Applying a multilevel interpretive framework with an emphasis on the assessment of executive functions

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Parents requested an evaluation because of concerns over Richard's lack of progress in acquiring basic academic skills and questions as to whether Richard's educational program was meeting his needs. The school district proposed an independent evaluation and the parents agreed to allow this psychologist to conduct the evaluation. The structure of Richard's report is one that I have worked out over the course of many years of experimenting with various formats. The report is structured to answer four important questions: What can Richard do well? What does Richard have difficulty doing? What needs to be done for Richard? Who can do what needs to be done for Richard? I have found that front-loading a summary that includes relevant background information, a listing of strengths and weaknesses, a concluding narrative that offers a comprehensive case conceptualization, and a listing of recommendations facilitates discussion of the report findings at a team meeting lasting less than an hour. Note that the recommendations are offered in three parts: (1) what the child can do for himself/herself; (2) what the parents can do; and (3) what school staff can do. Richard's case was a complicated one that defied simplistic interpretations based on the traditional intellectual and achievement test results that had been obtained in past evaluations. It demonstrates the need to employ an interpretive-level framework and to look beyond a global estimate of ability such as a Full-Scale IQ. Although Richard demonstrated multiple difficulties, this report especially illustrates how various executive functions can enhance or inhibit performance. The report emphasizes the need to incorporate assessment of executive functions in clinical case work in order to characterize more effectively the child's cognitive capacities and understand the nature of difficulties the child may be experiencing. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved). (chapter)

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Comprehensive evaluations: Case reports for psychologists, diagnosticians, and special educators.

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This chapter was published in Comprehensive evaluations: Case reports for psychologists, diagnosticians, and special educators, Pages 388-410.

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