Benefits of Early Childhood Assessment

early-childhood-2If you are concerned that your young child is not developing in an age-appropriate way, you should know that research demonstrates that early diagnosis and intervention are crucial.  When a diagnosis is made earlier, as the child’s brain is still developing, there are a number of outcomes.

  • Treatment can begin sooner and can be more effective.
  • There is also evidence that children who receive timely support in acquiring early literacy skills have better outcomes in areas of reading and mathematics.
  • Additionally, providing a child with appropriate behavioral supports at daycare or in the classroom leads to increased self-esteem, successful peer relationships, and sets the stage for the child’s positive attitude towards school in general.

The Brenner Assessment and Consultation Center at MSPP has a long history of providing comprehensive neuropsychological and psychological assessments to children and adolescents.  At our specialty service for testing young children (generally ages 2-6), we recognize that it is a special challenge for parents, teachers and others involved in the child’s care to have a clear understanding of what is interfering with age-appropriate development.  When it comes to very young children, not all skills develop at the same pace.  For example, young children whose language skills don’t emerge as expected may eventually catch up to their peers with little or no intervention.  Alternatively, delayed speech acquisition could be a sign of a potential Language Disorder or an Autism Spectrum disorder.  Comprehensive and specialized testing is the best way to address each unique child.

At the Brenner Center Neurodevelopmental Assessment Service for Young Children “NYC”, we use a developmental lens to understand each child’s unique presentation.   Over the course of the evaluation, we take time to get to know the child and the family.  As part of our comprehensive neurodevelopmental assessment, we observe the child in his/her natural environment (such as home, daycare, preschool or an Early Intervention playgroup).  This observation enables us to understand how the child copes with the demands of a group setting.  Additionally, we collaborate with the child’s teachers and other service providers, in order to understand their perspective on the child’s strengths and areas of concern.  We work hard to maximize the child’s comfort in the testing environment and typically see children over the course of several testing sessions.

Our evaluations result in comprehensive, jargon-free reports that include specific recommendations for parents, teachers, and others working with the child and the family.  In writing the recommendations, we collaborate with professionals from other disciplines (such as speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists and child psychiatrists) to ensure that our recommendations embrace all aspects of the child’s development.  We have a thorough knowledge of the IEP process and are available to attend IEP or other school meetings on request.  For more information about the Neurodevelopmental Assessment Service for Young Children (NYC) at MSPP’s Brenner Center, please visit www.mspp.edu/brenner.

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From our new campus in Greater Boston, The Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology educates students for careers that meet the growing demand for access to quality, culturally competent psychological services for individuals, groups, communities & organizations both locally & around the globe. We offer 12 degree programs, with a focus on serving vulnerable populations, including children of adversity, Latinos & veterans, as well as organizations & leaders on the forefront of creating long-lasting social change. The core of our approach is providing students with hands-on experience at more than 350 field placement sites, preparing them to solve complex problems in an increasingly diverse world.
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