How to Increase Higher Order Thinking (H.O.T.), Part 7


Here is the 7th & final part of How to Increase Higher Order Thinking

Taken directly from Reading Rockets.com

Evaluation/Assessment

If consistent use of some of the above strategies does not seem to help a student, it may be worthwhile to consider having a comprehensive neurodevelopmental evaluation conducted by a qualified professional. Problem identification is the first step in problem solution; thus, if the problem is not accurately identified, the solutions that are attempted often will not reap rewards for the student and those working with him.

A comprehensive neurodevelopmental evaluation performed by a licensed psychologist should serve as the roadmap for parents, students and professionals working with the student. It should provide a complete picture of his attention, memory, oral language, organization, graphomotor/handwriting skills and higher order thinking. It should also include an assessment of the student’s academic skills (reading, written language and math) and his social and emotional functioning. The evaluation should not only provide an accurate diagnosis but also descriptive information regarding the areas of functioning noted above.

When seeking professional services for an evaluation, it is important to understand what constitutes a good evaluation and also the purpose of the evaluation. Evaluations conducted by public school systems are generally for the purpose of determining whether a student meets criteria for a special education classification. Evaluations conducted by many private professionals are performed for the purpose of determining whether the student meets diagnostic criteria according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) published by the American Psychiatric Association. While both of these types of evaluations are helpful in their own ways, they are generally not sufficient for providing the best roadmap. Therefore, parents should be informed consumers and ask questions about what kind of information they will walk away with after the evaluation has been completed.

The focus of an evaluation should be to address concerns and provide answers to specific questions asked by the parents and the student, and to identify the underlying causes of problems. For example, if the student has problems with reading comprehension, is it because she cannot decode the words, she has insufficient fluency or vocabulary, or she cannot understand discourse because of difficulty with attention or memory? It should also identify the student’s strengths as well as challenges and specific strategies for managing these challenges.

A good evaluation should glean information from multiple sources such as interviews, questionnaires, rating scales and standardized tests. Contact CDL for more information about neurodevelopmental evaluations at (504) 840-9786 or learn@cdl.org.

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