How do I know that psychological testing is needed?
Typically, testing should be considered when a person’s problems begin to make it difficult to function at home, in school, or in relationships. Sometimes a teacher, spouse, family member, employer, co-worker, or physician will point out these problems and suggest testing. Discussing these concerns with Dr. Sherrod can help determine if testing is best, or if therapy or another intervention would be more appropriate.
In the case of children, grades could begin to suffer or teachers might complain about the child’s behavior or academic performance. Sometimes the school recommends testing to help school personnel better understand how to help your child. Sometimes testing is needed before special education services can be started (including services for gifted children). In the case of ADHD/ADD or other mental health diagnoses (e.g., depression, anxiety, etc.), many physicians (including pediatricians) will not dispense medication without psychological test data supporting the diagnosis. In other cases, parents become concerned about their child’s functioning at home. Perhaps the child has become withdrawn, aggressive, or somehow “different” from the way he or she used to be. Perhaps there has been a change in the family the child is having trouble adjusting to (e.g., parental divorce or separation, death of a family member, a move to a new city or school, or the birth or adoption of a sibling). Sometimes a child’s therapist will recommend testing as a way of further crystallizing the problems to be addressed in therapy. We do testing for several therapists and then send the reports to the therapists so they can discuss the results with the family.
In the case of adults, testing can be done to discover previously undiagnosed learning disabilities (sometimes helpful for college students who are not functioning as well as they think they should) or mental disorders (e.g., adult ADHD/ADD). Sometimes people want to understand themselves better so they can more easily get along with others or find the answers they are looking for. Adults’ therapists also sometimes recommend testing.