Thrive | Emerge™


Evaluation, Diagnosis & Treatment Planning

Evaluation, Diagnosis And Treatment Planning

The Heron’s Gate Program begins with an evaluation of the complex set of factors which contribute to the challenges of the “stuck” young adult transitioning to independence. Assessing these factors as thoroughly as possible directs the development of a treatment program specific to the needs of a family.

The assessments involve all members of the Heron’s Gate clinical staff, so the treatment team is well acquainted with the young adult and the parents prior to the onset of treatment activities. Assessment activities include:

  1. Intake Meeting With Dr. Silver – In addition to the “hard data” that this initial interview provides, it is also the first step in building the relationships among the parents, young adult and clinical staff; assessing level of readiness for change; and establishing realistic expectations for program outcomes. This interview allows us to gather the following evaluative data:

    • Underlying psychiatric conditions -- e.g., ADHD, mood disorders, substance abuse, anxiety disorders, autism spectrum disorders, eating disorders.
    • Psychiatric medication history.
    • Passions, strengths, successes relative to career/ life work.
    • Family dynamics and communication patterns that might support or hinder the young adult’s progress to independence.
    • Developmental successes, failures and current level of functioning regarding emotional and practical life skills.
    • Emotional awareness, expression and self-regulation skills.
    • Traumatic life events and impact on current functioning.
    • Presence and impact of underlying psychological issues such as learned helplessness, shame, poor self-esteem, poor identity formation.
    • Parental strengths and challenges relative to emotional functioning, communicationsand executive function support of the young adult.
    • Level of social functioning -- social anxiety, ability to develop and maintain a social network, ability to utilize sources of support.
    • Gender and sexual identity concerns.
  2. Review of Past Neuropsychiatric / Psycho-Educational Evaluations and School Records – conducted by the staff psychologists and executive function specialists.
  3. New Psycho-Educational Testing as needed if existing testing is incomplete or not sufficiently recent.
  4. Executive Functioning Evaluations – to assess symptoms, establish a diagnosis and current levels of life functioning.
  5. Baseline And End-Of-Program Heron's Gate Developmental Assessment – Administered for the purpose of treatment planning and evaluating progress, this is a quantitative survey used to assess changes in multiple underlying emotional and cognitive factors that drive the behaviors of successful independent living.
  6. Expected Program Outcomes Assessment –both parental and young adult perspectives.
  7. Life Goals Assessment – both parental and young adult perspectives.
  8. Career Interests and Strengths Assessments – as needed given developmental level of the young adult.
  9. Case Review and Treatment Planning – The Heron's Gate staff review the assessment data and determine the initial treatment plan, including specific behavioral expectations for the young adult (e.g., getting a job, starting school, cleaning a room, attending appointments) and the parents (e.g., modifications in level of executive function support, changes in communication patterns) as well as possible consequences and incentives.

For more information about the Heron's Gate program for young adults struggling to launch, contact THRIVE at 410-740-3240 or by e-mail.