Each person has an important context of their life, which includes personal and family background, culture, and values. This informs how individuals create hopes, dreams, and goals and expectations for themselves and their children. These goals may include educational or occupational achievement, creation of happiness, fulfillment, and achievement of one’s potential, or maintaining as much independence as possible in later life. We see individuals as multi-dimensional, and as much greater than can be defined by individual tests. It is our privilege to spend time with our clients to help them understand strengths within themselves or their children, and which barriers may be standing in their way. This is not just based on tests and numbers, but on how and why they are approaching tasks in a certain manner. It is our responsibility to carefully observe each person’s approach, and help individuals reach conclusions about why the approach they have been using may be helpful or not. We strive to de-mystify the testing process, so that individuals can also be actively involved in the interpretation of results, and participate actively in creation of ideas for the future of the individual or their loved one. Each individual comes with a story, or "self-narrative" about him- or herself or their loved one, and why they are facing difficulty or have not fulfilled their goals. In the evaluation process, we aim to help individuals re-write their self-narrative to become more helpful in fulfilling these goals or maintaining independence. When we understand the individual’s approach and barriers, we become better able to provide helpful and specific recommendations about how to overcome barriers towards fulfillment of maximal functioning.
An important part of having a person-centered approach is understanding an individual’s strengths and learning style, which provide important strategies about how to manage individuals’ barriers or weaknesses. “Mindful” assessment indicates that individuals can be fully “present” in the moment, and reflective regarding their thoughts and feelings within the testing situation. This allows clients to be more active participants, joining in the process of assessment by sharing their ideas and feelings, which are highly significant in painting the picture of the whole person. This process is done together, in collaboration with the participants, and not solely by the examiner. The report, feedback, and recommendations are also shared in a person-centered, collaborative fashion, with research-based and technically-accurate principles explained in non-technical, understandable language. We are also able to serve as a bridge in communicating back to referring professionals or schools in a similarly collaborative fashion.