Friday, March 31, 2017

Therapy for Adolescents/Teens with ASD/Asperger's

Counselling and "Social Thinking" therapy for teens and young adults in Burnaby. Dr. Jim Roche provides counselling services based upon the theories of Michelle Garcia Winner - Social Thinking - in his offices in Burnaby. The office is located at the Production Way Skytrain Station. Social Thinking is a form of social cognition training and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) for young adults to help them understand the perspective of others. Most teens and young adults with autism spectrum disorder, or what was formerly called "Asperger's Disorder" need help in developing social cognitive skills to make social interactions easier. Therapy differs from individual to individual but usually focuses on issues such as social perspective taking, dealing with difficult people, handling stress and anxiety, controlling an over controlling brain - learning to be socially and cognitively flexible, and emotional regulation.

Young people often also have academic issues they need help with, and these issues are dealt with as well.

Dr. Roche is a member of the BC RASP (approved providers of autism services) and is a Registered Psychologist. Contact him by email to set up an appointment of arrange for a short phone consultation. His website is found at

Parent training and education about autism spectrum disorder and Asperger's Disorder is also available, and often parents are seen in order to learn skills necessary to help their children succeed in the social world. Testing and treatment for ADHD and learning disabilities is also available. Dr. Roche has over 30 years experience in the field as a teacher, school psychologist, behaviour management specialist for school districts and as a provincial consultant on autism spectrum disorder.

Besides Dr. Roche's website, parents often find the website of Michelle Garcia Winner very helpful. That can be found at:

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Psychoeducational Assessments: Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster

What is a Psychoeducational Assessment (sometimes called a "psych-ed") ?
A psychoeducational assessment is often suggested when a child has been having difficulty in school and the normal classroom based interventions that often work for a student simply aren't working. 
While a psychoeducational assessment can help to diagnose a learning disability and identify strengths and weaknesses, one of the major purposes of a psychoeducational assessment is to see if a child qualifies for formal assistance in the school. This usually means that the school will develop an individual education plan (IEP) which addresses his or her current functioning levels, identifies strengths and weaknesses, and provides a step-by-step plan to support the student's learning process.
While a "diagnosis" is often helpful, the Ministry of Education has very specific requirements that must be met in order for a child to qualify for services. These services may include individual or group time with a specially trained teacher (support teacher) who uses techniques that have been found helpful in assisting children with similar needs.
Sometimes their are classroom based accommodations as well.
Who can conduct a Psychoeducational Assessment?
Within the schools a school psychologist may conduct this type of evaluation, and may be assisted by a speech pathologist, occupational therapist and other professionals who have specialized insights into the issues the student presents. Outside the school setting only a Registered Psychologist may conduct psychoeducational evaluations due to the high level of education, training, and expertise involved. Be careful, some parents take their children to an "educational specialist" or "reading specialist" to get an evaluation for dyslexia. These individuals, if they are not Registered Psychologists, are not qualified to make a diagnosis or prepare a psychoeducational assessment. You can find a list of psychologists who conduct psychoeducational assessments at the BC Psych Association website. I am qualified to do these assessments as both a school psychologist and Registered Psychologist.
What happens with the results of a psychoeducational assessment?
Schools use the assessment results and recommendations of a psychoeducational assessment report as the basis for developing an individualized education plans to help students maximize learning outcomes and obtain academic success.
Does a Psychological Assessment test for ADHD and Dyslexia?
Usually a psychoeducational assessment screens for ADHD, and if significant signs and symptoms are present, considers ADHD in the diagnosis. Dyslexia, difficulty with reading, writing and math, are fully considered in a psychoeducational assessment, however, they are looked at from the perspective of learning disabilities and meeting Ministry of Education criterion for qualifying for special services.
How much does a Psychoeducational Assessment Cost?
First, be aware your local school district is able to complete a psychoeducational assessment as part of their free educational services. Some parents also obtain these through other specialized programs. Many, for various reasons, make the choice to obtain a private psychoeducational assessment through a Registered Psychologist. The cost is approximately $2,000.
I (Dr. Jim Roche) am a registered Psychologist and Registered Marriage and Family Therapist in British Columbia. My offices are located in Burnaby at the Production Way Skytrain Station. I am uniquely qualified as not only a Registered Psychologist but also as a classroom teacher, teacher of special education, and experienced as a district school psychologist and for both local school districts and as a province wide consultant on autism spectrum disorder and behaviour management.
Feel free to email the office. Email is the best way to reach me. You will find my email contact form on my website at

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Office Space and Support Services, Burnaby, BC.

Currently I rent office space from BOSS Business Centre in Burnaby, BC. BOSS Centre provides complete office support services including phone answering, conference rooms, parking, direct connection to the SkyTrain etc. I have worked with BOSS services for several years and cannot recommend them highly enough. Their website is found at

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Psychoeducational Assessments, ADHD Testing and Autism diagnostic services for children, teens and adults.

