Eneida M. Silva, Ph.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Advanced Psychological Services
Centro de Servicios Psicológicos Avanzados
Fluent in Spanish and Portuguese
Phone: (860)- 926-4544
To initiate a referral: click here:
117 East Center Street 24 Goose Lane
Manchester, CT 06040 Tolland, CT 06084
HUSKY/Medicaid - only for children/adolescents ages 4 to 20
Our Practice in Manchester and Tolland, CT
Established in 1991, Dr. Silva’s practice specializes in the neuropsychological assessment of children, adolescents, and adults. Dr. Silva's compassionate approach combined with the most advanced neuropsychological and psychological assessment techniques is a unique element of her practice.
Dr. Silva has specialized training in traumatic brain injury, child and adult trauma, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), dyslexia and learning disabilities, reactive attachment disorder, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Dr. Silva also has extensive experience conducting school based evaluations -- psychological, psycho-educational, and neuropsychological assessments.
What types of evaluations does Dr. Silva conduct?
- Neuropsychological assessments - children, adolescents, and adults: memory issues, mood instability, learning disabilities/dyslexia, ADHD, executive functioning issues, traumatic brain injury, and PTSD.
- Dyslexia / Reading Evaluations
- School evaluations - psychological and psycho-educational
- Trauma based assessments and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Psychosexual evaluations
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)
- Bipolar Disorder
- Learning Disabilities / Intellectual Ability
- ADHD, ADD
Neuropsycholal assessment aims to discover how different areas of the brain work together. Difficulties with concentration, memory, verbal expression and comprehension, organizational skills, planning, visual perception, and personality or mood changes may all be a result of neuropsychological issues. Based on extensive new research, the brain is now believed to be highly changeable and receptive to new learning, and thus this is an exciting and hopeful time for neuropsychological issues and traumatic brain injury, making real improvement now possible.
For individuals with difficulties with memory, concentration, or in completing daily tasks, a neuropsychological evaluation can be helpful to delineate areas of difficulty and to establish a diagnosis. For individuals who have an established diagnosis (such as MS, Parkinson’s, brain injury, or Alzheimer’s Disease), a neuropsychological evaluation can help to determine the severity of specific problem areas in order to assist with rehabilitation and treatment recommendations.
A neuropsychological assessment provides insight into whether a person's issues are a result of neurophysiological factors and provides very specific strategies for improvement. A neuropsychological evaluation assesses:
- Memory - visual, auditory, immediate, and delayed / long term
- Information processing style
- Attention and concentration
- Organizational and planning ability
- Visual motor functioning
- Processing speed
- Emotional skills
- Personality functioning
- Academic skills
Autism Spectrum Disorder Evaluations
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a disorder of brain development characterized by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, problems with motor coordination and attention as well as physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal difficulties. Autism seems to have its genesis in very early brain development, but the most apparent signs of autism tend to appear between 2 and 3 years of age. One of these signs is that the child may have acquired language, only to lose it several months later. Dr. Silva’s practice assesses Autism Spectrum Disorder using the most updated evaluation instruments in order to most accurately assess this increasingly prevalent syndrome and be able to get children into treatment as early as possible, since early intervention is crucial.
Dyslexia / Reading Evaluations
Dyslexia / Reading Evaluations: Our neuropsychologically
based evaluations for dyslexia and reading issues are unique in that they are comprised of a very
comprehensive assessment that encompasses many areas, such as: phonemic awareness, processing speed, spelling,
processing of sounds, vocabulary knowledge, word sound discrimination, reading
comprehension, word retrieval, and visual spatial ability, among other areas. Children
and adults who have dyslexia or a significant reading disorder often exhibit
- Difficulty with
letter sound discrimination (for example: ban, bin)
- Weakness in
- Difficulty sounding
out new or unfamiliar words
- Issues with
understanding isolated words when they are not in context
- Weakness in
distinguishing similarities and difference in words (for example: pal vs. lap)
- Low reading
- Not enjoying
- Poor spelling
- Early issues with
- Guessing while
reading and substituting similar words for each other (for example kitty for cat)
- Disliking reading
- Difficulty telling
left from right
summarizing a story
Along with the
core tests to assess dyslexia, our reading evaluations include
neuropsychological testing (executive functioning, processing speed, attention
and concentration, visual tracking, etc.) to provide a greater individualized
understanding of each person’s learning challenges and learning style.
Dr. Silva also conducts trauma based and PTSD evaluations resulting from sexual abuse and trauma. She uses the most advanced and culturally sensitive tests to evaluate children and families who are referred for a trauma-based (physical or sexual abuse) assessment.
Attention Deficit Disorders - ADD and ADHD:
A child with an attentional disorder is frequently described as having a short attention span and as being distractible. However, in fact, distractibility and inattentiveness are not synonymous. Distractibility refers to how quickly one can be pulled off-task. Attention, on the other hand, consists of several different processes. Some of the most important ones are: selecting that to which to pay attention at a specific moment in time, sustaining or paying attention for an extended period of time, resisting or avoiding things that remove one's attention from where it needs to be, and shifting attention to something else when needed. Children and adults with ADD or ADHD can have difficulty with just one or more attentional processes.
Our attentional disorder evaluations utilize the most advanced measures, questionnaires, and computer based assessments to evaluate all the different processes that encompass attention and provide very specific recommendations to improve each area.
More on these processes is described below.
