Consultation services includes short-term interventions (4 session maximum) to identify reasons for a child’s recent change in behavior that may present as:
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder is characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. There are many types of autism, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences.
The term “spectrum” reflects the wide variation in challenges and strengths possessed by each person with autism.
Autism’s most-obvious signs tend to appear between 2 and 3 years of age. In some cases, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months.
Some facts about autism:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates autism’s prevalence as 1 in 68 children in the United States. This includes 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls.
An estimated 50,000 teens with autism become adults – and lose school-based autism services – each year.
Around one third of people with autism remain nonverbal.
Around one third of people with autism have an intellectual disability.
Certain medical and mental health issues frequently accompany autism. They include gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, seizures, sleep disturbances, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and phobias.
Children with autism may display some of the following behaviors or difficulties:
Difficulties initiating or sustaining social interactions
Limited or no eye contact
Limited use of gestures
Repetitive behaviors or motor mannerism
Limited interest in interacting with peers or adults; may prefer to be alone
Intense preoccupation with certain topics
Difficulty with changes in routine
Cognitive inflexibility or rigidity
Limited imaginative or creative play
Sensory aversions or preoccupations
Difficulties with sleep
Difficulty understanding social rules
What is the Definition of ADHD?
ADHD is a highly genetic, brain-based syndrome that has to do with the regulation of a particular set of brain functions and related behaviors and are often referred to as “executive functioning skills” and include important functions such as attention, concentration, memory, motivation and effort, learning from mistakes, impulsivity, hyperactivity, organization, and social skills.
Are ADD and ADHD the same thing?
There are several subtypes of ADHD. Those that are predominantly inattentive but are not necessarily hyperactive/impulsive are usually diagnosed as having ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Type. People with these difficulties often are diagnosed later on when compared to individuals that display difficulties with attention in addition to hyperactivity and impulsivity.
What Is The Definition Of ADHD?
Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or with other activities.
Often has trouble holding attention on tasks or play activities.
Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (e.g., loses focus, side-tracked).
Often has trouble organizing tasks and activities.
Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to do tasks that require mental effort over a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework).
Often loses things necessary for tasks and activities (e.g. school materials, pencils, books, tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, mobile telephones).
Is often easily distracted
Is often forgetful in daily activities.
Often fidgets with or taps hands or feet, or squirms in seat.
Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected.
Often runs about or climbs in situations where it is not appropriate (adolescents or adults may be limited to feeling restless).
Often unable to play or take part in leisure activities quietly.
Is often “on the go” acting as if “driven by a motor”.
Often talks excessively.
Often blurts out an answer before a question has been completed.
Often has trouble waiting his/her turn.
Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games)
ADHD is NOT caused by: poor parenting, falls or head injuries, traumatic life events, digital distractions, video games and television, lack of physical activity, food additives, food allergies, or excess sugar. ADHD is a genetic condition caused by chemical, structural, and connectivity differences in the brain and is highly inheritable.
American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition. Arlington, VA., American Psychiatric Association, 2013.
Learning Disorders are present when there is a significant difference between an individual’s overall cognitive abilities or learning potential (IQ) and their academic performance in a specific area (reading, writing, or mathematics); their academic performance is significantly lower than expected given their estimated reasoning abilities and age and grade. There are three different types of learning disorders:
Specific Learning Disorder with Impairment in Reading: Formerly referred to as Dyslexia, individuals with a reading disorder can present with difficulties such as one or more of the following:
Difficulties with reading comprehension
Difficulties with Phonetic awareness and phonetic blending
Impairment in their letter-word recognition skills
Difficulty reading quickly and accurately
Specific Learning Disorder with Impairment in Mathematics: Also referred to as Dyscalculia, individuals with a mathematics disorder experience the following:
Difficulty understanding number sense
Difficulties performing numerical operations quickly and accurately
Difficulty understanding and completing applied word problems
Specific Learning Disorder with Impairment in Written Expression: Also referred to as Dysgraphia, individuals with a writing disorder may display the following:
Difficulty expressing thoughts in written words
Difficulties with spelling
Frequent letter reversals when writing
Impairment in their ability to quickly and accurately produce written content
Individuals are not underachieving in one specific academic area but rather have difficulties in a variety of areas of areas of their functioning that may be related to the following processing disorders:
Slowed processing speed
Impairments in working memory
Deficits in auditory processing
Difficulties with verbal reasoning
Visual-spatial/nonverbal reasoning deficits
A child is considered to have a developmental delay when one or more area of their development is lagging behind what is considered the expected time frame for the emergence of developmental skills. Developmental delays can be observed in one or more of the following areas:
Adaptive/Independent Living Skills
Gross or Fine Motor Development
Early identification and intervention is crucial to improving long-term outcomes in children with developmental delays.
