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The purpose of an assessment is to evaluate a person's strengths and weaknesses in different areas of functioning. You probably have heard of X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs. These give you a picture of how the brain looks. An assessment tells you how the brain works.

Psychoeducational / Learning Disability Assessment

This kind of assessment is helpful for children or teens who are struggling in school. Some children have trouble with reading or math. Others have trouble with written expression. And some children struggle in all subjects. School difficulties can be stressful and exhausting for children and parents.

A psychoeducational assessment can help. The assessment involves a comprehensive investigation of your child's academic skills, general thinking skills, learning, and memory. We also evaluate your child's emotional health, behaviour, social functioning, and family functioning, because difficulties in these areas can affect school performance. In addition, we gather information from your child's teacher to get the broadest understanding of your child in a different environment from home. By the end of the assessment, you will have a good understanding of your child's strengths and difficulties, why they might be struggling in school, and what can be done to help. If requested, we will attend a school meeting to discuss the assessment results and provide teaching recommendations.

Dr. McInerney is fortunate enough to be married to a highly skilled teacher, Jessica, who has a Master's in Education and over 16 years of international and local teaching experience. Jessica is now a school teacher with the Halifax Regional School Board. If you are interested in services for your son or daughter who's struggling in school, we offer a unique combination of psychoeducational assessment and practical, feasible, learning strategies to help.

ADHD Assessment

Does your child have trouble paying attention, make careless mistakes, and have trouble following through with things? Is he or she distractible, day-dreamy, forgetful, and disorganized?

Or is your child fidgety, squirmy, impulsive, and constantly in motion? Does your child leave his or her seat at school, interrupt others when they're talking, blurt out answers before questions are complete, and have trouble playing quietly?

These are behaviours associated with Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). ADHD is one of the most common childhood conditions. It affects about 1 in 20 children and is much more common in boys. Children with ADHD often have other conditions. Learning difficulties, anxiety, and oppositional defiant disorder are most common. At the same time, other circumstances can cause behaviours that look like ADHD, such as learning disabilities, anxiety, depression, or family conflict.

An ADHD assessment involves the same parts as a psychoeducational assessment plus a thorough evaluation of attention, behaviour, emotional control, organization, problem solving, and general self-regulation. Teacher input is an important part of an ADHD assessment. We gather a lot of information from teachers mainly through standardized rating scales and open-ended questionnaires.

By the end of the assessment, you will know whether or not your child meets criteria for ADHD, and what can be done to help. If requested, we will attend a school meeting to discuss the assessment results and provide recommendations for classroom behaviour management.

Neuropsychological Assessment

This is a highly specialized assessment. There are very few neuropsychologists in Nova Scotia. A neuropsychological assessment measures a wide variety of functional domains such as general intelligence, somatosensory functioning, motor functioning, language, attention, learning, memory, academic achievement, and executive functioning. We also evaluate mood, behaviour, social functioning, family functioning, and daily living skills. By the end of the assessment, you will have a thorough understanding of strengths and weaknesses, and what can be done to help.

Our areas of specialty and expertise include:

Dr. McInerney routinely conducts independent medical evaluations (IME) for employers, insurance companies, legal professionals, and worker's compensation board (WCB).

Assessment Structure

Most assessments have three main parts: