Immediately Start Improving Your Executive Functioning by Building Your Organization Skills

Organization is a Key to Success

Building your organization skills is key to preventing procrastination, keeping you on task, and eliminating distractions. When you are organized you can focus better and accomplish tasks quicker, allowing you to beat the overwhelm.

Here’s what to do…

Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize

Start with making a list of the most important tasks you need to complete. Typically, you can figure this out by the dates each task is due.

When tackling large projects, it helps to break down pieces of the project by weeks. If you push big projects back until the due date, you will find yourself thinking, “How am I possibly going to get this done,” and become easily stressed.

Schedule Your Plan of Attack

Plan out your schedule in advance on a calendar to ensure you meet each of your deadlines. You can either hang a monthly calendar in your work area where you can easily see it or use Google calendar.

Start by writing in your due dates. It’s a good idea to set your due date a day or two in advance. That way if something comes up at the last minute, you can still meet your deadline.

Then figure out how much time you need to complete each task, overestimating your timeframe and placing those blocks of time on your calendar. If you have an assignment that will take you four hours, but you only like to work in two-hour periods, break that assignment into two time blocks.

Highlight your assignments in different colors to help you visualize which assignment to work on at what time.

Lastly, set reminders on your phone to let you know when it’s time to start working on your tasks.

Create an Organized Space

Research has shown it takes about 23 minutes to regain your focus after becoming distracted. Imagine how much more time you have to accomplish tasks when you stay focused! Creating an organized work space helps eliminate distractions so you can keep focusing.

First, make sure your workspace is in a quiet area. If this is not entirely possible, soundproof headphones and white noise can help lessen those distractions.

Keeping folders or files for each subject allows you to easily access the next task you need to work on.

Finally, adding a little ambiance to your work area keeps you coming back to focus on your assignments and projects; however, to decrease distractions, keep your decor at a minimum.

Let’s Get Organized!

Go ahead and implement these executive functioning tips, so you can begin focusing more, procrastinating less, and feeling less stressed!

6 Effective Ways for Tackling Anxiety in Teens

Heart beating fast… trouble breathing… sweaty palms… flushed skin… a sense of uncertainty… These are all things we tend to feel when anxiety strikes, and it is uncomfortable for anyone. It’s a normal emotion that everyone experiences from time to time, whether you’re worried about passing a test, speaking in front of a public audience, or visiting the doctor for a check-up.

Anxiety tends to increase during adolescence due to all the developmental changes a teen goes through, and eventually tapers off as they grow older. So, if your teen has been struggling a little more with feelings of anxiety lately, don’t worry… it’s normal.

Not only is feeling anxious challenging for your teen, it’s also tough seeing your child struggle with this strong emotion. So, how can you help your teen through it? Let’s learn some effective ways of tackling anxiety in your teen.


Have a Chat with Your Teen

First and foremost, tell your teen it’s normal to feel anxious. Share your anxious experiences with them. This helps your teen feel less isolated and gives them an opportunity to relate their own experiences with you. Tell your teen you want to hear about what’s making them feel anxious. Then just listen.

Be sure to acknowledge their worries or concerns and support your teen. Let him or her know that you are there for them and that you can overcome these feelings together.

If your teen doesn’t wish to talk, don’t force them. Just let them know you’ll be ready to listen when they are ready.


Set Small Goals

Create small steps together to help your teen face his or her anxiety. For example, if your teen feels anxious when performing a speech in front of their class…

  • Goal #1: Say speech out loud in front of a mirror
  • Goal #2: Give a speech to mom
  • Goal #3: Practice speaking to the whole family
  • Goal #4: Present to a couple of friends
  • Goal #5: Speak in front of the entire class

After each goal accomplishment, celebrate together! If you make a big deal out of their tackles, they can feel much more powerful in their capabilities.


Focus on Positives

If your teen enjoys writing, journaling is an excellent way to focus on positives. Have your teen write down 2 or 3 new accomplishments every night. These can be as simple as finishing all their homework or as exciting as winning first place in the track meet.

Saying or writing down affirmations may also work. These can include:

  • “I got this!”
  • “I’m doing my best!”
  • “I’m not going to let [whatever makes them anxious] get in my way!”


Evaluate the Worst-Case Scenario

Your teen can make a list of the pros and cons related to their anxiety. What’s the worst that could happen? And if the worst-case scenario does happen, how can they handle it? Work it out together.


Teach Self-Relaxation

Sitting in front of the TV or chilling on your phone are not considered useful relaxation techniques. These can actually heighten anxiety. Think about it… watching devastating occurrences on the news, sitting on the edge of your seat while viewing a suspense movie, or an Instagram post about an ex and his new crush. Phew!

Instead, try some of these relaxation techniques:

  • Deep breathing: Slowly breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth at least 5 times.
  • Muscle Relaxation: Tense up the muscles in your body, and then relax.
  • Coloring: Take your time and focus on the colors.
  • Grounding: Focus on your surroundings using your 5 senses. What are things you can see, feel, hear, smell, and taste?
  • Explore nature: Go for a walk and notice everything you see or hear in nature.


Just Make Sure Your Teen is Healthy

Teens are developing mentally and physically, so an excellent way to ease those anxious feelings is by practicing healthy habits. Here’s a list to follow:

  • Engage in physical activity
  • Eat balanced meals and snacks
  • Get enough sleep. Teens should be getting at least 10 hours each night
  • Limit screen time and teach them about using social media appropriately
  • Practice positive coping strategies – take deep breaths, go for a walk, listen to music, do something that makes your teen happy
  • Maintain structure and a daily routine


Ready, Set, Tackle!

Every teen is different, so if you try one of these strategies and it doesn’t work, that’s okay. Try them all to learn which methods work best for your teen. Also, you know the saying, “Change doesn’t happen overnight?” The more your teen practices these strategies, the easier it is to cope with anxiety.

Now, get ready to set up one of these strategies and let the tackling begin!

Concussions in Sports Statistics

Concussions are being diagnosed more frequently than ever before. According to the Center for Disease Control, the number of reported concussions has doubled in the last 10 years. Emergency room visits for concussions in ages 8 to 13 has doubled. Concussions rose 200 percent among 14- to 19-year olds in the last decade.


Below are national concussions in sports statistics from the CDC:

Basketball Concussion Statistic:

  • 2 out of 3 concussions in boys’ basketball result from a collision with another athlete


  • 1 out of 2 concussions in girls’ basketball result from a collision with another athlete


Cheerleading Concussion Statistic:

  • 91% of concussions in high school cheerleading happen during stunts


Field Hockey Concussion Statistic:

  • 60% of field hockey concussions result from being hit by a stick or ball


Football Concussion Statistics:

  • 63% of concussions in high school football are from tackling


  • The average high school football player has 592 head impacts


Ice Hockey Concussion Statistic:

  • Nearly 65% of concussions in ice hockey result from a collision with another athlete


Soccer Concussion Statistic:

  • 3 out of 4 concussions from heading in boys’ soccer happen when players collide


  • 1 in 2 concussions from heading in girls’ soccer happen when players collide


Lacrosse Concussion Statistics:

  • 3 out of 4 concussions in boys’ lacrosse result from a collision with another athlete


Volleyball Concussion Statistic:

  • Nearly 40% of concussions in girls’ volleyball happen when diving for the ball.


Wrestling Concussion Statistic:

  • 1 out of 2 concussions in wrestling result from a takedown


Diagnosing and understanding concussions are imperative to your mental health. You need the guidance to find the right recovery from a concussion. Book a baseline scan with Psychology 360 today to test your brain health.

All statistics are from the


What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury. A concussion is caused by a bump or blows to the head. Even what may seem like a typical knock or ding to the head can be a serious concussion.

Your brain is made of soft tissue that is cushioned by spinal fluid and encased in the protected by your skull. When you sustain a concussion, the impact can jostle your brain around that can cause bruising, damage to blood vessels and injury to the nerves.

Concussions cannot be diagnosed visually. Signs and symptoms of a concussion can appear immediately after the injury or appear days or weeks after the injury.


