[ Gretchen Schmidt Mertes Consulting ]
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Assessments for Social Communication and Executive Functioning
Assessing and identifying social deficits is often challenging.  Social interactions are always dynamic, ever-changing, and reliant on the situation, setting, perspectives, and beliefs of those involved.  Yet, most assessments by their very nature are static and implemented in structured and controlled environments.  Because of this, standardized assessments are currently unable to measure a student’s true social competencies.

Using the Social Thinking® Dynamic Assessment Protocol (ISTDAP) and/or the Group Collaboration Play (GPS) & Problem Solving Scale for Assessment, I work to identify and quantify in real time a student's social competencies.  These assessments are unique as they also consider how the student’s social learning profile impacts academics and classroom functioning.

Another area that is critical for learning success is Executive Functioning.  This includes the ability to initiate, plan and organize, set goals, solve problems, regulate emotions, and monitor behavior.  Because these skills play a role in most aspects of life, deficits can hamper a child academically, socially and emotionally.  The Comprehensive Executive Function Inventory™ (CEFI), is utilized to measure executive function strengths as well as weaknesses to form a comprehensive evaluation of executive function behaviors.

After each assessment, I work with the team to identify specific intervention strategies that can be helpful for both home and school.  My goal is to always build on each student's strengths while increasing their competencies.

Please use the Contact Page for more information and detailed descriptions on assessments techniques.

[ "Gretchen truly 'gets' my kid!" ]
"Gretchen truly 'gets' my kid!  I found her by way of the Tacoma Social Thinking Conference in 2017.  I wanted someone to expand my daughter’s awareness of both her own behaviors AND how other people think about her behaviors.  My daughter soaked up the SuperFlex characters as a way to understand the many traits of autism and the qualities necessary to blend autism in the neurotypical world.  My daughter has daily bumps and jumps in her social development but she’s aware of what she’s doing and how she handles her thoughts and emotions.  Some moments she reverts to old ways but more and more she chooses to use her flexible thinking and social awareness of others.  Gretchen is a great person to have on your child’s team.  I highly recommend her!"  --Julia, Parent