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MindWorks Blog

Autism Signs in Babies and Toddlers

Posted on April 16, 2013

Did you know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate 1 in 88 children have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD)? That's a 78% increase since the CDC's initial 2007 report.

Although the increase is not completely understood, greater awareness of ASD symptoms and behaviors are likely to be a contributing factor.

Knowing what to look for is key to early detection. If caught early, such as by 24 months, intensive treatment has shown to significantly improve and even reverse the symptoms, lending to a more favorable outcome.

If your child has any developmental delays or is displaying non-age appropriate behaviors, it's recommended they be seen by a professional for a comprehensive evaluation.

Early signs of autism include:

  • No smiling by six months
  • No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or facial expressions by nine months
  • No gesturing (waving or pointing, etc. ) by 12 months
  • No baby talk or babble by 12 months
  • No response to name by 12 months
  • No spoken single words by 16 months
  • No meaningful two-word phrases by 24 months
  • Regressive speech or social skills

Though there is no cure for ASD, being aware of the warning signs is important for early detection and subsequent treatment. If your child has any of these classic signs, our MindWorks Testing program provides assessments for toddlers and children and our counseling and speech language divisions treat children as young as 24 months. Get your child tested early, so we can work with you and your family to identify and treat this together.

Source: Centers For Disease Control and HelpGuide.org

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Couples and Compatibility

Posted on January 16, 2013

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about half of all marriages end in divorce. In fact, in 2009 the divorce rate in Texas was roughly 43% — discouragingly close to the national average of 50%. For most of us, this is old news. Many know of the disheartening statistics on divorce.

However, a lesser known statistic concerns the positive effects of premarital counseling and testing. Research shows that couples who seek premarital counseling can reduce their risk of divorce by up to 30%. While divorce may be unavoidable in some circumstances, premarital counseling by way of compatibility testing is extremely effective in helping soon-to-be spouses communicate better and deal with challenges in a healthier manner.

Compatibility testing allows couples to identify their personal viewpoints on a number of topics, including:

  • Career
  • Finances
  • Religious perspectives
  • Communication
  • Children
  • Expressing love

Self-awareness and intimate knowledge of your spouse's communication style, as evident through compatibility testing, is key in coping with future conflict and living together in harmony — enabling partners to communicate effectively, not destructively.

Source: Family Relations

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Back to School: ADHD and GT

Posted on August 21, 2012

It’s official—the new school year is just around the corner! While students may be dragging their feet to get back into the educational daily grind, parents are thinking of ways to help their students academically excel in the upcoming school year. In fact, over course of the summer, parents can become acutely aware of their child’s gifts, talents and struggles — and how those attributes will affect their child’s academic success.

Children can exhibit certain characteristics like sensitivity, intensity, high motor activity and impatience that are interpreted to mean a number of different things. In fact, such behavioral traits are common of both children affected by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and those that are highly intelligent, Gifted and Talented (GT) children. While children who struggle with ADHD and GT children can be extremely different, the fact that both can share similar behaviors stresses an important point. Among the magnitude of characteristics children display, it’s easy to misinterpret behaviors during the initial stages of identification — that’s why testing is so important. Psychological assessments can allow for a better understanding of why your child may exhibit certain characteristics and determine the appropriate steps to take moving forward.

The following characteristics can be common of BOTH ADHD and GT:

  • Difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
  • Tendency to lose things necessary for tasks or activities
  • Easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
  • Has difficulty playing in or engaging in leisure activities
  • Often is "on the go" and seems to be driven by a motor
  • Often blurts out answers before questions have been completed
  • Often has difficulty awaiting turn

MindWorks Testing offers both ADHD and Gifted and Talented testing for children and adults. If you suspect that you or someone you know is either GT or affected by ADHD, contact us. Get your child tested, so we can identify their specific situation and help them reach their full potential

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Corporate Psychological Testing

Posted on August 7, 2012

Are your newly promoted managers equipped to lead? Is employee productivity where you need it to be? Does your company suffer from a high rate of absenteeism and turnover? Does workplace “drama” impair productivity and efficiency? Krist Samaritan Center offers several strategies to help businesses improve return on investment on their greatest asset — their employees.

MindWorks Testing offers comprehensive psychological assessments for businesses. Administered by certified, licensed psychologists, psychological associates and counselors, these assessments provide valuable insight into a person’s work behavior, skills and capabilities.

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From First Steps to First Words

Posted on July 18, 2012

As parents joyfully experience the wonder of their child’s “firsts,” they seem to constantly be asking one another, “Did you catch that on video, honey?” From first steps to first words, there seem to be a million opportunities to observe your child’s development. However, such observation of your own child does not often come without comparison to other children. It’s only normal to question your child’s development and want to ensure that they’re “developmentally normal.”

Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to determine what exactly is “developmentally normal.” Child development is defined as the process in which children experience changes in skill development during “expected” time periods called developmental milestones. Developmental milestones are skills that children attain within a certain time frame. Learning to walk, for example, is a developmental milestone. Developmental delays occur when children have not reached such milestones by predictable time periods. Since children generally learn to walk between the ages of 9 months and 15 months, a child that hasn’t began walking by that time could be considered to have a developmental delay.

Warning Signs of a Possible Developmental Delay

  • Stares into space, rocks back and forth or talks to him/herself more than other children
  • Has floppy or limp posture compared to other children of the same age
  • Appears to have difficulty following objects or people with their eyes
  • Talks in a very loud or very soft voice
  • Rarely makes eye contact
  • Fails to develop sounds/words appropriate to someone at their age

As with many things in your child’s life, it’s never easy to determine what’s “normal.” The important thing to consider is that the early years of a child’s life are critical for social, emotional and cognitive development. If you’re concerned that your child may be experiencing a developmental delay, get your child tested. By formally assessing your child’s developmental skills, parents can gain the tools to ensure their child is healthy, happy and appropriately placed in school.

Source: How Kids Develop

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Depression in Teenagers

Posted on July 2, 2012

Did you know? According to a recent study by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, roughly 20 percent of teenagers will experience depression before their adult years. In addition, at any given time, between 10 to 15 percent of teens display certain symptoms of depression. Such disturbing statistics speak for themselves — teen depression is a common problem that can affect all adolescents regardless of race, gender, income level or social background. Most importantly, if never addressed, a teen who suffers from depression is at higher risk for other problems including relationship struggles, substance abuse and suicide.

As children reach adolescence, they begin to experience the emotional highs and lows common to their age group. From the trials and tribulations encountered with the opposite sex to the pressures of junior high and high school, teens often struggle with life lessons on a daily basis. Unfortunately, it’s common for teenagers to “bottle up” their emotions and not discuss what’s troubling them — that’s where the problem occurs. By identifying, addressing and discussing the symptoms of depression, teens can begin to understand that they’re not alone in their thoughts, fears and struggles. From that point, parents can determine the appropriate steps to take moving forward in the evaluation process.

Here are some warning signs that your teen may be depressed:

  • Withdrawal from activities and friends
  • Poor performance in school
  • Hopelessness and sadness
  • Lack of motivation, energy or enthusiasm
  • Exhibitions of rage or anger
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
  • Spending more time alone

MindWorks Testing offers depression evaluations for both children and adults. If you or someone you know could be suffering from depression, give us a call. You’re not alone — talk to someone about your struggles and how you can overcome your depression.

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ASSESSING AND COPING WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES

Posted on June 19, 2012

Dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia — such complex words define different types of learning disabilities (LD). While many people think learning impairments are related to a person's intelligence, they actually deal with how the brain receives, processes and conveys information. In fact, most adults and children who struggle with LD are of average or above average intelligence. The key to dealing with these challenges is to be tested, since many different learning disabilities exist and all require unique treatment.

The following symptoms might indicate that you or someone you know may require learning disability testing:

Motor Skills

  • Poor hand-eye coordination, such as required in cutting, buttoning or holding a pencil

Math

  • Difficulty memorizing or organizing numbers, operation signs and number facts
  • Difficulty with counting principles
  • Difficulty telling time

Language/Reading/Writing

  • Difficulty understanding the correlation between sounds, letters and words
  • Difficulty grasping the meaning of words, phrases, sentences and paragraphs
  • Difficulty with verbal language skills such as speech fluency or understanding directions
  • Unusually poor handwriting
  • Inability to accurately copy letters and words
  • Poor spelling
  • Poor organization in writing

MindWorks Testing offers a learning disability assessment for both children and adults. If you suspect that you or someone you know has a LD, contact us. We want to help. Don't let a learning disability get in the way of reaching your full potential.

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SCHOOL'S OUT—ARE YOU READY?

Posted on June 5, 2012

It’s official—school’s out! While students may be jumping for joy, parents are thinking of ways to keep their child’s mind occupied and keep those scholastic wheels turning. As parents interact with their child over the course of the summer, they can become acutely aware of their child’s gifts, talents and struggles.

Some challenging characteristics children exhibit like sensitivity, intensity, high motor activity and impatience are common of two very different conditions—Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Gifted and Talented (GT). While treatment for the conditions varies greatly, it’s important to understand that there is a similarity among the two behaviors that could be misinterpreted during the initial stages of identification.  

The following symptoms are common of BOTH ADHD and GT:

  • Difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
  • Tendency to lose things necessary for tasks or activities
  • Easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
  • Has difficulty playing in or engaging in leisure activities
  • Often is "on the go" and seems to be driven by a motor
  • Often blurts out answers before questions have been completed
  • Often has difficulty awaiting turn

While a child that may exhibit these characteristics is not necessarily GT or ADHD, it’s important to get your child tested and seek appropriate treatment to discover the cause of your child’s behavior.

