To Those Seeking a Psychoeducational or Neuropsychological Assessment of Their Strengths and Challenges, Or the Strengths and Challenges of Their Child

Research shows that we are more resilient than we realize. And research also shows that there are limits to emotional endurance for even the most resilient among us, school- age children included. Furthermore, you and I may have more influence than we realize in determining who among us endures in the face of adversity and who among us succumbs. Why so? Because the meaning we attach to the adversities others endure may determine the meaning they attach to these same adversities. And that meaning will likely determine whether they see themselves as resilient and courageous in the face of life’s challenges, or as helpless and hopeless. If we get it wrong, they get it wrong. And if they get it wrong, we may have taken away one of the most important ingredients we know of for rising above a difficult past: The ability to see adversity in a new light.

We conduct our assessments with this in mind: To try our best to help those engaging in the assessment process, and those who care deeply about them, to see common learning, behavioral, social, and/or emotional challenges in a hopeful new light.

For those who struggle with learning, behavioral, emotional, and/or other life challenges, we also know that the stigma associated with these challenges can be more painful to bear than the challenges themselves. We conduct our assessments with this in mind as well. The diagnostic labels associated with common challenges were intended to legitimize not stigmatize. Unfortunately, in too many instances, the reverse has been true. We talk a lot about this during the assessment process, and in time, we find that many come to feel greater understanding and greater peace of mind as a result of these discussions.

Which leads us to this additional observation. While there are many important strengths that psychological, psychoeducational, and/or neuropsychological assessments will often capture, there are many more personal qualities they may not adequately captured: among them, our ability to learn and grow in new and surprising ways in areas that we find to be personally meaningful and stimulating, our ability to eventually rise above adverse experiences, including ones that occurred during our childhood years, and our ability to translate the pain of our past into meaningful action on behalf of others. This we should add is the short list.

All things considered, our wish is that our diagnostic and other assessment services never be used to close our minds as to our potential future accomplishments, but rather to open them.   

To learn more about our assessment services, or to schedule an appointment, please e-mail us at or call 858-581-5050.

Note to healthcare professionals, educators, and others involved in conducting assessments and preparing reports. We wanted to make you aware of a project we’ve started that focuses on writing strengths-based, trauma informed reports. If you’re interested in participating in this project, please e-mail Dr. Mark Katz at or call us at 858-581-5050.