Sustained attention: Although It’s relatively easy to catch anyone’s attention, it is more challenging to sustain or keep it for a considerable amount of time. Sustained attention is the ability to keep that focus or concentration for long periods of time even if one is exposed to the repetitive action or activity. This is the kind of attention that is usually needed for the majority of learning and work activities like listening to a lecture for an entire hour, reading books and studying for several hours for a test, for completing a long project, or for working on a repetitive activity.
Selective attention: Selective attention is the ability to select from many factors or stimuli and pay attention to only one that you or your brain chooses. Almost everyone uses this cognitive ability most of the time. Every day, people are exposed to a number of environmental factors at home, at work, or at school, for example, but their brains respond by focusing only on specific factors that matter most or those that people choose to focus on.
Alternating attention: The next type of attention is alternating attention. This is the ability to shift or quickly transfer your focus or concentration from one thing to another. A healthy brain can adapt even if the succeeding activity requires a different level or type of knowledge. Similar to selective attention, alternating attention is an ability that is used quite frequently. Sudden changes in activity or action can require attention to shift.
Divided attention: The last kind of attention is divided attention, which is the ability of an individual to focus or concentrate on two or more environmental factors, stimuli, or activities simultaneously, also commonly known as the ability to multi-task.
Psychosexual evaluations are different from trauma based and/or general psychological evaluations. While a psychosexual assessment does assess overall psychological functioning and potentially trauma, there are additional components specific to the psychosexual area that puts emphasis on one’s sexual history, including the exploration of sexual development, attitudes, fantasies, and sexual adjustment, with the aim of assessing potential future risk of the individual repeating the behavior, providing effective interventions, and delineating specific risk factors. Other important variables that are assessed are: one's willingness to comply with treatment recommendations and interventions, identifying factors that may prevent engagement in treatment and interventions, and identifying strengths and protective factors. As part of the process, many different pieces of information are analyzed and integrated into the evaluation. Sources of information may include victim statements, prior treatment records, school records, court interviews with the individual, and interviews with others. Parents may also be interviewed when a child or adolescent is the person being evaluated. Our practice uses the most updated, advanced, and culturally sensitive assessment measures to evaluate psychosexual functioning.
Intellectual, achievement, learning disabilities, and career/aptitude
Intellectual, achievement, learning disabilities, and career/aptitude testing is another area of specialty of our practice. We assess whether children and adolescents experiencing learning challenges have an intellectual disability, learning disability, attentional disorder, or other factor that is interfering with their ability to perform their best in school. Dr. Silva has a strong educational background of over 18 years assessing children with learning disabilities. Additionally, evaluating a person's strongest work-related interests and aptitudes can help someone decide what kinds of careers to explore and at what type of job or career he or she would likely be most successful. Dr. Silva can also perform these assessments in Spanish or Portuguese.
Reactive Attachment Disorder Evaluations
Reactive attachment disorder is a rare but serious condition in which a young child cannot engage
in healthy attachments with a caregiver or parent. Reactive attachment disorder
may develop if the child's basic needs for nurturing and affection are not met
and thus a stable and caring attachment with others is not established. Treatments
for reactive attachment disorder include providing the opportunity for
interactions between the child and caregiver, a nurturing and stable environment,
and psychological counseling. Providing caregivers with education about
Reactive Attachment Disorder has also been found to be quite beneficial. Dr. Silva conducts assessments to differentially diagnose between Reactive Attachment Disorder and Post Traumatic Disorder.
Fire risk assessments
Fire risk assessment is another area of specialty
of Dr. Silva’s practice. Evaluating a child's involvement with fire needs to be conducted
in the context of his or her overall behavior, intellectual functioning, social
and emotional functioning, and family circumstances. Factors that Dr. Silva
considers when conducting a fire risk evaluation are: circumstances
surrounding the incident: children who play with fire without an
intention to do damage often act impulsively; appearance of regret or remorse: the child’s overall behavior: besides fire involvement, are there other
concerns about the child’s behavior – does he or she have impulse control
issues? Is he often angry? History
and frequency of fire involvement:
pattern of many planned firesetting incidents over time probably
indicates underlying psychological issues more often than unplanned, sporadic
episodes of fireplay; family and
parental behavior: what is the parent’s attitude toward the child’s
fire setting? Dr. Silva analyzes all these
factors using the most advanced and latest psychological instruments in order
to predict likelihood of future fire setting.
How much experience does Dr. Silva have?
Dr. Silva has over 20 years of experience assessing children and adults in multi-settings -- schools, medical centers, hospital and university based, and private practice. Comprehensive assessment of a child's neuropsychological, cognitive, academic, psychological, or life situation difficulties has far-reaching implications for the type of treatment and support the child or family will subsequently need. Accurate assessment of issues, whether they are related to life/environmental circumstances, emotional adjustment, intellectual difficulties, or neuropsychological issues, provides a strong foundation from which to work toward the formulation of a solid treatment and follow-up plan.
Why are cultural factors important?
Cultural factors and background are important considerations for both psychological assessment and neuropsychological assessment. A person's issues are most accurately assessed when the approach takes into account one's culture. A true understanding of a person’s psychological world is optimally achieved when cultural context is an integral part of the evaluation. Dr. Silva's familiarity with Latino and Portuguese cultures allows for accurate assessment of important issues in these cases.
What geographical areas does our practice serve?
Dr. Silva's practice provides services to the Manchester, Glastonbury, Hebron, Hartford, Wethersfield, East Windsor, Willimantic, New Britain, Tolland, Vernon, Mansfield, Norwich, and central-northeastern and southeastern parts of Connecticut.
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