Dr. Debra Brosius
Licensed Clinical Psychologist,
Assessment, Therapy and Consultation
Assessment is a specialized service, typically offered by psychologists to develop a comprehensive understanding of the nature of difficulties with cognition, intellect, academic performance, learning, concentration and psychological factors. The goal is to obtain a functional understanding of ability and to provide detailed recommendations for clinical or educational services and accommodations (if warranted).
There can be many possible causes for these types of difficulties, including brain injury, aging, learning disabilities, ADHD, psychiatric disorders, substance use, medical conditions, problems with motivation, and/or stress. For this reason, a comprehensive assessment must evaluate many aspects of a person’s functioning and life history. These assessments typically consist of interviews with the client and significant others (e.g., a parent or sibling), a series of questionnaires and tests, a review of records, medical history or report cards. It is common for these assessments to take about 4-8 hours, including interviewing and testing time. A complete report (often 8-10 pages) and a series of recommendations may be made as appropriate for the individual, the school or family. A 45-minute feedback session is also included so that you clearly understand the results.
Preparation for assessment can reduce your anxiety and allow for optimal performance in during the process. Below is a brief set of recommendations for individuals:
For elementary school-age children, it is advised that you inform them (in advance) that that they have an appointment scheduled with me based on the child’s age; if the child is eight years old, inform them that they will be meeting with me “in a week or so.” This will give your child time to process the information and ask any questions that may come to mind. Remind your child the day before the appointment that they will be spending a few hours with me the next day at my office instead of going to school. Sometimes, missing school is a real sales point! It is imperative to check your child’s schedule so that he is not missing an importnant or fun activity that day.
It is advised that you avoid using emotionally-laden terms such as “testing,” “doctor,” “learning disabilities,” and “giftedness” with your child. For example, rather than saying “You are going to a doctor to be tested for learning disabilities,” you could explain that you made an appointment with someone who will help better understand “how she learns best,” which will faciliate educational goals. Explain that the work he/she completes with me will involve a variety of things, such as answering questions, doing puzzles, drawing, listening to stories, and playing memory games. Emphasize that most children really enjoy these tasks. Most importantly, make an effort to convey a positive and confident attitude about the experience.
For all individuals: A good night’s sleep before the assessment and a healthy breakfast in the morning is essential for optimal performance. Bring everything that you or your child normally needs, such as glasses or an inhaler for allergies. A small snack and a drink for refueling between tests is also helpful. Some children may wish to bring a favorite object. For younger children, please plan to stay nearby.
Other important information about assessment: Dr. Brosius has been trained in working with a variety of individuals. It is my highest priority to make the process comfortable and enjoyable for you or your child. Breaks are taken as needed throughout the process. Dr. Brosius will not be able to give you immediate feedback, as it takes time to score the tests or reflect on the meaning of the patterns of performance. Please be patient with the process– I promise I will give you every opportunity to understand your assessment results.
With any of my services, it is your responsibility to contact your insurance carrier and obtain pre-approval for services to optimize your reimbursement.
DR. DEBRA BROSIUS | Licensed Clinical Psychologist | Assessment, Therapy and Consultation