Signs & Symptoms of a Concussion – Immediate

Look for the following signs and symptoms after a bump or blow to the head:


  • Balance problems or dizziness


  • Blurry visions


  • Confusion


  • Concentration or memory issues


  • Feeling hazy, foggy, groggy, or sluggish


  • A headache or pressure felt in the head


  • Nausea and/or vomiting


  • Sensitivity to noise


  • Sensitivity to light


Signs & Symptoms of a Concussion – Over Time

Be alert for symptoms that worsen over time. Seek immediate medical attention if any of the following signs and/or symptoms arise:

  • One pupil is larger than the other


  • Drowsiness or cannot be awakened


  • A headache that worsens


  • Decreased coordination, numbness, or weakness


  • Repeated vomiting or nausea


  • Slurred speech


  • Convulsions or seizures


  • Recognition issues


  • Increased agitation, confusion, or restlessness


  • Unusual behavior


  • Loss of consciousness


Concussion – Preventative Measures

  • For sports ensure:
    • you follow safety rules and regulations
    • you wear the correct protective equipment


What to do if you think you have a Concussion

  • Seek medical attention immediately
    • a health care professional will be able to diagnose how serious the concussion is and when it is safe to return to activity, exercise, and sports.


  • Refrain from activity, exercise, and sports
    • Concussions need time to heal. Do not return to activity until a health care professional deems it safe. If you return to activity too soon after sustaining a concussion, you increase your chance of having a second concussion. Repeat or additional concussions can cause permanent brain damage.


  • Communicate prior concussions
    • Be sure to let coaches, trainers, teammates, workout partners, and medical staff know about sustaining prior concussions.

Diagnosing and understanding concussions are imperative to your mental health. You need the guidance to find the right recovery from a concussion. Book a baseline scan with Psychology 360 today to test your brain health.


Signs of Autism

What is Autism?


Autism Spectrum Disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can range in a spectrum. Autism can be very mild to very severe, and the timing and severity of first symptoms can vary widely. Autism is characterized by:


  • cognitive impairments
  • difficulty in communication
  • forming relationships
  • repetitive behaviors
  • social impairments


Identifying signs can vary depending on age, but the most obvious signs tend to appear between the age of 2-3 years.

Possible signs of autism in babies and toddlers:

  • By 6 months
    • lack of social smiles or other joyful expressions directed at people
    • limited or no eye contact


  • By 9 months, no sharing of vocal sounds, smiles or other nonverbal communication


  • By 12 months:
    • no babbling
    • no use of gestures to communicate (e.g. pointing, reaching, waving etc.)
    • no response to name when called


  • By 16 months, no words


  • By 24 months, no meaningful, two-word phrases


  • Any loss of any previously acquired speech, babbling or social skills


Possible signs of autism at any age:

  • Avoids eye contact and prefers to be alone


  • Struggles with understanding other people’s feelings


  • Remains nonverbal or has delayed language development


  • Repeats words or phrases over and over (echolalia)


  • Gets upset by minor changes in routine or surroundings


  • Has highly restricted interests


  • Performs repetitive behaviors such as flapping, rocking or spinning


  • Has unusual and often intense reactions to sounds, smells, tastes, textures, lights and/or colors



If you have additional questions or concerns about an autism evaluation, contact Psychology 360 today.



PLEASE NOTE: This screening measure has been adapted from Autism Speaks Inc. Please visit for additional information and resources.

Psych 360 - Extended Time on the Law School Admission Test LSAT

Extended Time on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

Nearly all American Bar Association (ABA) approved law schools require the LSAT as part of the admission process. One of the most challenging aspects of the LSAT are the time limits of 35 minutes on each of the five sections, which include Reading Comprehension, Analytical Reasoning, two Logical Reasoning sections and an unscored section (which is used to pretest new test questions). There is also a 35-minute unscored writing sample administered at the end of the test.


Some applicants will be granted extended time, typically time and a half, if they meet certain criteria. For example, applicants who have been diagnosed with ADHD, a learning disability, such as dyslexia, or a psychiatric diagnosis, such as anxiety that affects the ability to perform.

In addition, those who have previously been approved for extended time on other exams, such as the SAT or ACT will likely receive approval for extended time on the LSAT.

In order to apply for extended time, applicants need to submit a psychoeducational evaluation that has been completed within the past three years. The evaluation should provide a diagnosis and a detailed description of how the reported symptoms affect the applicant’s ability to function.


