Dr. Lisa Novak is the Co-founder and Clinical Director of Illuminate Psychological Assessments. She is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in neuropsychological assessments for children, adolescents, and young adults, as well as supervising other licensed and pre-licensed clinicians in their assessment work. Her areas of expertise include learning disabilities, ADHD, and the interplay between physical and mental health concerns. Dr. Novak earned her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- When do kids benefit from a neuropsychological assessment?
- Dr. Lisa Novak shares how she identifies the root cause of a child’s difficulty to focus
- How COVID affected children’s emotional struggles
- Dr. Novak explains how her work impacts coping strategies
- The importance of encouraging kids to gain control of their lives
- The most common causes of challenges and problems children experience
- Dr. Novak gives important advice to parents
In this episode…
Every child has his/her own unique set of skills, talents, and areas for improvement. Parents who notice certain concerns with their children are often advised to have them take a neuropsychological assessment. So what is the purpose of this evaluation, and how does it help children manage their difficulties?
According to Dr. Lisa Novak, a neuropsychological assessment is a deep dive into the source of a symptom, behavior, or challenge. Parents often come to her and her team when their children experience difficulty focusing, reading delays, and other dysregulated behavior. The goal of the evaluation is to identify the root cause and the next best steps to help the child.
In this episode of The Coping Podcast, licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Leigh Weisz hosts Dr. Lisa Novak, the Co-founder and Clinical Director of Illuminate Psychological Assessments, to talk about the value of neuropsychological assessments for children. Dr. Novak shares how these assessments benefit both parents and children, her usual process for identifying the root cause of children’s problems and challenges, and the impact of COVID on children’s emotional struggles.
Resources Mentioned in this episode
- Dr. Leigh Weisz on LinkedIn
- Coping Partners
- The Coping Podcast
- Lara Field on The Coping Podcast
- Dr. Lisa Novak on LinkedIn
- Illuminate Psychological Assessments
- The Self-Driven Child by William Stixrud PhD and Ned Johnson
- What Do You Say? by William Stixrud PhD and Ned Johnson
- The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel, MD & Tina Payne Bryson, PhD
- Dr. Ross Greene
- Dr. Russell Barkley
Sponsor for this episode…
This episode is brought to you by Coping Partners.
Coping Partners is a mental health practice dedicated to helping children, adolescents, and adults manage various challenges including anxiety, divorce, behavioral issues, relationship problems and much more in the Chicago suburbs.
Our practitioners are devoted to building on our clients’ strengths and bolstering weaknesses.
To gain insight and tools for getting unstuck check out our website at CopingPartners.com, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to The Coping Podcast where we share strategies for coping with the stressors of life, especially the difficulties of parenting. And here is your host, Dr. Leigh Weisz.
Dr. Leigh Weisz 0:15
This is Dr. Leigh Weisz. I am the host of The Coping Podcast where I feature top experts on topics like raising healthy children, parenting and so much more. Please check out my recent interview with dietitian Lara Field, where we talked about how to navigate the complex landscape of eating and feeding children. Since this is often a stressor on parents. This episode is brought is brought to you by coping partners. Coping Partners is a mental health practice in the Chicago suburbs dedicated to helping children, adolescents and adults. We help manage various challenges including anxiety, divorce, behavioral issues, relationship problems, and much more. Check out more episodes of our podcast and our website at copingpartners.com And you can contact us with any questions you have. Just a quick disclaimer. The information provided is for educational and informational purposes only. This is not intended to provide mental health treatment and does not constitute a client therapist relationship. The information provided is not a replacement for being assessed and evaluated by a licensed professional and is not intended to replace mental health or medical advice. Now without further ado, I’d like to introduce Dr. Novak to you. Dr. Lisa Novak is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in neuro psychology. She is the co founder of Illuminate Psychological Assessments, a private practice in Wilmette that specializes in comprehensive evaluations for children, teens and young adults. Lisa also serves on the board of catch a local nonprofit organization that helps parents support the mental health of their youth. When she’s not working, Lisa is most likely soaking up snuggles with her two young sons. So thank you very much for being here, Lisa.
Dr. Lisa Novak 2:11
Thank you, Leigh, for having me. I’m so excited to be here.
Dr. Leigh Weisz 2:15
And you know, I’m gonna dive right into my first question, which I think is just if you can help us understand when is it that that kids would benefit from a neuro psych assessment? When is it that it’s wise to call you because I think most parents have heard that term, but they don’t really fully understand what it entails?
Dr. Lisa Novak 2:35
It’s a great question and one I get all the time. You know, I think about neuro psych assessments as being a deep dive into the why, of something that we’re seeing some symptom, some behavior, some challenge. And the idea of doing a neuro Psych is to figure out, okay, we understand that my child’s having trouble paying attention, or we understand that maybe, you know, her reading is not quite up to snuff with peers, or we’re seeing a lot of dysregulated behavior, but we don’t really know the root cause, which of course, then means we don’t necessarily know how to intervene appropriately. And so when people whether it’s the parents themselves, or other professionals working with the child or the school team, determine that there is something that they haven’t quite got the pulse on, we often find a neuro psych evaluation really helpful for illuminating what those challenges are, and what the next steps can be to support that kiddo.
Dr. Leigh Weisz 3:34
That makes sense. And it sounds more complicated than you could just figure out from observe observing the child like in school, because some of the symptoms kind of look similar on the surface.
Dr. Lisa Novak 3:46
Exactly. And I think there are some times where we do feel like the root cause is pretty identifiable. You know, OCD is an example that comes to mind for me, where sometimes a parent will call and sort of describe a pretty clear symptom presentation of a specific kind of OCD, and say there’s a family history of OCD, and just kind of recognize the challenge. And in those situations, we often say, we’re not really sure that a neuroscience would necessarily be the best first step for this child. Instead, it might be much wiser to go straight into intervention. And here are some specific kinds of intervention that would be helpful and try to give them some names and resources. It’s really much more so when we don’t know the exact reason or we think we know what’s going on. But the child has tried intervention, you know, and the therapist or the speech pathologist or whomever it is, is saying, you know, this isn’t quite working the way we expected it to or the way that we normally see a growth trajectory. And so we need a little bit more information about what else might be getting in the way.
Dr. Leigh Weisz 4:51
That makes that makes sense. So if someone feels stuck in treatment, or if the again the child is struggling, but we don’t exact know why. So we don’t know how to intervene.
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