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Children and Parenting

Human beings come into the world with a set of limited reflexes. Almost every other behavior has to be learned. Complying with parents’ requests, following the instructions of a teacher, and obeying traffic rules are examples  of behaviors that must be learned. Many behaviors are learned most effectively through their repeated association with consequences. Parents seem to have an intuitive sense that children learn through consequences. They frequently attempt to reward them for good behavior and punish them for bad behavior.

https://youtu.be/yoPL1aMDtn4

Shaping children and adolescents

When children misbehave, parents provide consequences, which range from the removal of privileges, toys, and activities to various forms of physical punishment. Parents dealing with “strong-willed children” try just about everything to try to shape their children into more socialized and compliant kids. They often feel that nothing works. They are skeptical when we begin suggesting a program using consequences, and rightly so. They may indeed have “tried everything.” However, the way consequences are used makes a huge difference in outcomes.

We will provide a variety of articles in this section dealing with parenting. We will cover techniques for shaping children and adolescents into responsible, socialized human beings. Topics of interest such as special education, college choices, boundaries for college-age young adults, drugs, sex, alcohol use, achievement motivation and emotional intelligence will be covered. Since this website focuses on mental health, we will emphasize normal development as well as mental disorders. We can also provide counseling for children and substance abuse counselors.

Shaping Attention

How to Do Time-Out

Spanking

Time-Out Not Enough

 

What about school learning, attention and behavioral problems?

How can a clinical evaluation help?

Children and adoescents experience difficulties in learning, attention, and behavior for many reasons. As a parent, one of the first things to do is make sure your child’s hearing and vision are adequate and they are physically well. Next, the child’s or adolescent’s teachers’ observations can provide helpful clues since they observe your child’s performance and interaction with peers and educators every day. If you bring your child or adolescent for a professional consultation, bring the teachers’ comments, work samples of writing and math, and every standardized achievment test you or the school has archived. Since the demands of reading and math become more sophisticated over time, this may provide specific developmental information. A clinical interview will include the history of social, physical, emotional, cognitive, and academic development.

 

Many factors influence your child’s or teen’s performance and behavior in school. Sleep deprivation is a common cause of attention problems and irritable behavior. Poor school performance in children and adolescents can occur because they experience stress from trying to fit into a peer group or from being excluded from groups by jealous or poor behaving peers. Learning gaps can be caused by learning disabilities, attention-deficit disorders, problems in executive functioning (e.g., memory, processing speed), poor learning experiences, anxiety, and depression.

 

Psychoeducational evaluations gather information from all of the above areas of concern and provide objective measurement of intelligence (learning ability compared to peers), achievement (to diagnose or rule out learning disabilities), anxiety, depression, attention, personality, and observations from teachers and parents. Below are common examples of individually administered tests, some of which may be included in a battery of tests used to help in developing a plan for your child’s education. Below are examples of various tests from which we can create a battery to evaluate your child. Feel free to speak with our staff about your child’s challenges.

 

Assessment (Ages)

Subtest Name

What the subtest measures

                                                                          Verbal Comprehension Index Subtests

WAIS-IV (16-90) AND

WISC-V

(6-16)

Similarities

Verbal concept formation and reasoning.

Vocabulary

Word knowledge and verbal concept formation.

Information

Ability to acquire, retain, and retrieve general factual information.

Comprehension

Verbal reasoning and conceptualization, verbal comprehension and expression, the ability to evaluate and use past experience, and the ability to demonstrate practical knowledge and judgment.

                                                              Perceptual Reasoning/Visual Spatial Index Subtests

WAIS-IV (16-90)

Block Design*

Ability to analyze and synthesize abstract visual stimuli.

Matrix Reasoning**

Fluid intelligence, broad visual intelligence, classification and spatial ability, knowledge or part-whole relationships, simultaneous processing, and perceptual organization.

Visual Puzzles*

Nonverbal reasoning, and the ability to analyze and synthesize abstract visual stimuli.

Figure Weights

Quantitative and analogical reasoning.

Picture Completion

Visual perception and organization, concentration, and visual recognition or essential details of objects.

                                                                       Visuospatial Processing Index Subtests

NEPSY-II

(3-4 and

5-16)

Design Copying

Motor and visual-perceptual skills associated with the ability to copy two-dimensional geometric figures.

