Comprehensive Psychoeducational Assessments in Los Angeles

Do you have concerns about your child’s learning or their ability to problem solve? Does your child seem distractible, impulsive, or are they always “on the go”? Does your child seem anxious or irritable, or do they struggle with friendships? Perhaps they were delayed in one or more areas of development, and their skills in this area have continued to lag behind over the years. Some children exhibit highly advanced abilities in some areas, but struggle in others. Challenges such as these can be baffling, because of the often changing and uneven nature of development. Furthermore, issues such as these can be difficult to identify without a formal evaluation, because of they are a part of larger, complex puzzle of cognitive strengths and weaknesses. 

Perhaps you have been told that your child will “grow out of it,” but never did. Or, your child makes a developmental leap and they seem to improve for a while. Some parents pursue numerous therapies or interventions, which may seem to work temporarily, or don’t quite seem to fit their child’s needs. As a parent, not having the tools to support your child can be a source of frustration and discouragement.  

In 2023, Dr. Nicole Michaeli founded my Child Assessment of Los Angeles. As a pediatric psychologist and mother of 3 young children, the heart of her mission has been to empower families of neurodiverse children by bringing clarity and insight into their neurodevelopmental differences. By providing them with personalized and explicit information about their child, families are able to access supports that are effective and targeted to their needs, enabling individuals to thrive and reach their highest potential. 

Why Choose a Private Comprehensive Psychoeducational Assessment?

The comprehensive psychoeducational evaluation provides a detailed portrait of your child’s cognitive capability, learning style, and emotional world. It encompasses several domains of functioning, including intellectual ability, academic achievement, memory, learning, attention, executive functioning, processing, behavior patterns, and social and emotional functioning. Data from these areas are gleaned from 1:1 testing with the individual, using gold standard measures that are empirically supported. This information is then balanced with collaboration with parents, providers, and educators, observations and interviews with the individual, and Dr. Michaeli’s own clinical insights to form a thoughtful and deeply personal understanding of the child. With this information, a plan can be crafted which includes specific supports and strategies that resonates with your child’s unique profile. Through this process, families can not only uncover areas of challenge and areas of strength, but also obtain a roadmap that will nurture their future growth and well-being.  

Whether your child struggles with reading, focus, or social interactions; whether they are a high-achiever who suffers from anxiety or one who is disruptive and dysregulated, a comprehensive assessment can provide essential diagnostic information and treatment planning. Common concerns that warrant an evaluation include (but are not limited to): Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, and other learning disabilities, language impairment, processing disorders, autism spectrum disorder, anxiety disorders, OCD, behavior disorders, and other neurodevelopmental disorders. 

With a comprehensive assessment, you can expect to gain insights into

  • Cognitive Abilities: Gain insights into your memory, reasoning, and problem-solving skills. Identify areas of strength and weakness that may require further attention.
  • Learning Style and Academic Performance: Discover your unique learning style and understand your academic strengths and weaknesses. Identify factors contributing to poor school performance or academic decline.
  • Visual and Motor Abilities: Visual-spatial processing and motor skills such as handwriting, and how these contribute to your overall abilities to complete tasks. 
  • Language Processing: Identify potential speech or language processing challenges that interfere with day-to-day communication, comprehension of information, and social interaction. 
  • Behavioral Patterns and Challenges: Assess behaviors such as distractibility, restlessness, hyperactivity, and low frustration tolerance. Identify the cause of aggressive or disruptive behaviors. 
  • Social Deficits: This includes difficulty making and maintaining friendships, feeling “left out” of friend groups, avoidance of social interactions, lack of social awareness, and social anxiety. 
  • Identification of Learning and Processing Disorders: Identify learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, and writing disorders. Assess for processing-related problems including sensory processing, processing speed, and auditory/visual processing.   
  • Identification of ADHD and Executive Function Disorders: In addition, to inattention, individuals with ADHD often exhibit executive functioning challenges which contribute to low motivation and difficulties with goal-oriented behaviors. This includes problems with starting tasks, organization, prioritization, planning, and time management.  
  • Educational Plans: Determine eligibility for an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and obtain assistance with obtaining appropriate educational support at school. 
  • Standardized Testing Accommodations: Obtain accommodations for standardized tests, such as the ISEE, SAT, ACT, L-SAT, MCAT, DAT, and other college and postgraduate entrance exams. 

Dr. Nicole Michaeli's Approach

Dr. Michaeli brings over 15 years of experience in the assessment and treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders in both children and young adults. Dr. Michaeli’s dual specialization in both therapy and assessment sets her apart from other assessors in the field. Dr. Michaeli is trained in children’s play therapy, as well as individual and family therapy using a variety of approaches. Her background in assessment has included identifying autism in children, working with intellectually disabled individuals in the prison system, and evaluating at-risk youth struggling with severe and persistent psychological and neurocognitive problems. Her vast range of clinical experience enables her to not only to understand children’s cognitive landscape, but also the complexities of their internal world. This includes using various measures to understand their attachment style, self-view, relationships with others, and patterns of thinking. All in all, Dr. Michaeli’s assessments reflect the delicate balance between neuropsychological abilities and emotional functioning; providing a well-balanced and thorough understanding of the individual. Currently, her practice is dedicated to supporting children, teens, and emerging adults with neurodevelopmental disorders. 

During the assessment process, Dr. Michaeli conducts an intake with the parents in order to gather information about the child’s developmental, medical, educational, and social histories, as well as obtain a history of the problem. She then customizes a battery of tests to address the presenting challenges, and uses various testing methods to identify the child’s learning profile, factors contributing to the current concerns, and their strengths and weaknesses. Over the course of the assessment, Dr. Michaeli collaborates with educators, providers, and other individuals who know the child in order to obtain information about the child across different settings.  

After the assessment, Dr. Michaeli reviews the results with families during a parent intake meeting. She discusses impressions and diagnoses, providing details explanations of how these are expected to impact the individual. She then reviews specific recommendations and support the child will need. These may include an educational plan consisting of accommodations or modifications, school placement considerations, treatments and therapies, home-based strategies, and community resources.  

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