Assessment Services for Adults and Children
NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT OF ADULTS
Neuropsychological Assessments are specialized evaluations that look in detail at different types of thinking skills and how these skills relate to brain functioning. For instance, Dr. Gale may evaluate aspects of thinking such as: new learning and memory, attention, speed of thinking, language skills, perceptual abilities and higher order reasoning skills. Due to their comprehensive nature, neuropsychological assessments can be useful to help gain a better understanding of a person’s capabilities following an illness or injury and can also assist in diagnosis for people with suspected neurological disorders or mental health conditions (e.g., ADHD). One of the goals for these types of assessments is to help provide understanding and education about a client’s demonstrated abilities and how this might relate to their particular neurological challenges. Suggestions are also offered for strategies that can be used to help in rehabilitation.
Neuropsychological Assessment may be helpful in identifying:
Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder
Brain Injuries, including concussion and sports-related mild traumatic brain injury
Other Learning Exceptionalities
Neurocognitive disorders (including dementia and post-stroke cognitive change)
A neuropsychological evaluation begins with a thorough background clinical interview. Dr. Gale will meet with the client, and in some circumstances, family members or representatives, to discuss the history of the illness or injury that has led them to seek an assessment. She will also review a variety of background factors such as; educational history, work history, and previous medical and developmental history in order to help put the effects of the illness or injury into an appropriate context. Dr. Gale typically requests that clients bring with them as many relevant medical and academic records as are available. Depending on the situation, it may be helpful for Dr. Gale to communicate directly with a client’s treating physicians or therapists.
After the clinical interview is completed, the client then typically participates in several hours of formalized testing. Testing may be in the form of standard pencil and paper tasks, simple verbal responses to questions, non-verbal reasoning skills (such as solving puzzles) and computerized testing. Depending on the specific type of referral, formal testing can last from a period of a few hours to more than a full day of assessment.
Following the interview and formalized testing, Dr. Gale then scores and analyzes all of the available test data and incorporates this with the background information and documentation to prepare an assessment report. Follow-up questions and telephone calls are always welcomed and encouraged.
Psychological evaluations are conducted to assess an individual’s current mental wellness and psychological functioning. This may include assessing the extent to which physical injury or certain life events have resulted in psychological trauma. Life-threatening events and injuries can often cause an individual a great deal of emotional and psychological trauma, however psychological trauma can even occur when there is an absence of significant physiological damage. For a variety of reasons, people may require a specific, formalized assessment of these types of challenges to determine whether they meet criteria for a particular diagnosis.
Psychological Assessment may be helpful in identifying:
Anxiety and Depression
Life Promotion Strategies
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) and other trauma syndromes
Post Traumatic Resilience and Growth
Psychological effects of chronic pain and illness
Substance Use Concerns
And many other concerns and conditions
Psychological assessments typically include the following: clinical interviews (usually with the client and other collateral sources, such as family members, teachers or other important caregivers), questionnaire completion, behavioural observations, and review of relevant background academic and/or medical records. Following this, Dr. Gale will prepare a formal report, and the client may be invited to return for a feedback session in which the clinical impressions and any suggestions or recommendations will be discussed. The client will be provided with the assessment report (except in cases of an insurer’s examination) and if requested, it can be forwarded directly to treating professionals. Follow-up questions and telephone calls are always welcomed and encouraged.
Dr. Gale values Indigenous ways-of-knowing and being, including traditional teachings, language, and ceremony, and works to include these in psychological assessment whenever possible.
Dr. Gale offers psychovocational assessments. This type of assessment is often requested for persons who are unable to return to work in their typical job or to their previous lifestyle activities due to the restrictions imposed by an injury. These assessments are conducted for the purpose of providing an opinion concerning a client's current vocational capacities and future employment/living options.
A vocational assessment can help to identify vocational and/or lifestyle alternatives that are consistent with a person's aptitudes, interests, skills, and physical abilities. A psychovocational assessment also includes psychodiagnostic and intelligence testing to identify psychological factors relevant to the reason for referral.
The process of a psychovocational assessment is similar to that in neuropsychological and psychological assessments. Dr. Gale first meets with the client for a clinical interview. After the interview, the client typically participates in several hours of formalized testing, including assessment of vocational interests and emotional functioning. Following the interview and testing, Dr. Gale scores and analyzes the information, and prepares an assessment report outlining the interview, testing, and job search findings, as well as any other recommendations for the client's vocational rehabilitation.
Incapability Assessments are conducted to evaluate whether an adult meets the framework for decisional incapability under relevant statutes, such as the Yukon Adult Protection and Decision Making Act (APDMA) and the Ontario Substitute Decisions Act.
As part of the assessment, Dr. Gale will meet with the client for interview and may offer brief neurocognitive testing. This may take up to 6 hours, but is often shorter. She will also request to speak with collateral sources, such as family members, friends, and professional supports. These interviews usually take up to an hour each. Dr. Gale works to ensure the cultural safety of her clients, including attention to Indigenous ways-of-knowing.
Following this, Dr. Gale will prepare a formal report, offering an independent expert opinion with regard to the Adult’s incapability under the relevant legal statutes. In Yukon, this involves preparation of the APDMA Form 6 as well as a brief report summarizing the history, neurocognitive results, and the clinical formulation. In Ontario, this involves preparation of forms required under the Substitute Decisions Act.
NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT OF CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS
Dr. Gale understands the importance of assessment learning disabilities, exceptionalities, and ADHD to support children and adolescents in school and beyond. She offers in-person neuropsychological assessments for children and youth. Please contact her to discuss wait times and assessment options.
Dr. Gale is pleased to offer assessments to Indigenous children and youth under Jordan's Principle, and works with parents and families to complete necessary the necessary paperwork for FNIHB.
Dr. Gale does not currently offer clinical services to very young children (those younger than six), and will discuss referral options with you.