinking. Additional tests can identify the presence of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder as well as other issues which can impede a student’s ability to learn and/or an adult’s ability to perform to the best of their abilities in the home and work settings.
Psycho-educational testing is generally performed by a psychologist, who both asks questions as well as provides the individual with visual and motor tasks to complete. Testing is carried out in two hour sessions over a period of several visits, to ensure that the individual never becomes too overwhelmed. It is generally an enjoyable experience, which, much like peeling an onion, can identify any number of problems which can be used for treatment planning. Often, such a plan involves working with schools who offer learning accommodations and give children the extra tutoring support needed in order to best learn, leads to consultation with other health care providers for any number of interventions, and/or suggests intervention with medication of either the traditional or naturopathic type. A full report containing a developmental history, behavioral observations, test results, factors which contribute to a diagnosis, and recommendations is then provided, to be used as a guide to further treatment.
Insurance often covers the majority of psycho-educational testing costs. This includes the obtaining of a full developmental history, which examines one’s developmental, emotional, social, and behavioral picture, as well as their family history of any problems. Actual testing sessions then follow, culminating in a feedback session where all results are presented by the psychologist to the individual or parents, depending upon each situation. The written report then follows, which the schools or individual can then use as a road map for the next phase of life.
Dr. Debra Luria, PhD, PMHNP-BC, CNS-BC is director of psychological services at Shalva Adult and Child Psychiatry, 21751 W. 11 Mile, Suite, 105, Southfield, Michigan, 48076. Call 248-327-7175 for more information or to set an appointment.