Psychological Assessment

Lighthouse Psychology is a full-service psychology practice.

Psychological Assessment

Assessment typically involves: being interviewed, completing questionnaires and rating scales, and doing a variety of one-to-one tests. Your results can be compared to others to identify both your strengths and your challenges. Many psychologists use a standard approach to assessment, meaning that clients are all given the same set of instruments.

At Lighthouse Psychology Services, all of our assessments are individualized to your specific circumstances and needs. This allows us to focus on what’s important to you, while saving you time and money by targeting what you need.

Psychological Assessment Services offered at Lighthouse Psychology:

Assessment across the Lifespan
Psychoeducational Assessment
Learning Disability Assessment
ADHD Assessment
Autism Assessment
Gifted Assessment
Neuropsychological Assessment
Mental Health Assessment
Dis-Ability Assessment
Career Assessment
College Admissions & Professional Exam Accommodations
If the service you are looking for is not listed, please call us: (403) 286-5411. If we can’t help you, we might be able to help direct you to the right place.

Some specialized assessments are explained below:

Learning Disability

At Lighthouse Psychology Services, we have decades of experience working with schools and postsecondary institutions to help support people with learning disabilities. Some people struggle to learn, despite being intelligent. During a learning disability assessment (often called a psychoeducational assessment), we use various types of tests to understand what is creating your challenges. That way, we can make recommendations on how best to support your learning. Intelligence tests help us to understand how you think and solve problems, both with and without language. This includes thinking with language, using visualization skills, and solving novel problems. These tests also help us to evaluate your speed of scanning visual information, as well as your working memory (your ability to hold information in mind while working with it).

Sometimes, we need to do additional testing of memory skills, fine-motor skills, or executive function skills (such as planning, getting started, switching your focus of attention). We also assess academic performance in the core areas of reading, writing, and math. If one of these areas is more problematic, we will conduct a more in-depth analysis to understand where the challenges are.

Then we put all of the results together and develop a plan for helping you to cope. This could include skills and strategies, accommodations and adaptations, or supports and services. Sometimes you need to be taught in a specific way. Other times you need remedial instruction and practice. In some cases, the right technology can help you to cope. Because we have a background in the teaching profession, we know how to make recommendations that are useful in the classroom. We also have tried-and-true ideas for helping you at home and at work.

ADHD

ADHD is one of the most common challenges people face, affecting about 1 in every 20 people. It begins to show in childhood, but can continue all through your life. It can affect focus, motivation, procrastination, time management, impulsivity, and restlessness. It can affect your sleep, eating patterns, and health. It often impacts school performance and relationships with friends and family. ADHD can lower your self-esteem and increase your risk of developing depression or anxiety. ADHD is not a trivial concern. However, you can learn many skills for managing ADHD effectively.

Proper assessment requires us to collect information about school and/or work performance, core ADHD symptoms, and executive functions including attention and working memory. To do this, we ask you to complete questionnaires (Children: parents, youth, and teachers; Adults: self-reports and reports from those who know you well). We also try to review report cards, invite you to complete a computerized attentional task, and interview you to better understand your challenges and strengths.

To make a proper ADHD diagnosis, we need to rule out other explanations for attentional problems. Since adults present differently than children, we use different criteria and approaches. Since women and girls present differently than men and boys, we also adjust our approach so that we can do the best assessment possible. At Lighthouse Psychology Services, all of our assessments are done collaboratively, since you know yourself (or your child) better than anyone.

Autism/Asperger’s

At Lighthouse Psychology Services, we believe that Neurodiverse people – like those with autism – have unique perspectives to bring to humanity. We believe that they deserve a fair opportunity at having a good life in this world. Our understanding of autism has come a long way since I started working with this population in the mid-1980s. Many high-ability autistic people weren’t diagnosed because we didn’t understand how this condition looked in adults. And now that we understand more about how it looks in adults, psychologists are still learning about how autism looks different in women than in men. We know that autistic people face challenges in social relationships, communication, and interactions. Some people have narrow interests, rigid and rule-bound behaviour, engage in repetitive actions, or struggle with sensory sensitivities. The underlying causes of those symptoms can include difficulty making sense of patterns, challenges dealing with people (who can be very unpredictable), and trouble coping with sensory and emotional stimulation.

We try to make our autism assessments accessible and affordable. If you don’t have learning challenges, an autism assessment doesn’t have to cost you $4,000. In our assessments, we focus on the areas of functioning that are most affected for you. We consider personality and emotional intelligence, reasons for repetitive behaviour and restricted interests. During our assessment, we use rating scales completed by the individual and others who know them well; we conduct clinical interviews to understand your first-hand experience; and we do some individual testing. Along the way, we need to rule out other possible explanations for your challenges, such as language and communication problems, ADHD, social anxiety, introverted personality patterns, anxiety and depression. This isn’t always easy, because people with autism tend to also have co-occurring conditions. Sometimes those co-occurring conditions include giftedness, which we can also assess.

