Psychological testing, also called psychological assessment, is a process of problem solving through the administration of tests and other procedures to help understand a person and their behavior, personality, and capabilities. It is used to best determine the core components of a person’s psychological or mental health problems, personality, IQ, or some other component. It can be a process that helps identify both one’s strengths and weaknesses, and it often helps provide clarity on an individual’s presenting difficulties. Psychological testing alone cannot predict future behaviors, but can often yield strong hypotheses about an individual’s cognitive, emotional, or behavioral tendencies.
Dr. Barbash offers psychological testing for:
- Educational assessment (ADHD, ADD, LD, Gifted) – Testing that is conducted to determine whether an adult or child is considered to have gifted abilities, or has a learning disability or ADHD/ADD if experiencing scholastic or occupational difficulties.
- Diagnostic assessment – When an individual presents with a complex history and symptoms, psychological testing can help to determine and clarify diagnoses, which aids in the planning and administration of appropriate and effective treatment interventions.
- Personality assessment – Helps understand an individual’s personality, which is a complex combination of factors that impact the person’s interactions with themselves, others, and the world. Often completed through objective testing methods, which are empirically based measures deemed reliable and valid.
- PTSD/Trauma-specific assessment – Thorough assessment that can help determine whether an individual has been significantly impacted by trauma and/or meets diagnostic criteria for PTSD.
FAQ about educational assessment:
What can I do to prepare my child for gifted testing?
Make sure that your child gets a good night’s sleep prior to testing and has a nutritious breakfast in the morning. I strongly urge you not to try to “coach” your child. These are not tests you can, or should, prepare for as they are meant to measure innate ability. Do not overemphasize the importance of this test or act in a way so as to add to any test anxiety. Do not speak in terms of passing or failing the test (which is impossible), but rather in terms of doing one’s best in order to help with the best placement for next year. For young children, I recommend talking to the child about “meeting someone new and to show off everything that you know, so that we can show your future teacher how smart you are.”
What can I do to prepare for ADHD/ADD testing?
No preparation is required for the testing other than gathering information to bring with you. Because a diagnosis of ADHD requires documentation of difficulties in childhood, it is important that you gather any relevant information such as report cards, prior evaluations, or high school transcripts. If you are currently taking medication to treat ADHD symptoms, you may take the regular dose of such medication on the day of your assessment. Taking or not taking such medications will not influence a diagnosis.
What can I do to prepare for learning disability (LD) testing?
No preparation is needed for the evaluation except for bringing the requested documentation (report cards, transcripts, prior evaluations). It will be in your best interest to be physically prepared for the evaluation: get a good night’s sleep, eat breakfast and lunch, etc. The evaluation will consist of taking tests that were specifically developed for identifying problems in learning and that were designed to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses in your ability to problem-solve novel tasks, answer questions related to basic reading, writing and math skills, and process information. Also, please note that it is in your best interest to put forth your best effort during the evaluation. A diagnosis of learning disability is determined by a particular pattern of scores and not an overall deficit in performance.