I am officially a school psychology nerd. Tomorrow I will be giving a full cognitive assessment to a first grade student, and I’m excited! Who knew intelligence testing could be so thrilling? This will be my first full case to complete at my site, and the first evaluation of a student not yet in special education. The results of my work will largely determine his educational future. Gulp!
But – this is a student I know well, and I will be able to put considerable time into his assessment – more time than perhaps I would as a full-time practicing school psychologist who is juggling 5 evaluations, 6 counseling cases, 2 social skills groups, multiple IEP meetings, consultation office hours, mental health team trainings, and other duties. While I know this case will be complicated, and that I will look to my supervisors and others at the school for guidance, I’m confident that I can put my best foot forward and complete a sound assessment. I will also have the opportunity to observe, in the field, many of the theories and concepts we have learned this year. My acquired knowledge about learning disabilities, ADHD, cognitive assessment, elementary school curriculum, brain function, school supports, social-emotional learning, speech and language development, motor coordination, family-school collaboration, report-writing, special education, and bayblades (they’re the hot new toy – look ‘em up) will all come into play. Better go shine my shoes and sharpen my pencils without erasers. Nerd alert!