Pediatric Evaluations

The key to a good evaluation is to know what you are looking for. Our brain-based interventions require that we find the root of the problem where it is happening, in the brain.

That’s the focus of an evaluation at TheraPeeds Family Center, to identify the underlying deficit that may be occurring in the brain that is affecting function. 

As parents, we want our children to have the best chance at success in life and that means they must be functional. Functional is defined as having good skills in the following four areas:

  • Motor Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Cognitive/Learning Skills
  • Social/Emotional/Behavior Skills

Parents call us because there’re concerned or worried about how their child is functioning in one or multiple of these areas. They know when this is happening, their child is off-track from that future they envision for them. They want to help.

We can help and we know that the lack of skill is just a symptom. The trouble with controlling his body, poor coordination, the learning or attention problem, the poor language and communication, the tantrums, picky eating, poor behavior…they are all symptoms. They’re not the problem. That’s just the SOS signals the brain is sending out to say, I’m having a problem, help me.

Help means finding out what the problem is, what’s causing it and addressing it at the cause for a more efficient and successful outcomes. Because, at TheraPeeds Family Center, we want to give you what you want, we go to the source of those skills, the brain.

Our Neuro-Developmental evaluation uses a variety of tools to identify what might be happening in your child’s brain that is affecting their ability to produce skill in one or more of these areas. We provide a thorough evaluation that examines how well the brain is using the information that it is processing to produce function.

We use three forms of testing:

Standardized tests

Physiological and Electro-physiological testing

Clinical Observations

These are combined to give us clear information about how your child’s brain is functioning.

You have probably already been to your pediatrician or neurologist who has told you that your child’s brain is intact and that their Central Nervous System ‘checks out’ as normal. What the doctors are referring to is that there is nothing damaged in the actual structure of your child’s brain, however the actual functioning of the system has most likely not been assessed. At TheraPeeds, using components of functional neurology, we look for how the brain is functioning or processing information.

The brain is designed to take in sensations, process those sensations and then use the information to produce skills. Most likely your child has no difficulty with taking in sensations, that is they are not blind or deaf. It is often perplexing to parents that their child appears healthy, has no obvious neurological disorders, but is having difficulty functioning well or at their potential. To understand why this can occur and where the deficit is occurring we use the tools above to determine processing abilities.

When there is a breakdown of the information on its travels, it results in a processing breakdown sometimes termed a sensory processing or sensory integration disorder. To be effective at treating a processing disorder, the specific level of breakdown must be identified. Traditional therapy approaches focus on treating your child’s symptoms such as handwriting problems, clumsiness or speech delays. At TheraPeeds, we focus on identifying where the breakdown is occurring so that we can treat the underlying deficit rather than just the symptom so that there are lasting results.

An example of a recent case:

Five-year-old Nicole spends most of her time running around the house aimlessly being extremely destructive. Nicole’s parents came to us with a 300-page case history and after seeing several different OTs, doctors and other specialists. After almost exhausting their finances and with a strained relationship, Nicole’s mother wanted to find someone that could help her address her issues in a lasting way. Just from the evaluation, Nicole’s family finally felt they had some answers, they left the evaluation relieved, satisfied and with tangible hope for their daughter. The kind of well-founded hope, they never had before.

The reason they felt this way was because they received common sense information that resonated, applied directly to their daughter’s condition and history, and helped them understand their child’s behavior.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Should I have an evaluation?

    Our priority at TheraPeeds is to ensure that your child is successful. To be successful your child must be able to function adequately in all developmental areas. Regardless of your child’s diagnosis or lack of diagnosis, an evaluation should be considered if you have any concerns about your child’s ability to function in any of the following areas:

    1. Motor skills (gross, fine, oral motor or ocular-motor)
    2. Cognitive/Learning skills (reading, reading comprehension, math, writing)
    3. Communication skills (understanding or responding, expressing)
    4. Psychosocial-emotional skills (attention, interaction, behavior, self-control and socialization)
  • We just had a developmental/OT evaluation, is it the same?

    Although our evaluating therapists are licensed Occupational and Physical Therapists, we will be performing a Sensorimotor Neuro-Development Evaluation. This includes various standardized testing, physiological testing combined with over 20 years of clinical observation and in-depth parent reporting and interview to determine how your child’s brain is processing information and how they are functioning in their day to day life.

    Please bring any reports from your other evaluations with you and we will use as much of the information as possible, however in most cases our evaluations differ radically from other evaluations reducing the likelihood of duplication of service.

  • What can you tell me about the evaluation process?
    1. Evaluations begin when the therapist receives your completed paper-work. This is thoroughly reviewed before meeting you and your child.
    2. Our evaluations involve 4 parts:
      1. Meeting with the family to provide in-depth information about the brain and development
      2. Meeting with parents privately to go over details of information provided
      3. Evaluation of your child
      4. Meeting to discuss the results of the evaluation and treatment planning if necessary
    3. At TheraPeeds Family Center, we evaluate the entire family. This means that your evaluation includes an evaluation of your parenting strengths and weaknesses using standardized testing, clinical observation and parent interview, so that we can determine appropriate treatment planning for you.  Research has indicated that one of the most influential and pivotal components of your child’s brain development is your parenting abilities and it is for this reason, it is included in this thorough, family-centered program.
  • What do I need to bring to the evaluation?

    Please dress your child comfortably for physical activity. Also bring a snack or lunch for your child and be prepared to write copious notes given the vast amounts of information we provide.

    We also strongly recommend that both parents attend the evaluation as “2 ears are better than 1.” You may also bring your child’s past evaluations.

    DO NOT bring toys or video games.

    Please make plans for siblings as we are unable to extend child-care for siblings during the evaluation.

  • How do I get started?

    Our evaluation process begins with an intake from our intake coordinator. In this phone interview, she will ask questions about your child and their history to determine the type of evaluation and the best suited therapist for your child’s evaluation.

  • Can I request a particular therapist?

    All of our clinicians have over 10 years of experience and have been trained in the H.O.P.E method. Because they all bring their specialty training to this model, we are certain that you will be provided with thorough information and a treatment plan that is consistent with the care we offer at TheraPeeds. Our clinical director is involved in the treatment planning for all of our clients.

  • What happens after the evaluation?

    Post your treatment planning meeting with your therapist, you will be assigned a client care professional who will then meet with you to walk you through the next steps in the process. They are ready to support you with the logistics of scheduling, payment, housing suggestions and many other needs.

    Because we in no-way want to pressure you, we follow up within 2 weeks to check in on any questions and to support you in determining the best next steps for your family.

  • What does the evaluation fee include?

    Our evaluations include:

    1. Meeting with the family to provide in-depth information about the brain and development
    2. Meeting with parents privately to go over details of information provided
    3. Evaluation of your child
    4. Meeting to discuss the results of the evaluation and treatment planning if necessary
    5. Summary of Findings Form that highlights the major concern areas and provides treatment plan and further recommendations.

    For families needing a full written report for schools and other professionals; this can be provided for an additional fee and please allow 2-4 months for completion

  • What if I am from out of town?

    We suggest that our out of town clients plan to spend the day with us and DO NOT make any travel plans for the evening or night of your evaluation.