Benefits of Early Childhood Assessment

Posted on March 20,2014 by msppblog

If you are concerned that your young child is not developing in an age-appropriate way, you should know that research demonstrates that early diagnosis and intervention are crucial. When a diagnosis is made earlier, as the child’s brain is still developing, there are a number of outcomes.

  • Treatment can begin sooner and can be more effective.
  • There is also evidence that children who receive timely support in acquiring early literacy skills have better outcomes in areas of reading and mathematics.
  • Additionally, providing a child with appropriate behavioral supports at daycare or in the classroom leads to increased self-esteem, successful peer relationships, and sets the stage for the child’s positive attitude towards school in general.

The Brenner Assessment and Consultation Center at MSPP has a long history of providing comprehensive neuropsychological and psychological assessments to children and adolescents. At our specialty service for testing young children (generally ages 2-6), we recognize that it is a special challenge for parents, teachers and others involved in the child’s care to have a clear understanding of what is interfering with age-appropriate development. When it comes to very young children, not all skills develop at the same pace. For example, young children whose language skills don’t emerge as expected may eventually catch up to their peers with little or no intervention. Alternatively, delayed speech acquisition could be a sign of a potential Language Disorder or an Autism Spectrum disorder. Comprehensive and specialized testing is the best way to address each unique child.

At the Brenner Center Neurodevelopmental Assessment Service for Young Children “NYC”, we use a developmental lens to understand each child’s unique presentation. Over the course of the evaluation, we take time to get to know the child and the family. As part of our comprehensive neurodevelopmental assessment, we observe the child in his/her natural environment (such as home, daycare, preschool or an Early Intervention playgroup). This observation enables us to understand how the child copes with the demands of a group setting. Additionally, we collaborate with the child’s teachers and other service providers, in order to understand their perspective on the child’s strengths and areas of concern. We work hard to maximize the child’s comfort in the testing environment and typically see children over the course of several testing sessions.

Our evaluations result in comprehensive, jargon-free reports that include specific recommendations for parents, teachers, and others working with the child and the family. In writing the recommendations, we collaborate with professionals from other disciplines (such as speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists and child psychiatrists) to ensure that our recommendations embrace all aspects of the child’s development. We have a thorough knowledge of the IEP process and are available to attend IEP or other school meetings on request. For more information about the Neurodevelopmental Assessment Service for Young Children (NYC) at MSPP’s Brenner Center, please visit

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Can You Spare Some Change?

Posted on March 19,2014 by jeanc2013

Change. It happens to every single one of us every single day.

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Tagged Change of Career, Personal Growth, Organizational Psychology & Leadership, Executive Coaching

Super supervision

Posted on March 13,2014 by aliatmspp

We know that supervision is a vital aspect of becoming a good practitioner. As a trainee, I rely on supervision for several reasons. First, it ensures that my clients are receiving quality therapy. By reviewing my client interactions with my supervisor, we reflect on different approaches and tailor a treatment plan to help my client manage his or her experiences effectively in an effort to meet his or her therapeutic goals. Second, supervision is a space for learning; it allows me to ask questions that pop up at my practicum, and because I have good supervision, I feel comfortable doing so without shame or embarrassment. Supervision also provides a space for me to talk about my experiences as a clinician and as a graduate school student studying psychology.

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A Small Helpful Tool

Posted on March 11,2014 by falimspp2013

Organization is a key ingredient to a graduate student’s success. At MSPP, students typically have a lot going on: practicum/internship, school work, part-time work, and something that ever so slightly resemblances a social life. I previously wrote about how difficult it is to juggle all these aspects, but I wanted to introduce you to another lifesaving tool: diagnostic tabs.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, also known as the DSM-5 is the most recent update to the APA’s diagnostic tool. It was published last May, and insurances are now beginning to require codes and diagnoses from this edition. This book is everything to MSPP students, and because we rely on it so often, I strongly recommend investing in diagnostic tabs.

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Global Mental Health Film Series: War Don Don

Posted on March 09,2014 by msppgmh

Several weeks ago, the Global Mental Health program hosted its first film screening of War Don Don. The movie explores a post-war Sierra Leone in the throws of a court battle to determine who is most responsible for war crimes. I was amazed at the level of balance and thoughtfulness the filmmaker, Rebecca Richman Cohen, displayed through riveting and painful images. I felt an immense tension in understanding the chaos of war and its aftermath: survivors seeking healing and justice, attorneys building cases for and against war criminals, and messiness of determining who is a perpetrator and a victim. After the screening, we had an excellent discussion about the film and some of these aforementioned tensions. We understand that mental health situates itself within the context of political, social and economic forces - and in this film, we could clearly see those forces impacting the interviewees.

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Conversation with Dr. Covino

Posted on March 07,2014 by dirkmspp


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I guess that's why they call it the blues

Posted on March 07,2014 by sthurstonmspp

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Tagged Personal Growth, School Psychology

Where, oh where, is Spring?

Posted on March 06,2014 by falimspp2013

When I got into my car this morning, the temperature read 10°. That’s right, 10° on March 6. What is going on? I mean, shouldn’t it be warming up by now? Where is Spring!?

Now don’t get me wrong, I may one of the few people out there that love Winter. Autumn is my absolute favorite season, and Boston is beautiful in the fall. But Winter is a close second in my books. However, at this point, I am sick of it. I don’t know about you, but I need some sun in my life.

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Tagged Personal Growth, Around Boston

Veterans conference, April 18, 2014

Posted on March 05,2014 by dirkmspp


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My Journey to America, and to MSPP

Posted on March 04,2014 by msppgmh


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Tagged Global Mental Health