Psychology Internship Assessment Rotations

Learn more about the training opportunities within the core rotation in assessment.

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs): Diagnostic Evaluations

These two rotations provides the opportunity to evaluate individuals across the lifespan (depending on specific projects available) for possible autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Individuals are either participants in a research project, or being seen for a clinical evaluation; in either case they receive a diagnostic and psychological evaluation. The majority have an existing or suspected co-occurring diagnosis (most frequently an anxiety disorder, ADHD, or intellectual disability). Some may also have a co-occurring genetic syndrome or complex medical history. There is a range of verbal and intellectual abilities, including minimally verbal individuals and intellectually gifted individuals. Thus, the intern will receive experience with complex differential diagnosis. In addition, most interns will also evaluate at least a handful of typically developing controls, which provides a good opportunity to compare performance in children from clinical and nonclinical populations.

Training objectives

  • Administer IQ, adaptive, behavioral questionnaires, and sometimes language or achievement testing.
  • Observe and ultimately administer or co-administer the ADOS and/or ADI-R depending on prior training and experience.
  • Develop recommendations for additional assessment and intervention.
  • Provide written and oral feedback to families.

Center for Management of ADHD

The interdisciplinary team of the Center for Management of ADHD offers care to children ages 3 through 18. The team (clinical and school psychologists, child and adolescent psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners, developmental and behavioral pediatric physicians and advanced practice nurses) provides diagnostic evaluations, therapy and medication for children who have — or are at risk for developing — attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). CHOP's ADHD Center is the region’s largest and most comprehensive ADHD program, and our services are available at CHOP’s Main Campus, as well as several locations throughout the Delaware Valley.

Modes of supervision include individual and small group supervision and direct observation of clinical practice.

Children referred to the Center for Management of ADHD receive a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation. Differential diagnosis is predicated upon review of previous medical records, structured interview with caregiver(s), direct observation of child behavior, curriculum-based assessment and interpretation of child, caregiver and teacher-derived measures. Patients complete the collection of assessment data during an initial visit, and then return for an integrative feedback session.

Training objectives

  • To understand ADHD and associated learning and behavioral disorders
  • To learn a set of procedures for assessing ADHD, academic skill deficits and internalizing as well as externalizing behavioral disorders
  • To develop skills in diagnostic and behavioral assessment, school consultation, and interdisciplinary team process.

Neonatal Follow-up Program

The training goal of this program is to provide direct practice opportunities with an interdisciplinary team in the assessment of medically high-risk infants and preschoolers. Team members include a pediatrician, nurse practitioner, social worker, physical therapist and program coordinator, in addition to a psychologist. Most children have repeated assessments from infancy to school age.

Training objectives

  • To achieve a better understanding of the relationships between prenatal, perinatal and postnatal complications and later neurodevelopmental outcome
  • To learn the administration of standardized instruments, parent interview and behavioral and play observations
  • To develop the ability to interpret findings in the context of medical history
  • To work with families to understand their needs
  • To make recommendations for intervention
  • To effectively communicate developmental findings

Neurodevelopmental Follow Up in Surgery

The training goal of this rotation is to provide the intern with direct practice opportunities in the assessment of medically high-risk infants, toddlers and preschoolers (ages 6 months to 6 years). Patients come from all over the country for surgical care at CHOP, and the need for systematic neurodevelopmental follow up has been identified across several programs within the Division of General, Fetal, and Thoracic Surgery and the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment. Specifically, patients who have undergone fetal surgery for myelomeningocele or other intrauterine procedures and children with congenital diaphragmatic hernias, congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation (CCAM), and giant omphalocele have been targeted for neuropsychological follow up. Children present with a range of outcomes, including developmental delays, motor and sensory deficits, attention problems, autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disability, as well as normative developmental outcomes.

Training objectives

  • To achieve a better understanding of the relations between prenatal, and postnatal medical complications requiring surgical intervention and later neurodevelopmental outcomes.
  • To learn the administration and interpretation of standardized infant and young child testing instruments.
  • To effectively communicate testing findings to families and the clinic team.
  • To better understand expected developmental milestones in the first 5 years of life.
  • To learn to identify signs of psychopathology in early childhood.
  • To understand individual family needs and empower them to both advocate for and intervene with their children in ways that will support child development.

