and Educational Evaluations
Dr. Weiss’s testing services offer a thorough analysis of an individual’s strengths and challenges. She strongly believes that when a child or adult is not achieving his/her full potential or struggling with emotional and behavioral challenges there is an underlying cause. Children want to do their best, and when they are unable to or seem as if they are not trying, Dr. Weiss believes there is a reason that must be uncovered. Some children or adults are mistakenly identified as “lazy” or “.noncompliant.” The goal of testing is to understand and uncover the root cause for these challenges. This is achieved through one on one objective testing, self-report and informant rating forms, observations, consultations with other professionals, interviews with parents, and record review (report cards, prior testing, standardized tests). For children, testing is administered with plenty of breaks and time for play so that the child is not overwhelmed. Children often find the tests fun and even ask for more time to “play” with Dr. Weiss after the tests have been completed.
Dr. Weiss has also been providing psychotherapy for over 20 years, which helps her to identify any social or emotional issues that may be complicating factors in arriving at an accurate diagnosis. Once challenges and strengths are identified, Dr. Weiss creates a tailored intervention plan, which is explained during the feedback meeting. The written report is provided to schools and anyone else working with the client. Feedback consists of a meeting with parents to explain results, diagnoses, and an intervention plan. Dr. Weiss connects families with top notch service providers in the community (i.e. educational therapists, psychiatrists, therapists, behaviorists, speech and language pathologists, social skills and social thinking groups, etc.). After providing feedback to parents, Dr. Weiss offers the option for the child or teen to participate in a developmentally appropriate feedback meeting. Dr. Weiss finds that interventions are most effective when the student understands his/her learning profile.
A comprehensive written report is provided which meets requirements for accommodations sought in school and on standardized tests (i.e. ISEE, SAT, ACT, MCAT, LSAT, GMAT, GRE, etc.)
Families decide to have testing done when confronting a challenge such as: a child having “meltdowns” at school and school refusal, a teen girl who misses social cues and has difficulty paying attention, a highly gifted boy who has difficulty with writing and auditory processing, a girl who has progressed to a highly competitive private school, but is unable to keep up with her reading load, an exceptionally verbal student who has an excellent memory, but great difficulty with written comprehension. These are just a few examples. If you are wondering if testing might help you or your family understand challenges, Dr. Weiss is happy to speak with you.
A comprehensive evaluation includes the following components:
Intellectual Functioning: cognitive ability tests (i.e. WISC-V, WAIS-IV, WPPSI-III) are administered to assess verbal and perceptual reasoning; working memory, and processing speed.
Attention and Executive Functioning: evaluation of ability to maintain focus, initiate tasks, inhibit impulses, regulate emotions, cognitive flexibility, and organization.
Academic Testing: assesses reading fluency, reading comprehension, rote math facts, math calculation, written expression, writing fluency, spelling, expressive language, receptive language, phonological processing, visual-motor skills, and auditory processing.
Memory and Learning: assesses ability to learn and remember utilizing different modalities, assesses for visual learning and auditory learning, ability to remember rote and complex information
Social and Emotional Functioning: evaluation of mood, copings skills, self-concept through projective measures, clinical interviews, subjective, and objective measures
Review of Records, Consultation with collateral professionals (i.e. teachers, therapists, , learning specialists)
Interviews to gather developmental history, background information
Classroom Observation (for elementary school students)
Dr. Weiss takes an individualized approach to each client, drawing from cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, family systems, and mindfulness frameworks. She believes effective treatment requires a strong connection between client and psychologist, as well as collaboration with other treating professionals. Dr. Weiss has used this approach to help children, adolescents, adults, and families overcome a wide variety of psychological challenges. For example, Dr. Weiss has recently:
helped a teenager navigate her social anxiety
worked with a parent and child to set limits at home
helped a client implement strategies for managing anger and frustration tolerance
helped a child with ADHD/High Functioning Autism/Anxiety navigate academic and social challenges
helped a client identify cognitive distortions and implement changes to live a more joyful life
helped a teen break the cycle of procrastination
helped a college student cope with anxiety about career choices
helped an adult identify maladaptive patterns to be successful with work and personal relationships
helped a new mother implement coping skills for postpartum depression and anxiety
IQ testing provides an objective measure of intellectual ability to reveal cognitive strengths and challenges, as well as identification of giftedness. Dr. Weiss uses the Wechsler testing instruments.
Consultations – Some families meet with Dr. Weiss to consult with her about a second opinion. Some students have complicated profiles and unfortunately, this can result in a child previously being misdiagnosed or undiagnosed.
Representation at IEP meetings – For students attending public schools, Dr. Weiss is able to provide representation to ensure that the student is getting services needed to meet his/her learning disabilities. Dr. Weiss provides additional testing that the district may not have included in their assessment.
Education Plan Meetings in Private Schools – Dr. Weiss also meets and consults with families in private schools to help teachers understand the child’s unique learning profile (specific challenges and strengths). Dr. Weiss closely works with school administrators and teachers to implement strategies to help students reach their full potential.
Dr. Weiss’ practice is fee-for-service, (with the exception of Anthem UCLA SHIP) which means that clients pay her directly for therapy sessions and assessment. Some clients do choose to submit their monthly statements to their insurance companies and are able to obtain partial or full reimbursement for services depending upon their insurance plan.
Dr. Weiss’s comprehensive reports meet the standards for requesting accommodations on standardized tests, for schools (both public and private), colleges, and graduate schools. Dr. Weiss has successfully secured extended time and other accommodations for her clients on standardized tests such as the ISEE, ACT, SAT, MCAT, GRE, LSAT, GMAT, etc. (Please note: students must have a diagnosis that supports an accommodation, as well as a functional limitation in order to request accommodations).