Register for the LSAT

  1. You must be registered for the LSAT prior to beginning the application for accommodation. You may register for the LSAT online, by phone, or by submitting a paper registration form.
  2. Complete the appropriate forms:
    1. Candidate Form
    2. Evidence of Disability
    3. Statement of Need for Accommodation
  3. Obtain and submit all required forms and documentation by the receipt deadlines listed on the LSAT Registration Dates & Deadlines page.


Once you are registered for the LSAT, you may apply for accommodations, such as extended time. If you are in need of a psychoeducational evaluation to submit with your accommodation application, contact our office. Below is an overview of the process.


The Evaluation Process at Psychology 360

  1. Initial phone consultation: A complimentary 20-minute phone call to review the process
  2. Testing: 5-6 hours of face-to-face testing
  3. Results Session: 1-hour feedback session to review results, diagnosis if indicated, and an individualized treatment plan outlining specific accommodations and recommendations. A comprehensive written report is also provided during this session. This report will need to be submitted with the application for accommodations.


The time frame to complete an evaluation is typically 2 to 3 weeks. Dr. Dohrenwend and her staff serve as advocates throughout the entire evaluation process.


LSAT Accommodation Decisions

The Law School Admission Council (LSAC)  encourages you to register and submit all required documentation well in advance of registration deadlines so you can receive timely notification of the decision. Currently, there is only one deadline for test registration. There is no longer be a “late registration” deadline.


When the request for accommodation is granted. LSAC will make arrangements with the test center and send both you and the test center supervisor confirmation of the accommodation granted. Since some test centers may be unable to provide certain types of accommodation, LSAC strongly recommends that you register early to allow sufficient time for alternate arrangements, if necessary. LSAC cannot guarantee that you will test at the center for which you hold an admission ticket. Additionally, your test may be scheduled for an alternative, later date/time. You must notify Accommodated Testing if you change your test center location. This notification must be received in writing by the applicable test registration deadline.


In addition to the most frequently requested accommodation of extended time (time and a half) additional LSAT accommodations Include the following:


  • Extended time: 100 percent (double time)
  • Additional rest time during breaks (the standard break is 10-15 minutes between third and fourth sections)
  • Additional breaks between sections
  • Stop-the-clock breaks
  • Use of computer and printer for the Writing Sample
  • Use of spell-check
  • Private testing room
  • Use of a reader
  • Use of a scribe
  • Scratch paper
  • Use of magnification devices
  • Large-print (18 pt.) test book
  • Screen-readable HTML test
  • Sit/stand with a podium
  • Use of line marker
  • Marking answer choices in the test book
  • Reserved or assigned seating location
  • Permission to bring and eat food
  • Permission to bring and take medications or earplugs


For more information or to schedule an evaluation, call Psychology 360 at (858) 877-3601 or email


ADHD Diagnosis 3 things you need to know

ADHD Diagnosis: 3 Things You Need to Know

How does ADHD Diagnosis help my child?

What does an ADHD Diagnosis mean and how can it help?It seems everyone is talking about ADHD and ADHD Diagnosis these days. With such increase in awareness, many parents start to wonder whether their own child may have a touch of ADHD.

If your child seems unable to keep up with his or her peers, or seems to get in trouble more than others then you may have concerns about ADHD and wonder what you should do. Treat it like every other challenge in parenting:


1- Get the information you need
2- Make sure you understand it
3- Become empowered to make the best choices for your child


This article will help you get started with: “How is ADHD diagnosed?” and “What if ADHD is diagnosed?”

1- Get the information you need : Choosing a doctor and understanding how ADHD is diagnosed.

Choosing a doctor for ADHD diagnosis.


There’s no single test that will tell you whether your child has ADHD.  In fact, the diagnosis often begins with a parent or teacher recognizing that the problems are beyond the child’s ability to control.  After that moment of recognition, prompt diagnosis by a specialist is critical.


You should seek a diagnosis from a specialist with significant experience in ADHD.  Without proper diagnosis and intervention, the child can be branded or self-identify with labels such as “lazy”, “irresponsible”, or worse.


Before making an appointment, do your research! Is the doctor or clinician specialized in diagnosing ADHD and other related conditions?  Do they work regularly with schools to ensure your child’s success?


