Delving into Development

Appears in the October 2018 issue.

Dr Tiffany Sandersuses play therapy tools to help young patients learn to read facial expressions and non-verbal cues. // Photo by Michael Hudson

Over her more than 15 years in practice, Dr. Tiffany Sanders has applied her expertise in psychology to a wide variety of patient issues and afflictions—from depression to family counseling and anxiety disorders. But one of her longtime key areas of focus has been the use of academic and psychological testing to help parents, teachers, and health care workers better foster the instructional, emotional, and behavioral success of children.

“Working with children and adolescents is important, because research shows that a child’s mind is amenable to early interventions,” she says. “We must provide quality psychological and neuropsychological evaluations to determine areas of strengths and weaknesses in their brain development.”

Dr. Sanders feels there are certain situations where these evaluations can be particularly helpful:

  • A young child is not meeting developmental milestones, especially in the use of language.
  • A student is demonstrating behavior problems in school (e.g., the inability to sit still, focus, concentrate, process information, or engage in peer interactions). An evaluation can determine whether there is a neurological disorder such as ADHD or another executive functioning disorder that could possibly explain the behavior.
  • A child isn’t learning at the rate of his or her peers, or is having difficulty retaining information or following directions.
  • There is a possible emotional disorder such as depression, anxiety, adjustment disorder, or bipolar disorder.
  • Parents are considering medication for their child—or to help clarify and/or rule out diagnoses to aid the physician in prescribing medication.
  • Thorough evidence is needed for a child study team to determine eligibility for a Section 504 Plan or an Individualized Education Plan (IEP)

For more information on counseling and phychological testing at Sanders & Associates in Oak Brook and Naperville, visit