Douglas Wayland-Smith, PhD | Experience & Credentials | Assessment & Testing | Forms
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Lakeville CT 06039

Diagnosis and Treatment Planning

REASONS FOR PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTING

Just as lab values, x-rays, and medical tests complement history-taking and physical examinations, psychological tests complement interviewing and observational methods. It is particularly useful when other methods have not produced a clear diagnostic picture or adequate treatment response.

Referrals come primarily from individual patients, family and friends, schools/educational consultants and “medical” (e.g., physicians, psychiatrists, neurologists, etc.) and mental health practitioners (e.g., psychologists, social workers, professional counselors).

While the reasons for a referral are quite varied, they usually center on issues of differential diagnosis, educational planning and treatment planning. Common reasons for referral include:

1) Establishing and clarifying diagnoses such as learning disabilities (e.g., dyslexia), ADHD, anxiety, depression, autistic spectrum disorders, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, etc.

2) Assisting with educational planning, school placement and school readiness.

3) Helping to develop nuanced plans for tutoring and remediation and documenting the need for testing accommodations.

4) Assessing intellectual ability and IQ (e.g., giftedness and mental retardation) and establishing a baseline in order to gauge what is reasonable to expect of a given student.

5) Identifying neuropsychological difficulties (e.g., slow processing speed, limitations in working memory, attentional deficits, executive problems and weaknesses with learning and memory) related to illnesses such as dementia or injuries such as concussion and post-concussion syndrome.

6) To understand social-emotional functioning, personality organization and the underlying causes that can lead to substance abuse, behavioral problems and misconduct.

7) To guide treatment decisions (e.g., medication vs. therapy), to document changes in functioning over time and to gauge treatment response (e.g., testing pre-post design to evaluate the efficacy of a stimulant medication for ADHD).

Assessment and Testing
Types of Psychological Testing | Reasons for Psychological Testing | About Psychological Evaluations
Douglas Wayland-Smith | Experience & Credentials | Assessments & Testing | Forms & Contact Information