ADAPTS Evaluations at CBTeam: Comprehensive Cognitive Testing

For the past few years at CBTeam, Dr. Theresa LaPuma has offered cognitive testing to children, adolescents, and adults at CBTeam. Common evaluation questions are:

“Is my inattention caused by anxiety or ADHD?”

“Why is school overwhelming me more than my peers?”

“Does my child have social skills deficits that are explained by cognitive deficits?”

“Why does my child take longer to complete assignments?”

“Why is my child refusing school?”

The Unique Approach of ADAPTS Evaluation

Based on her background in clinical and school psychology, Dr. LaPuma shaped CBTeam’s cognitive testing- Adaptable Diagnostic Assessment and Psychoeducational Testing Service (ADAPTS) Evaluation- to assess all factors that may explain a referral question. Consider how inattention in the classroom may be influenced or explained by all the following individual factors:

Cognitive abilities, executive functions, attention capabilities, biological factors, learning history, family system, trauma, emotional disorders, personality profile, social skills, maladaptive coping strategies, etc.

Beyond Traditional Testing

Traditional testing within a school system can target academic and learning challenges and private testing tends to do a more comprehensive analysis of cognitive abilities and personality/clinical features. Dr. LaPuma ambitiously strives to provide functional behavioral assessment in addition to the domains traditionally covered in either testing settings to provide the most precise diagnostic conclusions and, even more importantly, effective intervention recommendations.

Understanding the Function of Behavior

ADAPT evaluations lean on both clinical acumen and objective testing results to understand the function of problematic behavior. This approach helps us identify the most effective intervention(s) and is accomplished by a complete clinical interview and comprehensive, tailored testing that gives us the client’s self-report, behavioral observations, and objective data to understand “why” a behavior occurs.

Case Example: Middle School Challenges

Imagine a middle schooler who finds school emotionally taxing because they can’t sit still, yet they can still maintain good grades.* Dr. LaPuma could use an ADAPTs Evaluation to understand if the fidgeting has a function that reinforces the behavior in this setting and if a neuro-biological deficit needs to be addressed. Understanding if this kiddo is trying to use movement as a coping mechanism (e.g., rituals, distraction, self-stimulation) or has an underlying condition that causes this behavior (e.g., ADHD, Tourette’s Syndrome), can only be done with behavioral analysis and appropriate testing. The importance of obtaining a high-quality assessment is underscored when it comes to recommendations. For example, typical recommendations for ADHD can be highly contraindicated for anxiety-based conditions, meaning that appropriate clinical diagnoses are essential in accessing the proper mental health care and environmental accommodations.

The Benefits of ADAPTS Evaluations

Dr. LaPuma is passionate about how the ADAPTS evaluations can help a youth or adult reach their full potential with less emotional struggle. She is proud of the innovations that make an ADAPTs Evaluation unique. In addition to the comprehensive assessment described above, ADAPTs Evaluations are designed to:

  • Limit wait times for testing and
  • Use well researched testing batteries that assess someone holistically based on individualized assessment
  • Involve collaboration from outside clinical providers, school officials, and care
  • Provide both comprehensive write-ups (released only with permission) as well as kid and adult friendly summary
  • One-on-one meetings to discuss
  • Follow-up with outside providers and school officials to explain and facilitate

Contact for Free Consultation

If you want a free consultation or have questions about an ADAPTs evaluation, please contact testing@cbteam.org!

*Note to parents: When considering the need for testing, pay attention to how school feels to your child rather than just thinking of their grades. Advanced cognitive abilities can mask impairment behind good grades, such as ADHD and perfectionism.