Sean Vanhille enjoyed his time as an intern for Utah Valley Pain Management. He had an amazing mentor and leader which made all the difference in his gaining real-world experience.
What was your internship experience?
I worked as an intern administering, scoring, and writing reports for students who have learning disability concerns. I began by performing an intake interview to collect background information and more specific information about their specific learning needs. I then administered assessments based on those needs which, after testing, I scored and then wrote a report for the student and Accessibility Services with diagnoses (if any) and recommendations for accommodations.
What was the most useful thing you learned from this experience?
The most useful skill I developed was how to write about a student's ability in such a way that Accessibility Services would be inclined to provide them with academic accommodations based on the clearly stated needs in the student report. It was useful to learn more about the distinction between a psychological diagnosis and a legal requirement for academic accommodations. As psychologists, we rarely work in isolation, so learning how to effectively communicate with the organization which is the next step for the student is invaluable.
I continued to develop and hone my skills in both assessment and writing reports. I became more familiar with the assessments utilized at that site and how to interpret the nuances that can be present in a scored profile. Written reports are often considered the most important part of what we do as they communicate to the student and Accessibility Services what all the findings mean for the student moving forward. Our assessment courses and training as well as being a TA for one of the graduate level assessment courses provided excellent training for the skills needed in this position.
As stated, I think Dr. Martinelli does an excellent job helping me understand how to articulate a student's abilities so that Accessibility Services can provide the student the needed accommodations (if any) to best address the client's learning needs. Dr. Martinelli used to work in Accessibility Services, so it was incredibly helpful to have a supervisor who has been part of both steps in the students' process.
Dr. Martinelli also did a great job during our supervision times to help me reflect on what I can learn about the student based on the scores and how to best articulate that information to the student and in my report. I learned a lot about learning disabilities and how to diagnose and explain them.
Would you recommend this experience to other students?
Yes, this site was helpful in continuing my assessment training. Also, the supervision is frequent and excellent. Dr. Martinelli has extensive knowledge about learning disabilities, assessment, and recommendations for academic accommodations.