"Dr. Horn, what is the difference between testing, evaluation, and assessment? I have been told I should have my child 'tested'"
I think when someone says, "You should have your child tested," they mean, "You should have your child "evaluated." TESTING: My definition of testing is administering one or more standardized and/or projective instruments. A standardized test is, for example, an IQ test or a behavioral checklist. A projective test has a set of guidelines for administering it and usually some standard materials, but the results are an interpretation by the examiner, usually of personality functioning. A comprehensive report is written, and feedback is given to the parents. EVALUATION/ASSESSMENT (Pretty much the same thing): In my view, testing is but one part, albeit an important part, of attempting to understand what is going on with your child. I invite parents to work with me in evaluating their child. We will talk together in interview, gathering history and concerns. With our burgeoning knowledge of the role of genetics, family history has become of critical importance and is often explored. There may be prior testing to factor in. (You may want to take a look at the last webpage "About Dr. Horn" for further information.) From the beginning, we will be undergoing a learning process about whatever special challenges your child may have and understanding any data that may be gathered together from our exploration.
"What are the steps we would take?"
"Dr. Horn, how does 'play therapy' factor into your evaluation?"
The child and I will do some playing together in the playroom, and we will have FUN!! (Please see the slide show.) While we are playing, the child will be determining whether this adult is "nice." When I ask questions about the child's concerns and the feelings they have about their problems, they are able to share with me, if I have communicated through play that I am respectful and caring about their world. In this way I am able to assess most areas of the child's functioning and share my thoughts with you.
"How will I be able to trust your results?"
"Do these findings fit my child?"
Parents will always be able to know whether findings are accurate by one simple question they may ask themselves:
"If I do think you are on the right track, what do we do then?"
We proceed to discuss the steps we need to take to help your child be successful. I present the things I think could be helpful, and we decide together if, or how, we should carry these out. We certainly can, and probably should, continue to work together for a while after we have pulled all the data together. Parents need support, a sounding board, and someone with whom to problem solve as they undertake carrying out the things they feel they need to do. For those children who have not had a standardized test battery, that is often one of the recommendations I may give. A child might be eligible for testing at school at no cost to the parents, or parents may choose to have their child tested outside of school. A couple of sessions of family therapy may be suggested. (Please see "Family Therapy" webpage to learn more about family therapy.) Bodies of research have shown that medications do assist with some conditions children are grappling with and do result in the child finding success and a better sense of well-being. We can discuss and study this issue together, but parents always make the decision whether to follow-up on a recommendation to get more information from a physician.
COMMUNICATION: When you call, I answer my own phone, and I make my own appointments. With established clients, communicating by email and text about schedule changes works well for some.
or text 512-415-7773
INFORMATION: Please call anytime to get more information. I want to help you get on the right track and proceed in an orderly fashion in getting help for your child. The whole thing is a bit overwhelming, and parents have told me they don't know what they are supposed to do next. I might have some ideas.
Dr. Horn checking her appointment book in her home office.
COURT TESTIMONY: Child custody is a specialized area, and I do not do custody evaluations. I also will not testify in court if called because I believe it would not be in the child's best interest for me to become involved in an adversarial action. My specialty area is family therapy, in which I attempt to help family members work together as harmoniosly as possible. My hope would be that my office and our work together would be a safe haven for each parent to develop their best characteristics with which to parent their child in an atmosphere of support.
Dr. Horn Will Be With You Shortly
I have my business office in my Lakeway home and my Lakeway phone number rings into my home so I am always available to you. When I leave my home, I do call forwarding to my cell phone so that I am always available to receive a message when I am at my clincial office on 620 or when I am out and about. Therefore, there is only one phone number with which to contend:
Clinical Office: 317 RR 620 So. Ste 302A
Won't You Please Come In?
One Technique: Play Therapy
Dr. Horn worked with children and adolescents and their school and family issues for many years. She currently sees only adults, specializing in individual, family and couple counseling. She has been a Medicare provider since 1998 and has special expertise in counseling families with an aging parent, and individuals and couples in their later years.
Her work with children and adolescents greatly informs her work with adults and families. Every adult and elder was once a child and an adolescent. To have the background in these developmental stages greatly informs the understanding of an adult who is seeking help at later stages of life.
For background information, you are invited to read about how I approached work with children and adolescents: