Parents often have questions about how to raise their children. “How do I set limits for my four year old?” “How can I encourage my teenage daughter when she refuses to study”. “My high schooler is confused which college she should apply to.” These family scenarios, though difficult, can be resolved if the right help is forthcoming. My meetings with families focus on practical strategies and ways to move forward so that each family member benefits.
Several factors contribute to a child’s refusal to perform in school or college. The child or youngster may have a specific learning difficulty, have a very short attention span, or may quickly forget concepts learned in school. Difficulty with academic learning is typically reflected in behaviors such as school avoidance, low motivation, distractibility, poor self esteem, and emotional outbursts. Stress and anxiety impact learning in many ways. Psychological assessments are fine tuned to determine factors responsible for learning difficulty. My expertise and experience with children, adolescents and young adults ensures that they do not feel anxious about being assessed. Every family leaves feeling their concerns have been addressed, and they have a path forward. After the assessment is completed, I present a report which is in line with best practices; each report has a detailed educational program and recommendations for school and home. The report also enables the individual to receive accommodations and exemptions (for example, exemption from a second or third language; or waiver from a course requirement) for high school and college.
A battery of assessments is used to evaluate children from two years of age through young adulthood. Click the link here to read more about tests and reporting procedures.
I use a range of tests to measure behavior, academic learning, attention, language and other developmental concerns. With my training and years of experience I always follow best assessment practices established by the American Psychological Association (APA). Given below is a brief description of some assessment measures that I use, and how they could help children succeed.
The Conners Comprehensive Behavior Rating Scales (Conners CBRS™) is designed to provide a complete overview of child and adolescent concerns and disorders. It is primarily used to assess children, adolescents, and adults with attention deficit disorders with hyperactivity, inattention, or a combination of the two. The questionnaires assess a wide spectrum of behaviors, emotions, academic, and social problems in today’s youth. Teachers and parents complete the paper-pencil questionnaire. Older individuals can use a “self-report” rating scale as well to reflect on their own behavior.
Brown ADD Rating Scales for Children, Adolescents and adults help assess executive functions associated with ADD/ADHD and related problems.
The Behavior Assessment Scale for Children (BASC) can be used by teachers, and parents to obtain a snapshot of behavioral and emotional functioning, quickly identifying children and adolescents aged 3 to 18 years who might be in need of additional support.
The Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS) measures the domains of Communication, Daily Living Skills, Socialization, Motor Skills, and Maladaptive Behavior domains in children ages preschool through 18 years.
Typically, a speech and language pathologist administers tests for identifying language and speech delays. However, certain areas of language impact academic learning as well. Educational psychologists are trained to administer tests to measure language delays. It is important to understand that language here refers to the entire process of communication, language usage, and social interaction. Here are some tests that I administer:
A developmental delay occurs when a child does not achieve developmental milestones within the normal age range. Simply put, it is a delay in a child's development. Delays can occur in one or more areas, for example, speech and language, motor skills, self help skills or adaptive skills, academic learning, intellectual delay and so on. When developmental delay is left unaddressed it could turn into a developmental disability, although the two terms are a little different. Parents often want to know which school program would best meet their child’s needs; or, what they can do at home to help their child. Dr. Nakra is able to provide educational and social programs to assist parents move ahead with the best program for their children.
Emotional and Social Intelligence refers to self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management, which enable people to understand and manage their own and others' emotions in social interactions. Casel (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning) defines social and emotional learning as the process through which children and adults effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, feel and show empathy for others, and establish positive relationships with family and friends. Dr. Nakra offers programs to assist with development of social and emotional skills, self-regulation and management of emotions to reduce anger, anxiety, depression, and stress in young children.