Assessments/Evaluations

MACS provides standardized assessments for the admission assessments for students applying to independent schools and/or specialized public schools requiring entrance exams in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area for Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12.

Cognitive testing explains the strengths and weaknesses of an individual compared to their peers. Cognitive testing in children is essential for educational planning and assisting parents in structuring and understanding their child’s learning style. This type of testing can be administered as early as preschool age and we provide such services to students to further assist in educational placement and services. Cognitive testing for adults can assess their problem-solving abilities, learning skills, and critical thinking to determine their strengths in their work and college life.

Educational testing involves an exploration of the overall knowledge-base, memory, and problem-solving skills, as well as, an assessment of basic reading, writing, and mathematic skills of the child. This testing can be useful in the identification of educational strengths and weaknesses, as well as, gaps in one’s knowledge base that impede the education process within the classroom. We conduct such evaluations to assist in academic placement and growth for students.

In some cases, a more in depth assessment may be required. A full assessment assesses relevant areas of language and literacy as well as areas of strengths and subtypes present. This will also include assessing an individual’s executive functioning. A full assessment will essentially assess areas pertinent to establishing a full diagnostic profile (e.g. dyslexia, ADHD, etc.)

Psychological assessment is a process of testing that uses a combination of techniques to help arrive at some hypotheses about a person and their behavior, personality and capabilities.  The assessment will explain the individual’s cognitive and personality functioning so that the Social Worker has a greater understanding on how to link services for the individual.

A Comprehensive Psychological Assessment explores and evaluates educational, cognitive, and social-emotional functioning.  It can be useful in identifying or diagnosing an educational disability and/or psychological issue. This assessment provides a comprehensive understanding of the issue that is distressing an individual and impacting their educational and emotional development, identifying educational strategies or treatments that may lessen the distress and identify any possible barriers to treatment.

A neuropsychological evaluation involves assessment of many different areas of functioning, such as memory, attention, organization, visual perception, coordination, language, emotional and social skills. Children, adolescents, and adults are often referred for neuropsychological evaluations due to concerns about difficulties with learning, behavior or social interaction skills, an inborn developmental problem or disease that affects the brain in some way (e.g. Down Syndrome), and/or a brain injury from an accident, birth trauma, or other physical cause.

Forensic/Assessment Services

A mental health evaluation is conducted to assess if there are risk factors that impact functioning.  The assessment includes, but is not limited to, clinical interviewing, record review, conducting a psychosocial interview/history, and psychological screening tools to make recommendations about services to consider as well as to determine if a more intensive evaluation should be considered.

Psychological assessment is a process of testing that uses a combination of techniques to help arrive at some hypotheses about a person and their behavior, personality, and capabilities.  The assessment will explain the individual’s cognitive and personality functioning so that the legal system has a greater understanding on how the individual mental health and psychological functioning is related to criminal act.

Child custody evaluations involve psychological testing of each parent, as well as the child(ren). Divorce Custody evaluations explore the social and emotional functioning of all involved parties as a means of understanding each parent’s ideas about what would be best for the child/children. The goal of the child custody evaluation is to provide the Court and the parties with objective information and recommendations about a family to assist the Court in issuing orders for highly contested custody disputes.

A parental capacity assessment is a specialized psychological evaluation, typically ordered by a court, and used to assess the capacity of a parent to parent their young children.  Often, this evaluation is ordered by a court as part of a termination of parental rights case or in the course of determining a parent’s ability to assume custody of their children in a custody dispute.  Parents involved in Child Welfare cases are often required to obtain a parental capacity evaluation, which assesses the parents’ child rearing strengths and challenges and evaluates risk factors. These risk factors are usually severe and include a significant finding of sexual, physical, and/or neglect.  These evaluations include, but not limited to, psychological testing, clinical interviews, record review, parenting measures, and parent/child observations.

This is an assessment of whether an individual who is accused of sexually inappropriate conduct has a risk of engaging in sexual misconduct in the future.  These evaluations address the psychological problems that led to the sexual misconduct, deviant sexual interests, and risk assessment to offer recommendations about treatment and management.

