What is PCIT?

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, or PCIT, is an evidence-based treatment that addresses externalizing behavior problems in young children ages 2-7. It uses a play-based behavioral treatment approach, with an emphasis placed on improving the quality of the parent-child relationship. Children and their caregivers are seen together in PCIT. We work together with each parent to strengthen their relationship with their child, build their ability to manage their child’s behavior, and restore positivity to their daily interactions.

How is PCIT implemented?

PCIT uses a live coaching model in which the clinician observes the parent and child through a one-way mirror or video feed, and, via a bug in the ear, coaches the parent/caregiver to apply various techniques aimed at refining parent-child interaction patterns. It is implemented across two treatment phases. The first phase emphasizes warmth in the parent-child interaction by focusing on relationship-building and positive reinforcement. Parents are taught skills that help children feel calm and secure in their relationships with their parents, and feel good about themselves. The second phase focuses on discipline and consequences. Parents are taught strategies to manage their child’s challenging behaviors while remaining confident, calm, and consistent.

Who is PCIT for?

Children ages 2-7 who are defiant, destructive, or have frequent tantrums or meltdowns; Parents who are feeling overwhelmed, and unsure about how to handle their child’s challenging behaviors .

What can I expect from PCIT?

  • An enhanced relationship with your child
  • An increase in positive behaviors
  • A decrease in challenging behaviors

For more information:

Please visit the PCIT International website at pcit.org

What is a neuropsychological evaluation?

A neuropsychological evaluation is a comprehensive assessment of skills and abilities linked to the functioning of the brain. The evaluation measures a variety of competencies including I.Q., academic skills, language, visual-spatial skills, attention, problem solving, memory, and social-emotional functioning.  Children who are referred for a neuropsychological evaluation may struggle in any one or a number of these areas. Tests that are part of a neuropsychological evaluation differ from those included in a neurological evaluation (e.g., EEG, CT or MRI scan).

What is a psychoeducational evaluation?

A psychoeducational evaluation assesses intellectual (IQ) and academic performance, as well as social/emotional and behavioral functioning, without doing extended testing in such areas as attention, executive functioning, memory, language, visual-spatial, and academic skills.  These skills are described in the psychoeducational evaluation, but a more detailed evaluation is necessary for a diagnosis such as ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, etc.  Psychoeducational evaluations are often conducted for the purpose of updated testing scores after a full neuropsychological evaluation. A psychoeducational evaluation may also be conducted when there is a concern that a child might require extended time on standardized tests, such as the SAT.

When should I have my child undergo a neuropsychological evaluation?

Parents and teachers may notice a child struggling in a particular area, or multiple areas. These may include difficulty learning to read and/or understanding classroom instructions, having trouble paying attention, excessive fidgeting, and even acting out verbally or physically. When the school and parents feel that they cannot address these concerns with the typical supports that they would use, e.g., tutoring, school counseling, then a more thorough assessment is warranted.

How does the evaluation proceed?

Initial Phase: Parent Interview – The first step in the evaluation process is to conduct a parent interview in order to obtain a thorough developmental history. This is also an opportunity for parents to express their concerns and define their goals for the evaluation. The duration of the parent interview typically ranges from 60-90 minutes.

Second Phase: Neuropsychological Testing with the child – During this phase, the child is administered a variety of standardized tests to evaluate his/her performance across a number of cognitive and social/emotional domains. Testing takes place over the course of 4-5 sessions. The duration of testing sessions ranges from 1-2 hours, depending on the age and needs of the child.

Optional Step: Classroom Observation – In some cases a classroom observation is conducted to evaluate the child’s behavior in that setting. The following areas of functioning may be examined: independent task completion, direction following, sustaining attention to tasks, behavioral responses to teachers and peers, social interactions with peers and teachers, and levels of anxiety and behavioral inhibition.

Final Phase: Feedback Session and Written Report– After the standardized tests have been scored, results of the evaluation and associated recommendations are discussed during the feedback session with the parents. A written report is then generated.  Ideally the results of the evaluation are also shared with the child’s school, so that parents and teachers can work together to understand the child’s struggles and implement the recommendations offered in the evaluation.  The evaluator helps to facilitate this partnership.

What can I expect from a neuropsychological evaluation?

The goal of a thorough neuropsychological evaluation is to provide a diagnosis along with recommendations for remediation and/or school placement. The diagnoses and recommendations that result allow parents, teachers, and other therapists/tutors to better understand the reasons why a child may be having difficulty in specific areas. The evaluator outlines interventions tailor-made for the child and helps parents find the appropriate providers and/or school placement that can implement those treatments. The diagnosis and recommendations are clearly explained to parents, teachers and school staff.

School-Based Consultation

  • What is school-based consultation? School-based consultation is a collaborative approach to solving problems faced within the school setting. It involves bringing a consultant into a school to address a specific problem (a) exhibited by a particular student, (b) in a particular classroom, or (c) occurring across the school. We follow a problem-solving/behavioral approach in which specific intervention strategies are recommended to address the referral issue.
  • What is involved in school-based consultation? School-based consultation begins with a conversation between a parent or member of the school administration and the consultant. Observations will be conducted in the school setting, during which the consultant will collect and analyze data. This is accompanied by interviews with relevant parties (parents, teachers, service providers, etc.). The consultant then develops a plan of action and generates recommendations for addressing identified problems.
  • What issues can be addressed by school-based consultation? Behavioral, social and academic problems can all be addressed via school-based consultation. We also offer staff development workshops and training on a variety of topics, such as effective behavior management, social-emotional development, and understanding and managing ADHD in the classroom.
  • What are the benefits of school-based consultation? School-based consultation offers a cooperative, ongoing partnership between the consultant, school staff, parents and students revolving around the mutual goal of promoting student success. It is a collaborative process that fosters stronger relationships between school administrators and faculty, between school staff and parents, and between the school and students. It can help close behavioral, social, academic and achievement gaps, to help students meet their maximum potential.
  • For more information: Please contact Hannah Hoch

Coming soon!

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