Psychological Evaluations

Dr. Nomura offers comprehensive psychological evaluations in Cypress, Texas for children and adolescents.  This type of testing is useful in the assessment of ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Behavioral Disorders, Developmental Disorders, and any other problems with mood, emotions, behavior, learning, or social interaction. Dr. Nomura sometimes finds that parent concerns are not related to any disorders, but he can still make recommendations to help your child.

Tests are selected to ensure that the evaluation will be thorough and reliable, but also affordable. Dr. Nomura can discuss the planned tests with you, and he will spend time with you explaining the results and how they can be used to help your child. Psychological assessments include a developmental history, interviews, and observations. Usually, psychological testing also includes IQ (cognitive tests), conduct rating scales, computer tests (CPT tests), emotional and behavioral rating scales, personality tests, projective assessment, tests of executive functioning, tests of memory, and/or academic achievement tests.

Dr. Nomura carefully considers all possible causes of your child’s difficulties (differential diagnosis). Some health care providers may diagnose mental disorders or psychological difficulties by interviewing parents or observing the child for a while in the office. Diagnoses provided from such procedures are not always reliable, as research has shown.  Consider ADHD, one of the most commonly diagnosed childhood disorders. In a recent study *, 38% of children who were identified as actually having Major Depressive Disorder had been misdiagnosed as having ADHD. Similarly, 29% of children who were identified as actually having Bipolar Disorder had been misdiagnosed as having ADHD. Allen Frances, the renown psychiatrist who led the task force to develop the DSM-IV (diagnostic manual for mental disorders), commented in an editorial** that all of the recent “epidemics” in misdiagnosis have occurred in childhood disorders. Consider these examples:

  • Irritability and noncompliance are common parent concerns. They are defining features of oppositional defiant disorder, but irritable mood is also the core symptom of depression in children. These symptoms are also quite common in ADHD, adjustment problems, Bipolar Disorders, and some developmental disorders.  Sometimes, children have no disorder but still exhibit these problems and might need help.
  • Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (including PDD-NOS) often appear as though they have ADHD. Similarly, ADHD can cause significant social deficits, and ADHD children may “look autistic.” In fact, the overlap in symptoms is so great that clinical guidelines indicate the two should rarely be diagnosed together.
  • Children with mood disorders sometimes appear to have ADHD symptoms. Mood disorders include Depression and Bipolar disorder. The following are designated core symptoms of mood disorders, which are sometimes misattributed to ADHD: difficulty concentrating; psychomotor agitation (restlessness, purposeless movement); talkativeness; distractibility; and racing thoughts. Sleep disturbances are also common for both ADHD and mood problems.
  • Children who are stressed, traumatized, being bullied, or being negatively influenced by peers may present with some symptoms of ADHD or mood disorders.

Dr. Nomura’s reports are exceptionally thorough, and include:

  • A summary section that explains the scores and provides clear reasons for specific diagnoses (diagnostic rationale).
  • Recommendations for proven (research supported) strategies and treatments for identified problems.
  • Recommendations for educational accommodations and strategies.
  • Eligibility considerations for school services.
  • A list of each client’s unique strengths and areas to target for change.
  • A description of all tests administered and a discussion of the findings.
  • A list of any appropriate diagnoses (axial diagnoses)
  • An appendix with a complete presentation of all scores from all tests given.

Parents in Cypress, Texas have many options for providers when considering psychological testing. Dr. Nomura is an excellent choice for parents who want to be certain that they are getting the best, most reliable testing available.

  • Dr. Nomura is a Licensed Psychologist and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.
  • Dr. Nomura specializes in working with children and adolescents. He is a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology and a Nationally Certified School Psychologist. He can make recommendations to increase success at school.
  • Area schools have depended on Dr. Nomura’s expertise for assessments, training interns, training post-doctoral students, leading assessment groups, and providing expert consultation.
  • Dr. Nomura’s broad experience (clinical, school, residential)
  • Dr. Nomura’s experience in the schools has given him the opportunity to follow children over long periods of time. This has given him the opportunity to re-test children and compare his impressions and diagnoses to colleagues.  Such peer scrutiny is a testament to the accuracy of his testing.
  • Dr. Nomura’s role as a trainer and assessment group leader requires him to judge the adequacy of many other psychologists’ evaluations. He understands what is necessary to ensure a thorough assessment and reliable diagnosis.

If your child is having difficulties with behaviors, emotions, or relationships, please call us today for a free consultation.

* Annals of Clinical Psychiatry, Vol.23(1), Feb 2011, pp. 25-29

** (7/2010)

Dr. Nomura provides psychological evaluations, psychological assessment, and other psychological testing in to families in Cypress, Texas.

This article is not intended to be medical or psychological advice.