ADHD and Psychoeducational Assessments in Vancouver/Burnaby/New Westminster and Maple Ridge:

As a Registered Psychologist and former certified classroom teacher and school psychologist I provide comprehensive assessments for ADHD, learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorder (ASD-Asperger's). The average cost of a comprehensive assessment for ADHD is $800 and psychoeducational assessments range from $2,000-$2,400, depending upon the complexity.

All assessments begin with an initial session during which we discuss your current symptoms and history, to make sure that such an assessment is necessary, will be useful and is appropriate at this time. To make an appointment please visit my webpage at and contact me through email using the contact form.

Assessments are usually scheduled within 4-6 weeks, and take 2-3 weeks to complete. I provide assessments that are appropriate for students in elementary and high schools, college level students and those that are used in the workplace.

For more information, visit my website.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

What is an intelligence test like? What is a test for giftedness like? Do you need a psychoeducational assessment?

Often parents ask me about the tests that are used to measure cognitive function - intelligence -and what tests are used to qualify for gifted programs. Giftedness is measured differently by each school district here in British Columbia, however, we often start with an intelligence test. Often, this is enough, you need to check with your school district. May districts use the WISC-5, others rely on much simpler tests such as the TONI-6 or TONI-C, a brief non-verbal test. I often use the Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scale-2. This is a short yet comprehensive test of cognitive ability. It is accepted in all US states that I am aware of (some states publish a list of acceptable tests) and is approved by most higher education and government programs. Your district might not use a wider variety of assessment tools, so you should ask them first.

This test is also appropriate for CLBC and other benefit programs.

This short video explains the testing process and helps you understand what your child will be experiencing. I hope it's useful.

In my offices in Burnaby, BC I provide psychoeducational assessments (except for Coquitlam, as I have a separate contract with Coquitlam which limits my ability to provide some services. Please contact me about services in Coquitlam and we can discuss this in detail.) I provide assessments and diagnostic services for autism spectrum disorder (yes, even in Coquitlam), Asperger's Disorder, Tax credits and so on. I also see a number of adults for the diagnosis and treatment of Asperger's and ADHD.

Please contact my office, by email, to start the process of setting up an appointment.

I hope this is helpful.

Dr. Jim Roche

related minds (at)

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Testing for ADHD, Learning Disabilities and Autism: Children, Teen and Adults

Dr. Jim Roche provides diagnostic testing/assessment services for children, adolescents and adults who may have ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, Asperger's Disorder, learning disabilities and dyslexia. These services are provided for all from the ages 6 to adult. Visit his website at or

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Is there anything I can do for ADHD besides medication ?

Some people don't want to take medication, but I always urge you to have a long talk withyour medical provider about this. And to go to your appointment with your specific questions written down, so you don't get misdirected. Sometimes, in the few minutes that medical doctors can spend with a patient, it's difficult for the provider to tell you more than just the basics. So have your specific questions ready!

Others have tried medication and it has not helped, or the medications might have unpleasent side effects. The website for CADDRA has an excellent symptom report form for you to keep a records each day of how you are reacting to your medications, and if they are working for you or not. This is standard practice, and your medical doctor should have provided such a form. Best practices, as outlined on the Canadian CADDRA website have all the information you need, and I advise you to go to the website.

And if medications are working for you? Well, first, let me say that medications are often VERY helpful to children, teens and adults. But for the most part after two to three years medications are no longer effective simply because most people stop taking these medications after that period of time. So, while the medications are working, you need to be learning some practical skills to compensat for your ADHD.

Many patients, either taking or not taking medications, see me for some very basic coaching. This involves making use of information obtained during your diagnosis to focus interventions and skill development on specific deficit areas, and to make use of those areas of abilities that are positive.

Examples might mean using visual skills...wriitng notes, using visual prompts and cues, to help you remember to do things, or using a set of skills to develop the ability to "self-monitor," that is, several times a day stop-think-plan. You stop, evluate where you are, and plan what you need to do to make the day more successful than it might have been. This includes using times, auditory reminders and visual planners. All of these are SIMPLE, and we usually work on developing only one or two new skills at a time. Turning a practiced skill into a habit can be a lengthy process, taking several months.

There are also many different accomodations that individuals with ADHD are allowed in school or the workplace to accomodate their defict. Knowing what those are and how to obtain them is critical to success.

Skills such as understanding and avoiding procrastination, using self talk to control emotions, thought stopping to get things out of your head, useful note taking habits (most people take notes that are simply not useful), and learning to focus yourself and develop a sense of priority.

These are some of many skills that people learn, practice and make habits, whether they are taking medications or not.

For more information on ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder), its diagnosis, treatment and how it can effect work as well as relationships, please visit my website at

Psychological services are not covered by provincial MSP, but may be covered by your extended health care plan. Please contact your plan to find out what they will cover. Individuals with ADHD may also qualify for federal tax benifits. Contact your tax consultant about these issues.

Offices in Burnaby, close to New Westminster, Coquitlam, Vancouver, Port Moody and Maple Ridge. Offices are located on the Skytrain at the Production Way Skytrain Station.