Will’s Way clinicians use behavioral interventions to address several problem behaviors and concerns individually in the clinic setting. Since the focus of our practice is with children and adolescents, family involvement in therapy is common and often necessary for the success of treatment. It is for this reason, individual interventions with children are often paired with parent training and consultation. Therapy goals tend to focus on ways to increase skills such as self-help skills, adaptive skills, functional communication, and social skills, while reducing problem behaviors such as defiance, noncompliance, attention-deficits, aggression, depression, anxiety, phobias, mood disturbances, and school related difficulties. The number of individual intervention sessions may vary across children and depend on the referral concerns. However, typically, initial intake sessions are approximately 60 minutes in length and follow-up consultation sessions are 45-50 minutes in length.
Parenting can often times be challenging, especially if you have a child who has special needs. Challenging behaviors and problems may also impact the parent-child relationship, making it difficult to maintain positive interactions with your child. Family therapy is provided for families looking to develop alternative parenting skills, foster communication between family members, and prevent residential placements for children and adolescents. Family therapies are typically scheduled based on the concerns of the family and severity of the problem behavior, but often range from weekly to monthly appointments.
Will’s Way clinicians use principles of behavior analysis to help foster the parent-child interactions. Will’s Way staff, together with parents, promote both academic and social development in children. Parent consultation/training will generally involve exploring environmental conditions that may be contributing to or motivating problem behaviors. In addition, staff will work closely with parents to help develop goals and evaluate and implement intervention strategies. Parents are generally provided with an intervention protocol, data collection sheets to monitor progress, and other relevant information to carry out the interventions at home. The length of parent consultation varies depending on the target behaviors, child progress, and intervention success.
Evaluating a child’s overall psychological functioning may take multiple sessions to ensure the appropriate and accurate diagnosis is given. Diagnoses will only be given when clinically appropriate. Families can expect for the assessment process to take between 2 and 4 appointments (45-60 minutes each).
Considering an evaluation is a complex decision for families. If you are unsure of whether or not your child needs an evaluation, you can discuss this at your initial appointment with the provider. At this time, you will have the opportunity to discuss your concerns with a clinician who will work with you to determine whether an assessment is right for you and your child.
Referrals for comprehensive evaluations are typically sought to help answer questions regarding the following concerns:
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Disruptive Behavior Disorders (conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder)
Learning Disorders (Dyslexia)
Mood Disorders (anxiety, depression)
Below is a breakdown of what the evaluation process entails.
This first meeting is a very important step in the evaluation process. The evaluator will meet with the child’s parent(s) or guardians to obtain information about the child’s school, medical, and developmental history, and learn about any social, emotional, or behavioral concerns. This will provide a better understanding of the nature of the concerns and assist the evaluator in deciding which tests should be administered.
During the evaluation sessions, your child may be scheduled for specific testing instruments depending on the referral concerns. Often times this step is incorporated with the first appointment to help families reduce trips to the clinic. However, sometimes several successive appointments over several days or weeks is necessary to complete the process. During the evaluation process many areas will be measured depending on the referral reason, information gathered in the parent interview and the age of the child. Below are the different areas that may be measured and approximate time frame needed:
Intellectual Testing: 1-2 hours
Academic Achievement: 1-2 hours
Psychological and Emotional Testing – Screener: 1 hour
Questionnaires and Behavior Rating Scales: 1 hour
Tests of Adaptive Behavior: .5 hour
Assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorders (if appropriate): 1-2 hours
Direct Observations (in clinic): 1-3 hours
Direct Observations (home and school)- **additional fees apply (IF NEEDED): 1-3 hours
Upon completion of the testing, therapists focus on interpreting the results and explaining them in a manner that is easy to comprehend for families. The questionnaires and tests are scored, analyzed and interpreted. Medical, psychological and school records are also reviewed. Findings from the testing, observations, and information gathered are all considered when the overall interpretations and conclusions are made. It is our goal to provide practical and proven recommendations to help your family through this process. A written report is provided and will serve as a guide for treatment development across a variety of settings (i.e., home, school, community).
A feedback appointment will be made to review the results of the testing. Feedback generally occurs within 2-4 weeks after the testing has been completed. This time frame allows the clinician to interpret the data and write a detailed report. During the feedback meeting, the written report is presented and reviewed with the family. The child’s strengths and weaknesses are discussed, and intervention/treatment recommendations are provided to serve as a guide to help the child succeed academically, socially, emotionally, and behaviorally. The parent will have the opportunity to ask questions and gain a clear understanding of the findings from the assessment.