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Child & Adolescent Assessments

At Oceanside Family Therapy we provide comprehensive assessment options for children and adolescents. These assessments include gathering information from the child, the parents and teachers, when necessary to obtain a comprehensive view of the child or adolescent's presenting issues and symptoms.

Common presenting issues include: ADHD; Behavior Problems; Social Anxiety; Separation Anxiety; Child Abuse; Bullying; Eating Disorders; Academic Problems; Giftedness; Thought Disorders; Dyscalculia/Math Learning Disorders; Mood Disorders; Self-Harm; Suicidality and General Anxiety.

One of the Assessment Batteries frequently utilized includes the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment - An Integrated System of Multi-informant Assessment for school aged children. The ASEBA approach originated in the 1960s with Dr. Achenbach’s efforts to develop a more differentiated picture of child and adolescent psychopathology than was provided by the prevailing diagnostic system. It has been revised and updated to incorporate current psychiatric diagnostic criteria - DSM oriented scales for boys and girls. It also offers cross cultural references for assessment.

For ADHD assessments, our practice may also utilize the CAT-C. The CAT-C is an assessment instrument with three parallel forms: a Self-Rating Form completed by the child or adolescent, a Parent Rating Form completed by one or both parents, and a Teacher Rating Form completed by the child’s or adolescent’s teacher(s) Therefore, parent observations, teacher observations and the child or adolescent self-report must be taken into account during the assessment process. The CAT-C also:

  • Closely resembles the adult version of the CAT. Item content, clinical scales, and clusters are similar and parallel between both forms.

  • Standardized on a sample of 800 children and adolescents ages 8-18 years, 800 matched parents of these children, and 500 teachers of these children.

  • Concurrent validity, assessed through comparison with the Conners’ Rating Scales, the ADHDT, the CAB™, and the CAD™, revealed moderate-to-high correlations for both nonclinical and combined clinical samples across all three rating forms.

Dyscaluclia/Math Learning Disorders are assessed with the Feifer Assessment of Mathmatics, a comprehensive assessment of mathematics designed to examine the underlying neurodevelopmental processes that support the acquisition of proficient math skills. It not only helps determine if a student has a math learning disability (MLD) but also identifies the specific subtype of dyscalculia, which better informs decisions about appropriate interventions.

The FAM also:

Yields three index scores representing each dyscalculia subtype (Verbal Index, Procedural Index, and Semantic Index) as well as a Total Index score that represents total test performance.

  • The Verbal Index score is a measure of automatic fact retrieval and the linguistic components of math.

  • The Procedural Index score is a measure of a student's ability to count, order, and sequence numbers or mathematical procedures.

  • The Semantic Index score is a measure of visual—spatial and conceptual components, including magnitude representation, patterns and relationships, higher-level mathematical problem solving, and number sense.

Reliable change and discrepancy scores can be calculated.

Students in prekindergarten take nine subtests, students in kindergarten to Grade 2 take 14 subtests, and students in Grade 3 to college take 18 subtests.

Intelligence Testing provides an estimate of cognitive ability for psychiatric or vocational rehabilitation evaluations; it also helps to identify learning disabilities, mental retardation, giftedness, neuropsychological impairments, and other exceptionalities. The WRIT/Wide Range Intelligent Test assesses both verbal and nonverbal abilities, yielding a Verbal IQ and a Visual IQ, which generate a General IQ when combined and is a highly reliable assessment of cognitive abilities that can be used with individuals ages 4-85 years. Standardized on 2,285 individuals, the WRIT produces IQs that are highly correlated with those from traditional and much lengthier cognitive measures, including the WISC-III (.90) and the WAIS-III (.91).*

Autism spectrum disorders/ASD are identified and the severity can be estimated in conjunction with the Gilliam Autism Rating Scale/GARS-3. This assessment addresses DSM-V diagnostic criteria and assists with identifying autism (including formerly Aspergers) in children aged 3-22. The subscales include: Restrictive, Repetitive Behaviors, Social Interaction, Social Communication, Emotional Responses, Cognitive Style, and Maladaptive Speech. Aspergers, (now ASD) can be specifically screened with the Gilliam Asperger's Disorder Scale for children aged 3-22 who present unique behavioral problems and social interaction

Personality Assessment Inventory™–Adolescent (PAI®-A)

PAI-A is an objective personality assessment for use with adolescents.

  • The PAI-A closely parallels the adult version of the instrument but contains fewer items. Items are written at a 4th-grade reading level.

  • Clinical constructs, which were selected on the basis of their importance within the nosology of mental disorder and their significance in contemporary diagnostic practice, assess experiences (e.g., suicidal ideation, depression, anxiety) that are expressed with reasonable consistency across the life span.

  • PAI-A scores are presented in the form of linear T scores, which were calculated with reference to a U.S. Census-matched community sample.

When utilizing these validated assessment tools in combination with in-depth clinical interviews and mental health evaluations, you can be assured that your child is obtaining a highly accurate, and completely confidential assessment. If you have concerns about your child or adolescent, contact our office today to schedule an assessment.

For court related, immigration court cases or USCIS waiver evaluations for children please see the page

Nicole Story, M.Ed, Ed.S, LMFT, LMHC is a psychotherapist with dual licenses in Marriage and Family Therapy (LMFT) and Mental Health Counseling (LMHC).

She has Master's and Post Master's degrees (equivalent to a Doctorate of Psychology) from the University of Florida and has been evaluating, diagnosing and counseling children and their parents for over 15 years in private practice and community settings including: Hope Haven Children and Family Clinic; Child Guidance Center; Meridian Behavioral Healthcare - Gainesville; The Beaches Resource Center; and as the Clinical Director at a 30 bed adolescent inpatient program.

She is a clinical member of the Florida Association for Infant Mental Health/FAIMH, the Theraplay Institute and the American Psychological Association/APA.

She also trains and supervises clinical staff at the Youth Crisis Center, Camelot Community Care, Family Foundations, Breakthroughs, the Naval Hospital, River Region, the VA and several private practices. She is an active member of the Florida Association for Infant Mental Health.

Evaluations and forensic reports are also provided to Family Courts, Criminal Courts, Jacksonville Federal Court and Orlando Immigration Court when directly requested by the court and are separate from treatment cases.

*Descriptions and data were quoted directly from assessments' technical information.

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