Giftedness

Bright and gifted people may be capable, but that doesn’t mean they will cope well in the regular school system without accommodations. Giftedness is a capacity to learn and to perform at high levels in many areas including: languages, science, the arts, and so forth. Giftedness can be identified at very young ages, which then helps us to set children on the right path.

Gifted learners deserve to have an education that meets their learning needs.

Some people try to identify giftedness through administering only intelligence tests. Unfortunately, intelligence test only tell us about some core aspects of thinking, problem-solving, processing speed, and memory. There are many areas of functioning they don’t assess, including emotional intelligence, academic prowess, leadership, motivation, and more. And receiving a gifted diagnosis isn’t an endpoint, but rather a beginning. The next step is to use what we know about gifted learners to help craft a plan that will help you to reach your potential in school, at home, and in life.

At Lighthouse Psychology Services, we understand gifted learners. And we have first-hand experience working in schools that support gifted learners.

Neuropsychological Assessment

Neuropsychologists specialize in understanding how the brain processes information. They use tests to evaluate how your brain functions, including your strengths and weaknesses. This type of testing is especially helpful for people who might have had brain injuries such as concussions, FASD, or other medical conditions that can affect brain functioning. This includes cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and genetic disorders, among others.

Our neuropsychologist has many years of first-hand experience in the school system.

Mental Health Assessment

Mental health is about more than mental disorders. It’s about understanding your coping patterns and your personality in daily life. When we conduct a mental health assessment, we work with you to evaluate your current functioning, but also your previous history – the things that made you who you are today. We try to understand your strengths as well as your challenges. We don’t just assess common conditions like anxiety and depression, we screen for other diagnoses that might explain your current challenges. That’s why everyone who seeks an assessment at Lighthouse Psychology Services is screened for a range of potential mental health conditions. We don’t want to make a mis-diagnosis, and we don’t want to miss a potentially important diagnosis. Although your symptoms might look like depression, they may be explained by an underlying sleep disorder. Or they may simply be secondary to an unmanaged ADHD, and they might go away if we identify and treat the ADHD.

Dis-Ability Assessment

You might know that you’re disabled, but many disability service providers won’t let you access supports until you have proper documentation of your disability. At Lighthouse Psychology Services, we have experience assessing and documenting disabilities that impact mental functioning. This might include documentation of a mental health condition such as anxiety, depression, or trauma after a motor vehicle accident. It might include documentation of a condition that is impairing your functioning, which can make you eligible for the Disability Tax Credit. It could also include documentation of learning disabilities so that specialized services such as tutors or private schools can be accessed as legitimate medical expenses.

For Dis-Ability and Psychoeducational assessments, we will complete paperwork including (where relevant):

  1. Documentation to access school/work accommodations
  2. Dis-Ability Medical Certificates for government applications
  3. Dis-Ability Prescriptions for medical expense deductions
  4. Exam Accommodation forms

Career Assessment

In the past, people often had the same job for the majority of their working life. Today, people change jobs – even career paths – every 10 years or less. Adaptability is necessary. Your success requires careful consideration, planning, and sometimes educational re-tooling. Your career is more than your job history – it’s an extension of who you are as a person. It charts your pathway through your working life as it intersects with your interests, hobbies, volunteer work, and even your home life. At Lighthouse Psychology Services, we can help you to understand your strengths, interests, values, and abilities so that you can make the right decisions for yourself. We try to give you the tools to help you today, but also for you to use in your future.

University Admissions & Professional Exam Accommodations

Some university programs require applicants to take admissions tests, such as the MCAT, LSAT, GMAT, or GRE. To receive accommodations including additional time, stop-the-clock breaks, or access to specialized technology, you need the right kind of documentation. The same goes for professional registration and licensing exams. At Lighthouse Psychology Services, we have experience providing the evaluations and written documentation that you require to access accommodations you might be eligible for.

Assessment Documentation:

At Lighthouse Psychology, we believe in making our assessment reports Clear, Concise, and Practical. Our reports focus on:

  1. Explaining the findings
  2. Communicating any diagnoses
  3. Making useful recommendations for school/work and home

For all child and youth assessments, we can also provide a one-page report for your child with:

  1. Their strengths
  2. Their needs
  3. What will help them

For Dis-Ability and Psychoeducational assessments, we will complete paperwork including (where relevant):

  1. Documentation to access school/work accommodations
  2. Dis-Ability Medical Certificates for government applications
  3. Dis-Ability Prescriptions for medical expense deductions
  4. Exam Accommodation medical documentation forms