Neuropsychological Assessment, Consultation and Guidance Service for Children, Adolescents, and Families
Anya Dashevsky, Psy.D.
4 Militia Drive, Suite 17
Lexington, MA 02421
Welcome to Growing Minds!
I am a clinical psychologist with extensive training in neuropsychological assessment of children, adolescents, and young adults. I have a thorough understanding of child development based on the latest research in the field, and over 15 years of hands-on experience working with children and families.
Growing Minds provides the following services:
- Neuropsychological Evaluations for developmental, learning, and emotional disorders
- Therapy for behavioral and emotional difficulties
- Parent Guidance regarding typical parenting issues
- Consultation to schools, daycares, and child development or educational agencies
How Growing Minds is unique:
At Growing Minds, I appreciate that there is a broad range of what is considered typical development. I evaluate each child's set of skills, needs, and behaviors based on the child's age, cultural background and family expectations. I do not look at each skill in isolation, but rather work to understand the whole child in the context of her family and community. For example, a child who doesn't say much in the classroom could simply be a shy but well-adjusted child. Similar behavior in another child might be an indication of a language disorder that needs to be addressed. Taking time to do a specialized comprehensive evaluation enables me to distinguish between the two cases. ✖
As someone who has several years of experience working for an Early Intervention Program, I feel very comfortable interacting with toddlers and preschoolers. I also have thorough knowledge of standardized tests for children in this age group. While it is not always possible to identify a specific diagnosis at such a young age (excluding an Autism Spectrum Disorder and Global Developmental Delay), the neuropsychological evaluation can help parents and educators create a specialized education and treatment plan based on the child's unique strengths and challenges.
The latest report from the CDC states that one in 68 children has been identified with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The report also shows that most children with ASD are diagnosed after age 4, even though ASD can be diagnosed as early as age 2. We know that early diagnosis and treatment is essential for children on the Autism Spectrum, because the brain is still actively developing and is capable of rewiring during the first 3-5 years of life. ✖
At Growing Minds, I understand that a child might behave differently in my office than she does at home or at school. As part of the evaluation, I often observe the child in her school or daycare in order to see how she interacts with peers and teachers in her everyday environment. ✖
Just like all of us, children have their good days and bad days. Diagnosing a child based on one session (after he missed his nap or got into a fight with his sibling, or just plain got up on the wrong side of the bed) could lead to an inaccurate diagnosis. For some children, it may take a while to warm up to an unfamiliar adult in a new setting. Testing takes effort and patience, and children get tired after a certain amount of time. For these reasons, I conduct my evaluations in 1-3 hour-long chunks (depending on the child's age and stamina) over 2-5 testing sessions. ✖
In order to get a better picture of the child's overall functioning, I communicate with the child's teachers, daycare providers and other professionals (with the parents' permission). I am also available to present the results of the evaluation during IEP or other meetings with service providers. ✖
▼ the evaluation results in a comprehensive report written in plain English, with specific recommendations
My 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, I collaborate with professionals from other disciplines (such as speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists and child psychiatrists) to ensure that the recommendations embrace all aspects of the child’s development. ✖
I have a thorough understanding of the IEP process and the kinds of recommendations that are useful to educators. This knowledge gives me a unique ability to help parents read and understand their child's IEP and provide them with support during IEP meetings. ✖
I offer a free initial phone consultation to determine how my services can best meet your needs, or refer you to a colleague who would be a better match.