Diagnosis can take several hours of test taking, talking, and analysis so it’s unlikely that your general practitioner is equipped with the right tools and resources.  You will probably be referred to a specialist but you shouldn’t feel obligated to go to any particular referral.  You need to find a professional trained in diagnosing ADHD because they will also screen for other related issues that may be involved.  Even if the school has done their own diagnosis, having an outside diagnosis will help during the IEP or 504 plan process.


Dr. Dohrenwend at Psy360 specializes in ADHD diagnosis. Her comprehensive approach considers each individual’s primary concerns, unique circumstances, and relevant medical, academic and social/emotional history. You may wish to contact your local chapter of Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) for additional information.


How ADHD Is Diagnosed


In order to be diagnosed with ADHD, a patient must demonstrate at least six of the symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. In addition, these symptoms must have persisted for at least 6 months with a negative impact on the child’s social and academic activities. Doctors must conduct thorough clinical interviews or issue detailed surveys for parents and teachers to complete. Additional screening tests are needed to identify or rule out other conditions such as anxiety, autism, and mood disorders. A standardized ADHD rating scale is used for analysis and diagnosis.


The comprehensive approach for ADHD diagnosis used by Dr. Dohrenwend includes computer-based measures, paper and pencil tests, parent surveys and teacher surveys, and in-office interviews.  Her standardized computer-based measures look at reaction time, sustained attention and vigilance in both auditory and visual conditions.

2- Make sure you understand the information

Understanding your Child’s ADHD Diagnosis and Understanding ADHD treatments


The more you know, the more you can help. While you’re waiting through the diagnostic process, take the opportunity to understand even more. Your doctor may even have some initial feedback to help guide your thoughts or questions.  CHADD is a great online resource for information and support.


ADHD DIagnosis can help you change the way ADHD impacts the life of someone living with it.Try learning about what your child is experiencing. You already have experience with how ADHD is affecting family members, teachers, and friends but how much do you understand about how ADHD can affect the daily life of someone living with it?  Invite your child to help you understand what it’s like in their world.


Learn more about how you can help your child navigate life with ADHD.  Important talking points include: how ADHD may affect them in social situations and how to self-advocate in school and elsewhere.


Start to research the process for implementing a 504 plan or IEP.  Reach out to the student counselor for guidance on the process at your school. When the time comes, the counselor, teachers, and the doctor will work together with you and your child to put in place the appropriate accommodations, but it’s always helpful to familiarize yourself with the actual process so you can be prepared.


Find out about recommended treatments and therapies. There are many approved therapies and medications available and just as many personal opinions about which ones are effective. It’s informative to learn about how people decide what treatment path to try and what they eventually choose. Keep in mind that ADHD is not a one size fits all condition so treatments are nearly always custom fit and regularly tweaked’ for best results.

3- Become empowered to make the best choices for your child : Give yourself a break and then Plan for success.

First, give yourself and your child a break. After years of frustrating, even painful situations, you no longer need to feel hopeless about being able to change. Let them know that ADHD doesn’t define who they are and many successful people have ADHD.

Next, plan for success.  It is important to keep in mind that a diagnosis is not a sentence of hardship, it is actually the first step in the path of bringing relief. A parent can end their speculating and start planning for success.

Next, what are some steps to plan for success?


  1. Talk to your child’s doctor about treatment options. These may include ADHD medications, behavior therapy or social skills groups. Remember there is no ‘one size fits all’ treatment plan and you will probably have several options available to you.
  2. Make sure your doctor is accessible since you’ll need to talk often as you work to find the right medication dosage or other therapeutic approaches.
  3. Invite your child to be a part of the discussion of expectations and pros and cons of any treatments.  They need to know what they can expect to experience in different treatments and that you and the doctor want to know how they’re feeling every step of the way. Additionally, they will learn to explain their situation in terms others can understand.
  4. Talk to your doctor about accommodations at school and home and strategies for social settings.  Your child needs a strong advocate to get the most appropriate support and services put in place.  You should feel comfortable proceeding as a team; parent, doctor, child, and teacher/counselor. Communicate regularly with your child’s teachers and specialists about whether supports and services are working.
  5. Teach your child to self-advocate. This is usually part of any treatment plan you need to help reinforce it whenever you see an opportunity.  Your doctor can help with some of the ways your child can ask for help when they really need it. Self-advocacy is a skill that offers benefits for a lifetime.