Parental screening is less intrusive than a parental capacity assessment.  It is used to assess parents who present with low risk factors and findings of abuse has not been determined.  This is often used with parents of adolescents who experience family discord, truancy disruptive behavior, and other behaviors that impact the functioning of the family and child-parent relationship.  Furthermore, it assesses parenting attitudes and risk factors that leads to recommendations that are less involved and not needing a  level supervision from CPS.  These evaluations include psychological testing, clinical interviews, record review, and selected parenting measures.

The competency evaluation assesses the offenders’ maturity and developmental capacity, as well as their intelligence, to determine their comprehension abilities about their rights, their situation, the possible outcomes of the court proceedings, and their ability to assist their attorney and make decisions with regard to their plea. MACS forensic evaluators are well versed in the standard measures to assist the legal procedure.

Psychotherapy/Clinical Services

Psychotherapy has been shown to be effective in the treatment of a variety of mental health symptoms, and can also help you reduce distress, solve problems, and develop better interpersonal and family relationships. Still, there are no guarantees about the outcome of psychotherapy. Since therapy may involve discussing unpleasant aspects of your life, you may experience uncomfortable feelings, which may be temporarily discomforting. MACS attempts to minimize risks by providing well-supervised and trained therapists and by conducting frequent evaluations of your progress. In cases where your symptoms are not improving, we may recommend additional interventions or collaborations with other mental health and medical professionals.

Psychoeducational therapy is a process that focuses on both the educational and psychological needs of children and adolescents that are having trouble in school.  This process differs from therapy in that the focus is on improving the emotional status of individuals as they approach academic tasks to allow them to gradually improve their skill set, academic performance, and classroom behavior.

Family therapy is based on the belief that the family is a unique social system with its own structure and patterns of communication. Many factors determine these patterns, including the parents’ beliefs and values, the personalities of all family members, and the influence of the extended family (grandparents, aunts, and uncles). As a result of these variables, each family develops its own unique personality, which is powerful and affects all of its members.  MACS incorporates a cultural approach as part of treatment to emphasize the importance of family.

Group therapy is a shared therapeutic experience which includes the presence of others who are working through similar issues. Group Therapy can focus on interpersonal relationships or on concerns shared by the group members.  Group therapy is offered to help you reach a myriad of different therapeutic goals. services are divided into two larger types, either “psychoeducational” or “process oriented.  A psychoeducational group is focused on providing you with information about specific topics in order to give you additional resources or information. These kinds of psychoeducational groups are more structured; you will be provided with specific topics or modules to discuss and learn about. The intention is to provide you with more information about the topic, which is often identified in the name of the group. On the other hand, a “process” oriented group focuses on the experience of being in a group, itself, as the healing opportunity.

Play therapy is a form of psychotherapy which involves the use of undirected play to address psychological issues and is the standard method of working with children. Play therapy is a type of mental health or developmental intervention which is designed to help children grow up as happy and well-adjusted as possible. Play therapy utilizes play, children’s natural medium of expression, to help them express their feelings more easily through toys instead of words. Throughout their lives, most children go through difficult times, such as trouble making friends, the divorce of their parents, or adjusting to changes at school or home. Some children need more help than others to get through these times. It is the most appropriate treatment for helping your child work through difficult times and helping you gain a better understanding of what your child is going through.

MAPS believes that relationships requires regular maintenance and that couples have to be willing to do the work in order for the couple to flourish and evolve.  Relationship therapy is designed to assist couples to learn how to improve communication, develop problem solving skills, and assist the couple with exploring new and healthy ways to view their relationship. MAPS provide therapeutic services to couples desiring premarital counseling to help assess the couple’s strength and to ensure that the marriage begins with a healthy foundation. Relationship Therapy is also designed to work with newly married and established couples to find ways to address problems in a healthy manner with the intent to build on the strength of the couple.