Picture Puzzles

Visual discrimination, spatial localization, and visual scanning as well as the ability to deconstruct a picture into it constituent parts and recognize part-whole relationship.

                                                                             Fluid Reasoning Index Subtests

WISC-V

(6-16)

Matrix Reasoning**

See above

Figure Weights

See above

Picture Concepts

Abstract, categorical reasoning ability.

Arithmetic

Mental manipulation, concentration, attention, short- and long-term memory, numerical reasoning ability, and mental alertness.

**Matrix Reasoning is the best predictor of general intelligence.

 

                                                                             Working Memory Index Subtests

WISC-V

(6-16)

Digit Span

Working memory, mental manipulation, cognitive flexibility, rote memory and learning, attention, and encoding.

Picture Span

Visual working memory.

Letter-Number Sequencing

Sequential processing, mental manipulation, attention, concentration, memory span, and short-term auditory memory.

WAIS-IV

(16-90)

Digit Span

Working memory, mental manipulation, cognitive flexibility, rote memory and learning, attention, and encoding.

Arithmetic

Mental manipulation, concentration, attention, short- and long-term memory, numerical reasoning ability, and mental alertness.

Letter-Number Sequencing

Sequential processing, mental manipulation, attention, concentration, memory span, and short-term auditory memory.

WMS-IV (16-90)

Spatial Addition

Visual-spatial working memory using a visual addition task.

Symbol Span

Visual working memory using novel visual stimuli.

Assessment (Ages)

Subtest Name

What the individual subtest measures

                                                                                Processing Speed Index Subtests

WISC-V

(6-16)

AND

WAIS-IV

(16-90)

Coding

Processing speed, short-term visual memory, learning ability, psychomotor speed, visual perception, visual-motor coordination, and visual scanning ability.

Symbol Search

Processing speed, short-term visual memory, visual-motor coordination, cognitive flexibility, visual discrimination, psychomotor speed, and speed of mental operation.

Cancellation

Processing speed, visual selective attention, vigilance, perceptual speed, and visual-motor ability.

                                                                  Attention and Executive Function Index Subtests

D-KEFS

(8-89)

Trail Making Test

Differentiates deficits in visual scanning, mental sequencing, and motor speed/control from deficits in cognitive flexibility and control. 

Verbal Fluency Test (standard and alternate)

Effectiveness of novel and semantic search strategies, and assesses flexibility in the implementation of semantic search strategies. 

Design Fluency Test

Visual productivity with and without distracting stimuli, and switching between stimuli. 

Color-Word Interference Test

Inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility. 

NEPSY-II

(3-4 and 5-16)

Animal Sorting

Ability to formulate basic concepts, transfer those concepts into action, and shift set from one concept to another.

Inhibition

Ability to inhibit automatic responses in favor of novel responses and the ability to switch between response types.

 

                                                                          Learning and Memory Index Subtests

CMS

(5-16)

Dot Locations

Ability to learn the spatial locations of an array of dots.

Picture Locations

Immediate visual/nonverbal memory for spatial location of pictured objects.

Dot Locations 2

Ability to learn the spatial locations of an array of dots.

CVLT-II

(16-89)

Short Delay

Multi-trial learning and long-term recall abilities for verbal information

Long Delay

Long Delay Forced-Choice Recognition

NEPSY-II

(3-4 and 5-16)

Memory for Designs

Spatial memory for novel visual material.

Memory for Designs Delayed

 

Achievement Tests

Assessment (Ages)

Subtest Name

What the individual subtest measures

 

                                                                                              Math Subtests

WIAT-III

(4-50)

Math Fluency (Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication)

Written mathematics calculation fluency (speed and accuracy).

KTEA-3

(4-25)

Math Fluency

WJ-III

(2-90)

Math Fluency

WIAT-III

(4-50)

Math Problem Solving

Math problem-solving skills under untimed conditions.

Numerical Operations

Written mathematics calculation skills under untimed conditions.

KTEA-3

(4-25)

Math Concepts and Applications

The ability to use reasoning and mathematical concepts and their application to meaningful problem solving.

Math Computation

Math problem-solving skills in untimed conditions.