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ABOUT THE INTELLIGENCE QUOTIENT

Posted on May 15, 2012

Have you ever wondered if your child has a learning disability? Perhaps you've noticed that it takes him/her a while to grasp certain concepts, but it's not that your child isn't bright—he/she eventually learns the principles and understands the subject matter. Sometimes students have a high IQ, but slower processing speeds in certain subjects.

Intelligence Quotient (IQ) testing measures thinking abilities, verbal abilities and processing speed, among other abilities to understand the level at which an individual is able to understand, process and use information.

IQ scores:

  • 80 – less-than- average intelligence
  • 100 – average
  • 105 – average needed for college-level work
  • 120 – average needed for post-graduate studies/medical school
  • 140 – genius or near genius

The 4th grade is when learning issues often start appearing because of a heightened intellectual demand than what was previously required in Kindergarten – 3rd grades. However, IQ testing can be given as early as 5 years old, and many parents test their children early to know what's possible for their future. Test results can be used to seek special accommodations for learning disabilities, admission into special or private schools, or for educational forecasting.

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EXPLORING HIDDEN APTITUDES OF HS GRADUATES

Posted on May 2, 2012

This year the average annual tuition to attend a private, four-year college is around $28,500. With such a daunting figure, parents of upcoming college freshmen often worry about the many financial decisions to be made — hoping terms like "fifth-year senior" don't exist in their student's vocabulary. Alternatively, many high school graduates find it difficult to determine what major they should choose upon entering college.

This is where psychological testing comes in. By discovering their interests, personality traits and any previously undiagnosed learning disabilities, students are able to learn their ideal occupational direction and clarify their vocational goals.

Comprehensive psychological assessments reveal an individual's strengths and weaknesses, answering many questions that may have caused learning or social problems for your student in the past. Evaluating your student's mental characteristics through career, personality, learning disability and other testing can help recent high school graduates find hidden aptitudes — allowing them to choose a major they may not have considered. Of the many beneficial psychological assessments, the Strong Campbell Interest Inventory can provide insight specifically into the interest patterns of your student.

  • Psychological assessments can help determine:
    • Basic Interests
      • providing specific information about your student's interests
    • Personal Styles
      • defining your student's preferred work, learning, leading, risk taking and team participation style
    • Occupational Interests
      • relating your student's interest patterns to those patterns of satisfied workers in a preferred occupation
    • General Personality Information
      • helping students discover their preferred work environment

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UNDERSTANDING PERSONALITY

Posted on April 19, 2012

Every person has a distinctive personality—an organized set of traits and characteristics making them unique. Such qualities not only indicate a person's social interaction patterns, but also how he/she perceives the world. Personality assessments through psychological testing can reveal other core information about an individual, including:

  • Behavior (social and personal)
  • Thought patterns
  • Feelings
  • Motivations

Recognizing these traits can help with pre-marital and marital issues, understanding your child's school performance, and recognizing why your teenager "acts out," among other things. Only trained professionals can provide an accurate personality assessment. For those making New Year's resolutions, a personality test may be just the ticket to discover the motivations behind what makes you, your spouse or your child tick.

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PLANNING FOR BLISS

Posted on April 3, 2012

Before engagement, couples should discover their similarities, differences, weaknesses, strengths, how to handle conflict and how to build each other up. Dating relationships tell a lot about an individual, and differences that may impact the relationship are helpful or important to understand.

  • Nervous/Composed
  • Depressive/Light-Hearted
  • Active-Social/Quiet
  • Expressive Responsive/Inhibited
  • Sympathetic/Indifferent
  • Subjective/Objective
  • Dominant/Submissive
  • Hostile/Tolerant
  • Self-Disciplined/Impulsive

Since psychological testing points out potential areas of conflict, testing results are helpful for pre-marital counseling. Engaged couples that desire to protect their relationship through life's ups and downs would greatly benefit from facing possible issues early on and not waiting until they are in the sacred, life-long commitment of marriage.

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ADOLESCENTS AND ANXIETY

Posted on March 20, 2012

Did you know? 7% of college students have an anxiety disorder. Alarmingly, if you stretch that statistic out a few years to adulthood, you’d find that anxiety-related disorders cost the United States roughly $42 billion a year in work-related and medical losses.

Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that this issue can be a crippling problem, as it interferes with a person’s ability to lead a normal life. And, for many students, it can be hard to discuss with others. While it’s a common emotion that many students experience, an anxiety disorder constitutes a serious mental illness. For those suffering from a disorder, such as panic, obsessive-compulsive or social anxiety, the constant fear and worry can be debilitating — both emotionally and academically.

With the wide range of anxiety disorders that exist, symptoms can vary depending on the type.

However, if your child is experiencing one or more of the following symptoms, he or she may be suffering from severe anxiety:

  • Nervousness
  • Inability to control worrying
  • Restlessness, feeling on edge
  • Tiring easily
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Muscle tension or tightness
  • Difficulty sleeping

If you think your child may be suffering from this kind of disorder, have them tested — the sooner, the better. It’s worth it for your child to forgo suffering from a lifelong issue.

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EARLY DETECTION CAN FOSTER FASTER, EASIER LEARNING

Posted on March 6, 2012

Sometimes learning difficulties are not readily apparent until adolescence or adulthood — when the complexity of information becomes greater than an individual's ability to compensate.

44% of parents who noticed their child exhibiting signs of difficulty with learning waited a year or more before acknowledging their child might have a serious problem.

Since many of tomorrow's opportunities depend on what is learned in school today, have your child tested for a lifetime of faster, easier learning. Get to know how the mind works through psychological testing. To learn more, call 281.480.7554 or visit mindworkstesting.org.

Source: Roper Starch Poll: Measuring Progress in Public and Parental Understanding of Learning Disabilities, 2000

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STRUGGLING WITH PROCESSING INFORMATION?

Posted on February 24, 2012

You as an adult or your child may have difficulties processing information. Often this struggle is not obvious because both kids and adults can develop compensation skills to cope with their learning struggles. However, poor reading comprehension or problems staying focused are frequently symptoms of an individual's inability to process information in a timely fashion.

At MindWorks Testing, we can distinguish if you or your child truly has difficulty processing information. With the right tests, your child can have their specific needs met at school (for 504 Accommodations), and you as an adult can create an accurate strategy to overcome problems at work, and in other professional arenas.

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ARE YOU IN THE RIGHT CAREER?

Posted on February 14, 2012

Many professionals are confused, unhappy or burned out in their jobs. If you have any one of these feelings, you may be in a career that is not best suited for your personality. Quite often, people do not end up working in the same field they studied in college, and to be happy at work, it is crucial to discover what you are passionate about.

At MindWorks Testing, we offer career preferences testing and counseling to reveal occupational interests and clarify vocational goals. Testing results can also assist in finding hidden aptitudes that professionals can capitalize on during their job hunt.

Individuals who most benefit from career preferences testing include:

  • Unemployed professionals
  • Adults seeking a career change
  • College students
  • Graduating high school students

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DO YOU KNOW THE THREE SUBTYPES OF ADHD?

Posted on January 31, 2012

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most prevalent and widely researched diagnoses of U.S. children. Often accompanied by a specific learning disability, ADHD can make it very difficult for a child to succeed in school. Diagnosis depends on a complete evaluation, which includes testing, by a mental health professional.

The three subtypes of ADHD:

  1. Inattentive type: inability to pay attention to details, difficulty with sustained attention, forgetfulness in daily activities
  2. Hyperactive-impulsive type: fidgeting or squirming, difficulty remaining seated, excessive running or climbing
  3. Combined type: combination of the other two types and is the most common

At MindWorks Testing, we offer comprehensive evaluations for ADD, ADHD and learning disabilities. Our experienced clinicians will assess the type and severity of your child's condition and recommend a tailored treatment plan. Suggested treatment options may include diet changes, medication, behavioral intervention and therapy, exercise recommendations and more.

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HOW PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTING HELPS YOUR CHILD.

Posted on January 3, 2012

While many students are in their element at school, others may appear bored or disengaged. Psychological testing can help parents know more about their children's educational experience, including:

  • How they learn and retain information
  • Whether they are gifted and talented
  • Why they may be under-performing
  • If they are in the right grade

Many schools have a long waiting list for testing services, so consider MindWorks Testing to help get your student in the right class or on the right track. Our psychological testing results can also be used to demonstrate that your child qualifies for 504 accommodations at school. We offer testing for:

  • Gifted & Talented
  • Learning Disabilities
  • ADD & ADHD
  • IQ
  • Developmental Delays
  • Cognitive Delays

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CHALLENGING AN EXCEPTIONALLY BRIGHT CHILD.

Posted on December 20, 2011

Have you noticed that your child is particularly idealistic or a perfectionist? Does he or she find certain subjects or concepts very simple while his or her peers seem to struggle? If the answer is "yes," your child may be eligible for Gifted and Talented (GT) classes. GT students are children or youth who perform at (or exhibit potential for performing at) an extraordinarily high level of achievement. They usually excel in one or more of the following areas:

  • Intelligence
  • Creative Thinking
  • Visual/Performing Arts
  • Leadership
  • Specific Academic Ability

Because GT students usually become bored with their grade-level work, most schools place these bright youth in advanced programs so they can fulfill their academic potential. If your school district has a waiting list for advanced-placement testing, consider MindWorks Testing to get your children in the right class for their capabilities.

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