Learning Disability Services
Learning strategies encompass a wide range of skills and supports designed around the specific needs of each individual. At Valley Neuropsychology Group, these strategies are developed through a careful evaluation of the information yielded by the learning disability assessment and through the process of learning therapy. As a learning specialist and an individual with learning disabilities work together, they are able to formulate specific strategies for effective learning.
Children and adults with attention deficits often experience frustration related to feeling as if they are not achieving according to their potential. Often, these individuals’ histories are replete with reports of procrastination, difficulty with follow through, problems with time management, and frequent job changes. As a result, those with ADHD frequently develop low self-esteem.
Currently ADHD is best understood as a problem with respect to executive function that is most likely “hard-wired” in the brain. An individual with attention deficits usually manifests significant difficulty with respect to goal-directed, future-oriented behavior. ADHD is not a disorder of skill, knowledge, or intelligence. It is a disorder of performance, not skill: doing what you know as opposed to not knowing what to do.
ADHD Management consists of a four-pronged approach. The first is a careful evaluation of the individual. At Valley Neuropsychology Group, we conduct a thorough investigation in order to determine the presence or absence of attention deficits, including the possibility of co-morbid conditions. Secondly, we direct our efforts towards educating parents, caregivers, and the individual who has been identified as having ADHD. The third step in our management strategy includes, where appropriate, referral for determination as to whether the individual may benefit from psychotropic medication. Finally, we recommend appropriate accommodations for home, school, and in the community that are specifically tailored to the individual.
At Valley Neuropsychology Group, our licensed clinical psychologists have been providing psychotherapy to individuals, couples, and families for over twenty years. We have received specialized training in both marriage and family therapy, as well as learning therapy for individuals diagnosed with a variety of learning differences. We have also undergone specialized training regarding individuals who have suffered brain injury and are available to help their families as well.
Valley Neuropsychology Group offers a full range of forensic services ranging from evaluation to court testimony. Our highly trained staff of professionals is equipped to evaluate the possibility of brain injury or dysfunction, using the Halstead-Reitan Neuropsychological Test Battery. We are also available for Independent Medical Evaluations, may provide independent second opinions as to diagnosis or treatment options, and assist legal counsel in depositions, preparation of court testimony, and as expert witnesses.
Seniors are the fastest growing population in the world. Increasing numbers of cases of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias are being diagnosed. Attorneys are increasingly being asked to prepare documents for individuals whom they suspect may have poor decision-making ability. Lawyers are obligated to determine, to the best of their ability, if their client possesses the cognitive capacity to sign a legal document, such as a will or sale of a business. But that decision is difficult to make: lawyers must consider if their client is allowed to sign a document, will it later be challenged?
In 2005, guidelines were published for lawyers that include warning signs of diminished capacity. These include difficulties with tasks such as performing simple calculations, memory loss, or problems communicating. Nevertheless, it is difficult to determine the point at which these difficulties reach a level of legal incompetency.
Valley Neuropsychology Group can lend assistance and expertise in making the determination of cognitive capacity. We can assist lawyers and their clients as well as the families of clients in what can be a very difficult process. Our ability to assess how the brain performs in the real world, based upon tests that have been objectively validated over many years, can greatly increase the attorney’s confidence in determining the client’s competence.