The Evaluation Clinic at Crossroads Center for Children offers comprehensive, multi-disciplinary assessments for children who are demonstrating difficulties in the areas of cognition, speech and language, social/emotional, adaptive, and/or motor skills. A team of professionals will assess the child and work together to determine the child’s current level of functioning, compared to other children of his/her same age, and the team will then assist in determining what services may be beneficial and treatment recommendations.
How do I refer a child for an evaluation?
If you are interested in having a child evaluated, the first step is to contact either the New York State Early Intervention Program in the child’s county (birth to three years) or local school district (3 years and older) to initiate the evaluation process. A child can be referred by a parent, school district, daycare provider, doctor, or preschool/nursery school teacher, but a parent must consent to the assessment.
Once this has been completed, a provider from Crossroads Center for Children will contact the parent to obtain information and set up a time to assess the referred child. The evaluation may occur in our evaluation room, the child’s home, or his/her preschool. The parent(s) will also receive a packet of information in the mail to read and fill out.
What happens during the evaluation?
Evaluations consist of observations, interview(s) with parents/caregivers/teachers, and direct testing of the child by professional staff. Evaluation techniques and testing may include the following (depending on the specific needs of the child):
The School Psychologist evaluates both cognitive and social/emotional skills; the evaluator uses a combination of standardized formal assessments and parent (and/or teacher) interviews to determine the child’s strengths and weaknesses in these particular areas. The child’s verbal and nonverbal skills, how he/she interacts with adults and their peers, and his/her ability to perform activities of daily living are some of the areas that will be addressed.
Additionally, if a child is demonstrating challenging behaviors that inhibit his/her functioning in the home, school and/or community settings, a functional behavior analysis (FBA) may be conducted to determine the reasons for such behaviors. The results will be incorporated into a behavior intervention plan to be used across multiple environments.
Also, if there is not a specific concern in one (or more) of the developmental areas, the School Psychologist may conduct screenings in these areas and can refer the child for a supplemental evaluation if needed.
SPEECH AND LANGUAGE ASSESSMENT
The Speech Pathologist/Therapist evaluates areas such as receptive language, expressive language, pragmatics (social language) and articulation. Other areas of assessment may include fluency, oral motor, and/or hearing.
Receptive language refers to the child’s understanding of spoken words, directions, concepts and questions. A variety of standardized assessment tools, parent reports, and information collected through observation during play are used to determine the child’s receptive language level.
Expressive language refers to the child’s ability to communicate a message using combinations of sounds, words and/or gestures. Attempts to engage the child in verbal interactions will be made through conversation/play, questions and answering, and the evaluator will also use standardized assessments.
Articulation refers to the production of specific speech sounds. The child’s ability to produce different consonants and vowels will be noted and then compared to typical speech sound development according to the child’s chronological age. Assessment of articulation will be addressed at single word and conversational levels with careful attention to occurrences of frustration. A clinical judgment regarding the child’s speech intelligibility (the listener’s ability to understand the child’s speech) will be made.
Other assessments may be conducted, as necessary, via parent interview, observation, and other means.
MOTOR SKILLS ASSESSMENT
The occupational and physical therapists evaluate gross motor and fine motor skills. Evaluations contain standardized assessment tools, observation of the child, and parent interview.
Fine motor skills refer to the development of fine muscle control and coordination, particularly the small muscles in the arms and hands that allow performance of increasingly complicated tasks, such as writing and coloring.Gross motor skills refer to the large muscle systems used in locomotion skills such as walking, running, and jumping, and coordinated movements such as throwing.
What happens once the evaluation is completed?
At the completion of the evaluation, the evaluators will share the immediate results with the parents of the child. A comprehensive report will then be comprised and mailed to the parent (as well as the school district and/or appropriate county) containing the child’s formal assessment results and the evaluators’ observations and recommendations.
Next, a meeting will be scheduled by the school district or service coordinator to discuss the results of the evaluation. A determination of the student’s eligibility for services will be reviewed and any services that may be appropriate to best meet the child’s needs will be discussed.
If you are interested in further information about our clinic, or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact the Evaluation Clinic at 280-0083, extension 110.