WJ-III

(2-90)

Calculation

Basic mathematical skills, including computational skills and automaticity with basic math facts.

Applied Problems

Mathematical knowledge and reasoning, including problem solving, analysis, reasoning, and vocabulary.

Quantitative Concepts

 

                                                                                            Reading Subtests

WIAT-III

(4-50)

Word Reading

Speed and accuracy of single word reading.

Pseudoword Decoding

Speed and accuracy of decoding skills.

WJ-III

(2-90)

Letter-Word Identification

Sight vocabulary, phonics, and structural analysis.

Word Attack

KTEA-3

(4-25)

Nonsense Word Decoding

Speed and accuracy of decoding skills.

Reading Comprehension

Ability to use context clues to infer meaning and function from contextualized print.

Reading Vocabulary

Contextual reading vocabulary.

Letter and Word Recognition

Speed and accuracy of single word reading.

WJ-III

(2-90)

Passage Comprehension

Reading comprehension, vocabulary, and reasoning.

Reading Vocabulary

(synonyms, antonyms, analogies)

Reading Fluency

Reading speed and accuracy.

WIAT-III

(4-50)

Reading Comprehension

Literal and inferential reading comprehension skills using a variety of passage and question types that resemble those used in school settings.

Reading Fluency

Oral reading fluency of expository and narrative passages.

KTEA-3

(4-25)

Silent Reading Fluency

Reading comprehension speed and accuracy.

Word Recognition Fluency

Speed and accuracy of single word reading.

Decoding Fluency

Speed and accuracy of decoding skills.

Assessment (Ages)

Subtest Name

What the individual subtest measures

Index

 

                                                                                          Writing Subtests

KTEA-3

(4-25)

Writing Fluency

Ability to communicate effectively in writing. Assess speed and accuracy in writing.

Written Expression

Ability to communicate effectively in writing.

Spelling

Basic writing skills and the ability to spell single-word responses.

WIAT-III

(4-50)

Alphabet Writing Fluency

Ability to write letters.

Sentence Composition

Sentence formulation skills and written syntactic maturity.

Essay Composition

Spontaneous, compositional skills, including theme development, text organization, grammar, and mechanics.

Spelling

Written spelling of single sounds and words from dictation.

WJ-III

(2-90)

Spelling

Basic writing skills in both isolated and contextually based formats. Ability to spell single-word responses.

Writing Fluency

Written language achievement including spelling of single-word responses, fluency of production, and quality of expressing.

Writing Samples

Editing

Basic writing skills in both isolated and contextually based formats. Ability to identify and correct errors in spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and word usage.

 

                                                                                       Oral Language Subtests

WJ-III

(2-90)

Story Recall

Linguistic competency, listening ability, and comprehension. Expressive vocabulary, reasoning, and memory.

Understanding Directions

Picture Vocabulary

Expressive vocabulary, reasoning, listening comprehension, and memory. Linguistic competency.

Oral Comprehension

Expressive vocabulary, reasoning, listening comprehension, and memory. Listening ability and verbal comprehension.

KTEA-3

(4-25)

Listening Comprehension

Listening comprehension of relatively formal speech.

Oral Expression

Skills and competencies that are important for effective oral expression and that underlie written language skills.

WIAT-III

(4-50)

Listening Comprehension

Listening comprehension at the level of the word, sentence, and discourse.

Oral Expression

Skills and competencies that are important for effective oral expression and that underlie written language skills.

                                                                                     Language Processing Subtests

NEPSY-II

(3-4 and 5-16)

Word Generation

Verbal productivity through the ability to generate words within specific semantic and initial letter categories.

KTEA-3

(4-25)

Phonological Processing

Manipulation of sounds including rhyming, matching, blending, segmenting, and deleting sounds.

Object Naming Facility

Object naming speed and accuracy.

Letter Naming Facility

Letter naming speed and accuracy.

 

 

 

For the time, attention and compassion you deserve, visit Behavioral Sciences of Alabama in Huntsville, AL (southeast Huntsville, near Parkway Place Mall). Call 256.883.3231 or fill out our online Request an Appointment form to schedule your consultation with us. We also serve patients from Athens, Decatur, Guntersville, and Madison, AL.