Terri Lucero, Ph.D.
Clinical Director/Licensed Psychologist
Passion. If I had to sum up the reason I do the work I do as a psychologist in one word, that would be it. As the parent of two children with very different needs, my daily life fuels my passion for this work. One of my children is gifted and my other child has been identified as twice-exceptional. My own challenges in understanding each of their unique needs and effectively advocating for them within the school system have led to me to focus my work on helping other families. Six years ago, I had not even heard the term “twice exceptional.” Then I learned the outcome of my youngest child’s psychoeducational assessment. In my own journey as a parent, I realized that limited options exist for adequate assessment and support for gifted and 2e students.
Becoming a Gifted and 2e Advocate
I have spent the last six years immersing myself in the world of gifted and 2e students, educators, and providers. I realized through first hand experience and from connecting with other parents that gifted and 2e students were getting the short end of the stick in many settings. This helped shape my vision for creating PEAK Exceptional Services. My goal was to create a “one stop shop” where families of gifted and 2e children could breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that there are people who truly “get it.” PEAK is still a work in progress, and we continue to add support services and make community connections,
I now focus much of my professional life as a psychologist providing education, advocacy, and knowledge on gifted and twice-exceptional issues. In my practice, I offer comprehensive psychoeducational and neuropsychological testing services specifically for identifying giftedness, learning disabilities, and ADHD as well as consultation, support, and coaching for other parents. Helping other parents and families in identifying their children’s unique gifts and challenges is one of the most satisfying aspects of my work. I specialize in teasing out the presence (or absence) of underlying learning disabilities and ADHD in gifted children and adults. My goal is to use the results of each assessment to help create positive educational, social, and personal experiences for each child and family.
Specializing in Assessment
In many ways, the assessment process is second nature to me. From the time I was a young child, I have been a keen observer of the world around me, always seeking to understand what makes others “tick.” I see testing and assessment as this same type of “detective work” and I am truly fascinated by each person who comes to see me and their unique personal history. I see the assessment process as collaborative – I work together with clients and their families to get to the bottom of whatever questions they seek to have answered through the assessment. I work in tandem with parents, other medical and psychological providers, teachers, and schools; first to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the child (or adult) through the testing process, and then to create a plan for addressing their unique needs.
There aren’t many professional activities I do that give me the same pleasure as arriving at the “Ah Ha!” moment after completing testing, looking over all the results, and seeing a pattern that explains what the client is experiencing. Connecting the dots for parents and sharing those insights with them, so that they can understand their children from a new perspective, is incredibly meaningful to me.