Assessments for Infants, Children & Teens
Working with and assessing children is a very special skill set. It takes years of specialized training and experience to be truly qualified in treating and assessing this population from infancy/toddlers to teens.
Nicole Story, Psychotherapist has been working with, assessing and supervising the clinical staff of children's dedicated mental health programs for over 20 years, including serving as the Clinical Director of an Adolescent (ages 11-19) residential treatment facility and outpatient programs located in dozens of schools in Alachua and Duval counties.
At Oceanside Family Therapy & Assessments we provide comprehensive assessment options for children and adolescents. These assessments include gathering information from the child, the parents and teachers, when necessary to obtain a comprehensive view of the child or adolescent's presenting issues and symptoms.
Common presenting issues include: ADHD; ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder); Behavior Problems; Social Anxiety; Separation Anxiety; Child Abuse; Bullying; Eating Disorders; Academic Problems; Giftedness; Thought Disorders; Dyscalculia/Math Learning Disorders; Mood Disorders; Self-Harm; Suicidality; PTSD; and General Anxiety.
When utilizing these validated assessment tools in combination with in-depth clinical interviews and mental health evaluations, you can be assured that your child is obtaining a highly accurate, and completely confidential assessment. If you have concerns about your child or adolescent, contact our office today to schedule an assessment.
One of the Assessment Batteries frequently utilized includes the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment - An Integrated System of Multi-informant Assessments for preschool 1-5 years old and for school aged children 6-18 years. The ASEBA approach originated in the 1960s with Dr. Achenbach’s efforts to develop a more differentiated picture of child and adolescent psychopathology than was provided by the prevailing diagnostic system. It has been revised and updated to incorporate current psychiatric diagnostic criteria - DSM oriented scales for boys and girls. It also offers cross cultural references for assessment.
Our office has purchased the full system of ASEBA which are available in the office for in-person appointments. Copies available online at ASEBA can be found here:
Autism spectrum disorders/ASD are identified and the severity can be estimated in conjunction with the Gilliam Autism Rating Scale/GARS-3. This assessment addresses DSM-V diagnostic criteria and assists with identifying autism (including formerly Aspergers) in children aged 3-22. The subscales include: Restrictive, Repetitive Behaviors, Social Interaction, Social Communication, Emotional Responses, Cognitive Style, and Maladaptive Speech. Aspergers, (now ASD) can be specifically screened with the Gilliam Asperger's Disorder Scale for children aged 3 years - 22 years old who present unique behavioral problems and social interaction
Dyscaluclia/Math Learning Disorders are assessed with the Feifer Assessment of Mathmatics, a comprehensive assessment of mathematics designed to examine the underlying neurodevelopmental processes that support the acquisition of proficient math skills. It not only helps determine if a student has a math learning disability (MLD) but also identifies the specific subtype of dyscalculia, which better informs decisions about appropriate interventions.
The FAM also:
Yields three index scores representing each dyscalculia subtype (Verbal Index, Procedural Index, and Semantic Index) as well as a Total Index score that represents total test performance.
The Verbal Index score is a measure of automatic fact retrieval and the linguistic components of math.
The Procedural Index score is a measure of a student's ability to count, order, and sequence numbers or mathematical procedures.
The Semantic Index score is a measure of visual—spatial and conceptual components, including magnitude representation, patterns and relationships, higher-level mathematical problem solving, and number sense.
Reliable change and discrepancy scores can be calculated.
Students in prekindergarten take nine subtests, students in kindergarten to Grade 2 take 14 subtests, and students in Grade 3 to college take 18 subtests.
Beck Youth Inventories | Second Edition (BYI-2)
Judith Beck, PhD Aaron Beck, MD John Jolly, PsyD
The new Beck Youth Inventories™ Second Edition (BYI-2) uses five self-report inventories to assess symptoms of depression, anxiety, anger, disruptive behavior, and self-concept in children and adolescents. Guidance on using this test in your telepractice.
Age range: 7-18 years
Trauma and PTSD
The CATS questionnaire is a screening instrument directly based on the DSM-5 criteria for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It is a measure of potentially traumatic events and of posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) in children and adolescents.
The CATS has been translated in several languages. Currently there are English, German, Norwegian and Spanish translations available. There are 3 different versions of the CATS:
CATS Self-report (7-17 Years)
CATS Caregiver-report (7-17 Years)
CATS Caregiver-report (3-6 Years)
Child and Adolescent Trauma Screen (CATS) - Caregiver Report (Ages 3-6) - Spanish
What kind of assessments do children need?
Children show emotions, psychological trauma and discomfort in very different ways than adults. Therefore, the assessments utilized with children must be very specifically designed for them, and the clinician should be very experienced and specifically trained in working with that age group. Each developmental stage of childhood is very different. Cultural norms must also be addressed by a skilled and experienced clinician.
Children may also require asylum, hardship and trauma evaluations, individually or as part of a family evaluation.
Intelligence Testing provides an estimate of cognitive ability for psychiatric or vocational rehabilitation evaluations; it also helps to identify learning disabilities, mental retardation, giftedness, neuropsychological impairments, and other exceptionalities.