Pediatric Neuropsychology Service

This training module offers direct experience with the clinical provision of neuropsychological services to children and adolescents in a medical setting. Through core and elective rotations, the opportunity exists to obtain training consistent with Houston guidelines. During the course of this training you will gradually assume increasing responsibility for clinical services, with the support of individual weekly supervision. Your didactic opportunities will include a weekly multidisciplinary Clinical Neuroscience Seminar, weekly Clinical Case Conference, and opportunity to attend other relevant didactics including Neurology Grand Rounds, Neuroradiology Grand Rounds, and Brain Cuttings.

Training objectives

  • To obtain a better understanding of brain-behavior relationships within a developmental context
  • To apply assessment and intervention principles based on the study of human behavior as they relate to the normal and abnormal functioning of the central nervous system
  • For those specializing in other areas of professional psychology, to become an informed consumer of neuropsychological services
  • For those planning to pursue post-doctoral training and eventually practice as a neuropsychologist, to extend specialty preparation in the science and professional practice of neuropsychological

You will have opportunities to become familiar with:

  • Common referral issues in a hospital-based practice and how they are reflected in typical referral questions
  • Clinical populations regularly seen for neuropsychological services, including children referred with: congenital central nervous system anomalies or conditions /treatments associated with an adverse effect on central nervous system functioning (e.g., epilepsy, including candidates for epilepsy surgery; genetic/metabolic disorders; neuro-oncology and oncology; neurofibromatosis, traumatic brain injury, spina bifida, stroke)
  • A developmentally appropriate range of assessment instruments and techniques, interpretation of findings, case conceptualization from a neuropsychological perspective, and the communication of findings and recommendations to patients, families, other healthcare providers, treatment teams, and educational professionals report writing, documentation, and professional issues in the clinical practice of neuropsychology

Pediatric Neuropsychology — Focus in Oncology/Late Effects

The Division of Oncology is a large children’s cancer treatment center, which sees over 300 new patients annually. Approximately 40 attending physicians are housed in the Division of Oncology. The Psychosocial Services team consists of nine licensed psychologists (including three neuropsychologists), in addition to psychology post-doctoral fellows, social workers, and child-life specialists. Interns participating in the Oncology Assessment rotation will participate in a range of outpatient neuropsychological evaluation models, ranging from screening to comprehensive evaluations across a broad age range (preschool through early adulthood). These patients include youth about to begin or currently on treatment, completed treatment, or at future risk for oncological disorders. Assessment duties include participation in the clinical interview with parents and patients; assisting with test selection and administration, interpretation, and report writing; and participation in feedback with parents. Trainees will have the opportunity to participate in didactics, including biweekly Neuropsychology Seminar and weekly Neuro-Oncology rounds.

Training objectives

  • Develop knowledge regarding immediate and late cognitive effects of treatment (e.g., surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, bone marrow transplant), as well as neurodevelopmental and genetic disorders associated with risk for oncological processes.
  • Learn to conduct developmentally appropriate neuropsychological assessments, with emphasis on test selection, interpretation of results, participation in clinical interviews, and provision of verbal and written feedback to families.

Psychological/Psycho-Educational Assessment

Designed as a rotation to build skill and experience with psychological and psycho-educational assessment.

  • Opportunity for psychological/psycho-educational assessment of patients with complex medical needs. Interns will build competence in clinical interviewing, making behavioral observations, and assessment, with a focus on the assessment of intelligence, academic achievement, adaptive functioning and emotions/behavior.
  • Interns will gain experience with the clinical skills of case conceptualization, evaluation/testing, scoring, interpretation, diagnosis, report preparation and provision of feedback to patients, families and healthcare providers.
  • Opportunities to take increasing responsibility for interviews, report writing and providing feedback to patients, families and referral sources.
  • Intern will gain exposure to the practice of pediatric neuropsychology.