You’re not alone in parenting a child with ADHD. Some parents find it helpful to connect with other parents in the community.  Visit CHADD to find local ADHD support groups and other local connections for parents like yourself.  Contact Dr. Dohrenwend at Psyc360 to talk about your concerns and schedule a consultation to discuss ADHD diagnosis.

Children who continue to struggle in school are vulnerable to experiencing feelings of low self-esteem and developing low expectations for themselves. A psychoeducational evaluation can often provide greater understanding of the child and help identify solutions

Can a Psychoeducational Evaluation help your child?

My child is really struggling at school – should we consider a Psychoeducational Evaluation?

Struggles at school can occur quite early in some children, even before any type of academic work has begun. These children may have difficulty understanding directions, learning to read, or developing social skills. For others their learning difficulties arise in later years as they experience difficulty in reading comprehension, test-taking, and organizational skills.

Even with intervention and assistance, these struggles can persist and create an ever expanding set of challenges for the child and the family. These children are vulnerable to experiencing feelings of low self-esteem and developing low expectations for themselves. Their parents and teachers are left frustrated and feeling helpless.

In such situations, a psychoeducational evaluation can often provide greater understanding of the child and help identify solutions.

What is a Psychoeducational Evaluation?

In the simplest terms, this evaluation can determine if a child has a learning disability or other issues that adversely impact their ability to learn.  A psychoeducational evaluation is distinct from other assessments in that a complete evaluation assesses child’s general emotional and behavioral issues in addition to their intellectual abilities and academic achievement levels. Thus the value of a psychoeducational evaluation is that it can measure a child’s emotional/behavioral functioning and its impact on the child’s academic experience.  

Do I need a professional referral for this evaluation?

Ultimately the decision is up to the parents and there isn’t any single path leading to a decision to have their child tested.  Sometimes a teacher or counselor has suggested an evaluation, sometimes the child’s pediatrician will recommend it, but often it is the parents that most strongly suspect their child may need to be evaluated. Parents tend to report that they just ‘knew Struggles at school can occur quite early in some children, even before any type of academic work has begun. These children may have difficulty understanding directions, learning to read, or developing social skills. A Psychoeducational Evaluation can help identify these issues.things just didn’t add up’ when feedback from school was at odds with what they knew about their child. However, while there is no prescribed path or referral needed, the more information parents have about their child’s struggles, the better the outcome of any evaluation.

Before deciding to have a child evaluated, it’s important that parents and teachers first work together to determine whether there are any patterns of difficulty and whether any interventions have been helpful. Learning issues can often be traced back a number of years and not everyone who is struggling in school needs to be tested. Parents and teachers working together to develop and try alternative strategies can often help the student work through difficult issues. How the child responds to these interventions provides additional insight about whether a formal evaluation is needed.  

In the end, parents should follow their gut instincts: when their child continues to struggle despite additional help, and despite eligibility for school services, they need to consult someone they trust about getting a formal evaluation.

After evaluation and diagnosis, how can the results help the child?

The goal of any evaluation is to pinpoint specific issues that are interfering with the child’s progress. Once parents and teachers know what they’re dealing with, they can start to address the challenges with specific interventions and accommodations. From this perspective, an evaluation is not a final determination or diagnosis; it should be considered as the first step toward identifying the resources that will actually help the child be successful at school and home.

Since the results can be complicated it’s important that parents review the report with the doctor and ensure plenty of time for interpretation, questions and concerns. Some doctors may be more in-depth in their recommendations and some more general so it’s crucial that parents get clear on the exact issues identified by the evaluation and become familiar with the current recommendations for those issues.

Results can also be emotionally trying since some parents may feel as if some of their worst fears are coming true. It is important to keep in mind that a diagnosis is not a sentence of hardship, it is actually the first step in the path of bringing The results of a psychoeducational evaluation can help parents and doctors come up with an action plan based upon available resources.relief. A parent can end their speculating and start planning.

To this end, parents need to make sure their needs are answered so they can drive the plan. At Psychology 360, we are able to help parents come up with an action plan based upon available resources and get them started building a strong network of support for the child.  

Learn more about Psychoeducational Evaluations at Psychology 360 – Contact us today. Together we will determine what your needs are and how we can help.