Diagnostic Evaluations

The Diagnostic Center of the Curtis Blake Center is located on the campus of American International College and was founded in 1969 to provide diagnostic services to children, adolescents and adults who have academic and accompanying social difficulties associated with difficulties in acquiring literacy skills. These are often diagnosed as a learning disability, dyslexia, or simply "reading problems." The Center is widely known and respected for its expertise in dealing with language learning disabilities, the most frequent cause of difficulties in the development of reading and writing skills.

We are committed to a collaborative model of assessment and intervention. Our primary focus is the development of oral and written language skills from the contextual language of the home to the decontextualized language of the school. Multiple professional perspectives are woven into a single comprehensive written report detailing specific recommendations tailored to the client's academic and social needs.

We do not use a single test battery; rather, our evaluation is tailored to the needs of the individual and typically assesses the following components:

  • Cognitive and executive functioning
  • Academic achievement, especially the development of literacy skills
  • Speech and language development

Referrals for diagnostic services may be initiated by school systems, parents or guardians, or interested others. With appropriate permission, information is obtained from schools or agencies that have provided prior diagnostic or remedial services. These data aid in making decisions concerning appropriate assessment, and ensure that measures will not be repeated unnecessarily.

An initial interview is scheduled with parents or guardians to review developmental and academic histories, the presenting problems and the primary questions to be addressed by the assessment. The child or adolescent does not attend this session, which takes approximately one hour. In addition, a take-home questionnaire is used to provide information about the problem(s) in relation to the student's school and social life. Contact is also made with the client's teacher to acquire information on the child's classroom functioning.

Testing sessions, are scheduled in advance and usually begin at 9:30 a.m., and last until noon. Parents are not required to stay in the building while testing is being conducted, but it is important that they be present to meet the child at the end of each session. Students may be seen for two, three or more sessions depending on the extent of the presenting problem, amount of previous data available, and the attentional reserves and cooperation of the child.

Assessment is completed in keeping with the most current research and includes qualitative as well as quantitative testing. The written report is highly detailed and delineates specific recommendations that have been well researched and are practiced at both the Curtis Blake Day School and our Tutorial Program.

Following completion of a written report, a one hour meeting is scheduled for parents (and, if they wish, a representative from the student's school) to meet with the diagnostic team to have the assessment results and recommendations summarized and any questions answered. In the case of an adolescent, arrangements may also be made to provide feedback to the student directly on an alternative date.

The fee for a comprehensive evaluation for 2013-2014 is set at $2,200.

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Pamela Silva
Coordinator of Services

Michaelene Cronin
Executive Director of the Curtis Blake Center

AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE | 1000 State Street | Springfield MA 01109 | 800.242.3142 | TRANSFORMING LIVES SINCE 1885