The WRIT/Wide Range Intelligent Test assesses both verbal and nonverbal abilities, yielding a Verbal IQ and a Visual IQ, which generate a General IQ when combined and is a highly reliable assessment of cognitive abilities that can be used with individuals ages 4-85 years. Standardized on 2,285 individuals, the WRIT produces IQs that are highly correlated with those from traditional and much lengthier cognitive measures, including the WISC-III (.90) and the WAIS-III (.91).*
For ADHD assessments, our practice may also utilize the CAT-C. The CAT-C is an assessment instrument with three parallel forms: a Self-Rating Form completed by the child or adolescent, a Parent Rating Form completed by one or both parents, and a Teacher Rating Form completed by the child’s or adolescent’s teacher(s) Therefore, parent observations, teacher observations and the child or adolescent self-report must be taken into account during the assessment process.
It closely resembles the adult version of the CAT and item content, clinical scales, and clusters are similar and parallel between both forms.
Standardized on a sample of 800 children and adolescents ages 8-18 years, 800 matched parents of these children, and 500 teachers of these children.
Concurrent validity, assessed through comparison with the Conners’ Rating Scales, the ADHDT, the CAB™, and the CAD™, revealed moderate-to-high correlations for both nonclinical and combined clinical samples across all three rating forms.
Personality Assessment Inventory™–Adolescent (PAI®-A)
PAI-A is an objective psychopathology assessment for use with adolescents aged 12-18.
The PAI-A closely parallels the adult version of the instrument, with 11 clinical scales from anxiety to mood disorders to personality disorders, etc. but 264 items are written at a 4th-grade reading level.
Clinical constructs, which were selected on the basis of their importance within the nosology of mental disorder and their significance in contemporary diagnostic practice, assess experiences (e.g., suicidal ideation, depression, anxiety) that are expressed with reasonable consistency across the life span.
PAI-A scores are presented in the form of linear T scores, which were calculated with reference to a U.S. Census-matched community sample.
Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children | Second Edition (MASC 2) John S. March, M.D., MPH
Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children Second Edition™ (MASC 2™) assesses the presence of symptoms related to anxiety disorders in youth. The measure distinguishes between important anxiety symptoms and dimensions that broadband measures do not capture. Age range: 8 to 19 years
(CDI 2) Children's Depression Inventory, Second Edition
Measures cognitive, affective, and behavioral signs of depression. Ages 7 to 17 years
Self-report, teacher report, and parent report
Based on a nationally representative sample of 1,100 children and teens from 26 U.S. states, with equal numbers of males and females at each age level
Pediatric Symptom Checklist-17 (PSC-17)
Emotional and physical health go together in children.
Because caregivers are often the first to notice a problem with their child’s behavior, emotions or learning, they may help their child get the best care possible by answering the caregiver report inventories.
Please download the assessments underlined with links as pdfs, mark under the heading that best fits your child and return to this office for scoring.
Anxiety and Stress often present differently in children than in adults.
As part of a clinical assessment it can be beneficial to use inventories and assessments specialized for children. Scared is a brief anxiety assessment tool.
Diagnostic Teacher Rating Scale for child symptoms of ADHD in the school setting.
Nicole Story, M.Ed, Ed.S, LMFT, LMHC is a Psychotherapist with licenses in Marriage and Family Therapy (LMFT) and Mental Health Counseling (LMHC) and is a Qualified Supervisor with the Florida Department of Health, Medical Quality Assurance.
She has Master's and Post Master's degrees (equivalent to a Doctorate of Psychology) from the University of Florida and has been evaluating, diagnosing and counseling children and their parents for over 20 years in private practice and community settings including: Hope Haven Children and Family Clinic; Child Guidance Center; Meridian Behavioral Healthcare - Gainesville; The Beaches Resource Center; and as the Clinical Director at a 30 bed adolescent inpatient program.
She is a clinical member of the Florida Association for Infant Mental Health/FAIMH, the Theraplay Institute and the American Psychological Association/APA and served as President of the NE Florida Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.
She also trains and supervises clinical staff at the Youth Crisis Center, Camelot Community Care, Family Foundations, Breakthroughs, the Naval Hospital, River Region, the VA and several private practices.
Evaluations and forensic reports are also provided to Family Courts, Criminal Courts, Jacksonville Federal Court and Orlando Immigration Court when directly requested by the court and are separate from treatment cases.
She works with patients, clients and attorneys from California to New York to Miami and offers Telehealth and in office evaluations to clients throughout the state of Florida.
For more background and qualifications see Credentials page.
*Descriptions and data of assessments were quoted directly from assessments' technical information.
Active in the community, Nicole Story is also a mother of 2 and served as the PTSA President at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, a National Magnet School, and as PTSA President and Student Advisory Council (SAC) for Fletcher Middle School.
She also served as President of the Oversight Committee Foundation, for the Beaches Resource Center at Fletcher High School, Neptune Beach, Florida.
Assessment or Treatment?
Assessment or Treatment?
If you are involved with the courts and are seeking custody support, then you are looking for assessment only and will sign the court testimony disclosure
If you are looking for longterm treatment for your child, then a non-subpoena must be signed by both parents. Treatment cases are completely separate from court assessment cases at this practice and will not be overlapped.
If you are seeking assessment for Immigration Court or USCIS please also see the Immigration Evaluations page below:
For online or telephonic therapy please see the Teletherapy page:
Forms to download and bring to your first appointment: