Avigail Gordon, PhD
Psychotherapy and Evaluations
Helping You Help Your Child
Reach His Or Her Potential
HELPING YOU HELP YOUR CHILD
REACH HIS OR HER POTENTIAL
If you're concerned about your child's ability to thrive in school or socially and suspect there may be an underlying learning or emotional issue, a comprehensive evaluation is a good step forward. It will provide you with information on your child's functioning and with concrete steps to take towards meeting your child's educational and emotional needs. For more about this process, see below.
One major benefit of a comprehensive evaluation is that it can clarify what related services will benefit a child - most often psychotherapy, learning specialists, occupational therapy, speech therapy, or physical therapy. I work with excellent practitioners in all of these fields and help you connect with them, so you know your child has a great team on their side - and so do you!
How are you different from other neuropsychological and psychoeducational evaluators?
My emphasis on context is key to what makes my evaluations different. This comes across in two important ways: the tests I give, and my attitude about consultation. Let me explain what I mean.
When I do an evaluation, I always include certain tests. Some are the tests that all evaluations include - such as an intellectual functioning test or a test of reading ability if you're concerned about your child's reading. I also always include tests of social and emotional functioning, because I believe that it is important to measure all aspect's of a child's functioning, and that what's happening inside your child emotionally is an important part of what's happening in school and at home.
Similarly, if your child is already receiving related services - like occupational or physical therapy, for example - I think it's important to touch base, and I will consult with those providers, and any other people working with your child whose perspective you think is important to understanding who your child is and how he or she is functioning.
The evaluation process seems intimidating! What's involved?
The first step is for one or both parents to meet with me. You'll give me some background information on your child, and have a chance to talk about your concerns and your goals for the evaluation. This usually takes around one hour.
After that, I'll meet with your child for the "formal" testing part of the evaluation. This generally consists of between two and four sessions of two to three hours each, depending on your child. During these sessions, I'll do many things with your child. As I tell the kids I work with, some of those things will be easy, and some will be hard; some will be interesting, and some will be boring. Some of the areas covered will include intellectual ability, academic performance, memory, executive functions, and social and emotional functioning. Your child may be asked to draw pictures, tell stories, do puzzles, or play games. They may also do more "school-like" things like answer math problems, read aloud, or write essays. I may also give you forms to fill out yourself or to ask teachers to complete.
Once this portion is complete, I'll look at all the data your child has provided and put together a comprehensive report for you. That report includes all the information and an interpretation of it that gives a snapshot of your child's functioning at this moment in time. Once the report is ready, I'll meet with you again (and depending on your child's age and interest, sometimes with your child) to go over the results. We'll talk about your child's strengths and weaknesses, and we'll also talk about some concrete steps you can take to address those weaknesses, at home and in school.
Will you work with my child's school?
Of course! Part of my contextual approach is the belief that it's my job to help them help you and your child. I'm always happy to work with your child's teachers, administrators, and support staff at their school, to make sure your child is getting exactly what they need to thrive.
Do you provide therapy for children?
At the moment, I do not conduct play therapy or psychotherapy with children. I can help you find the right provider for you and your child, however. There are many great practitioners in the area!