Social-emotional difficulties such as anxiety and depression can be observed in children as young as toddlers through the adolescent years. Although young children may lack the ability to accurately express their feelings and older children and adolescents may be hesitant/resistant to share feelings with adults, emotional difficulties can negatively impact an individual in many areas of their lives. Children and adolescents may display the following behaviors:
Excessive fear of separation from parents/caregivers beyond what is considered developmentally appropriate
Frequent mood changes
Difficulty sleeping or increase in sleep
Avoidance of certain people, places, or things
Changes in their ability to focus/concentrate
Lack of interest in activities they enjoy
Decline in grades/academic performance
Individuals that are considered “Gifted” demonstrate extremely well developed cognitive reasoning abilities that are exceptionally well developed in comparison to same-age peers. Gifted children often benefit from individualized/accelerated academic instruction in order to prevent boredom. Children that are Gifted may display some of the following:
A highly developed vocabulary
Tendency to use more complex language or more elaborate/detailed sentences than same-age peers
Frequently asking questions about their environment and seeking explanations/reasons
Can carry-out multistep directions at a young age
The ability to learn new information quickly and efficiently
They ask questions that display advanced insight and understanding.
An inclination to see learning as fun
May be more emotionally intense than other children but also show more sympathy
At tendency to think and talk fast
An intellectual disability is characterized by global impairments in all areas of the individual’s life that is a result of deficits in a person’s reasoning including verbal reasoning, visual-spatial reasoning, processing speed, academic achievement, independent living, and social skills. These difficulties are present before the age of 18 years old and continue throughout a person’s entire life. There are different levels of impairment characterized as Mild, Moderate, Severe, and Profound. Individuals with an intellectual disability generally require a specialized educational placement and supervision in their daily life as adults.
You are able to schedule any of the evaluations and consultations listed on this site as well as a free 15 minute phone consultation by selecting Schedule an Appointment on the top right menu bar or with any one of the Schedule an Appointment buttons located throughout the site. Please make every effort to attend the phone consultation on time. In addition, you may schedule and appointment by calling the office at (954) 342-6130, sending an email to email@example.com, or by filling out our Contact form found in the Contact page. Appointments for evaluations are scheduled in 2 hours per session increments in order to avoid the child or adolescent becoming fatigued.
We do not accept insurance. Most insurance plans do not cover academic or gifted testing and may require prior authorization to proceed with testing. You may be eligible for out of network reimbursement; please consult with your insurance plan in order to determine if they will reimburse you for services provided if you submit a receipt. Cash, check, and credit cards are acceptable payment methods. An initial deposit of $250 is required during the first face-to-face appointment. The remaining balance can be split between the following two scheduled sessions. Payment must be made in full at the time the feedback/report is provided. No results will be provided if there is an outstanding balance on the account.
At the time that your initial appointment is scheduled, you will receive an email from The Playful Minds Psychology Center of South Florida inviting you to enter the client portal and complete the initial documentation electronically. These documents must be completed prior to the first appointment. If you have supporting documentation such as report cards, prior evaluations, etc. they can be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The length of an evaluation depends on the referral question and the age of the individual. For young children under 5, testing can usually be completed within 2-3 hours with a few short breaks. For an older child or adolescent, it is usually best to complete the testing in 2-3 sessions lasting 2-3 hours each and preferably beginning in the morning when a child/adolescent is typically more alert. Some testing can be completed after school but it is not recommended as children and adolescents are typically more fatigued and less focused after a long day at school.
Make sure that your child has a good night’s sleep and has eaten before coming to the appointment. When you arrive, you can have a seat in the waiting room and the psychologist will come and greet you at your appointment time.
No, every evaluation is individualized and specific assessments are selected based on the referral question, age, and other relevant factors pertinent to the child.
You should bring water and some snacks, as well as a sweater in case your child is cold.