Licensed psychologist | neuropsychologist

Terri Lucero, PhD

she/her/hers

Executive Director
Neuropsychologist/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. Both of my children are gifted, and one has been formally identified as twice-exceptional. My own challenges in understanding each of their needs and effectively advocating for them within the school system have led to me to focus my work on helping other families. Despite having specialized in assessment my entire career, I had not even heard the term “twice exceptional” until several years ago. Then I learned the outcome of my child’s psychoeducational assessment. This was an eye opening experience, and it became my mission to learn all that I could about twice-exceptional students and their unique needs. In my own journey as a parent, I realized that limited options exist for adequate assessment and support for gifted, 2e, and neurodivergent students.

Becoming a Gifted and 2e Advocate

I have spent the last decade or so immersing myself in the world of gifted and 2e students, educators, and providers. I realized through firsthand 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 unique, specialized practice where families of gifted, 2e, and neurodivergent individuals could breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that there are people who truly “get it.” PEAK continues to evolve, parallel with my awareness and understanding of neurodiversity.

I now focus much of my professional life as a neuropsychologist providing education, advocacy, and knowledge on gifted and twice-exceptional issues. In my practice, I offer comprehensive psychoeducational. neurodevelopmental, and neuropsychological testing services specifically for identifying giftedness, learning differences, 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.  I have come to learn that my neurodiversity-affirmative approach is quite unique among my professional colleagues. 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 (I sometimes refer to this as “reading the tea leaves”).  Connecting the dots for my clients and sharing those insights with them, so that they can understand their world from a new perspective, is incredibly meaningful to me.

Professional Background

I have been providing psychoeducational, psychological, and neuropsychological assessment services for over 20 years, since my early graduate school training years at Auburn University. As a psychometrist (test administrator) for a large private practice in Auburn, Alabama I administered literally hundreds of IQ tests and conducted as many psychological assessments with children, teens, and adults over the course of my graduate training. After earning my Ph.D., I continued my training in assessment by completing a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in neuropsychology at Craig Hospital.

My graduate school and postdoctoral training provided strong experiences that enabled me to live and work in Auckland, New Zealand.  I worked as a psychologist and neuropsychologist within a major hospital in South Auckland for about one year. After moving back to my home state of Colorado in 2003, I later joined the staff at the University of Denver Health and Counseling Center as the Assessment Coordinator (and later as the Director), where I personally administered assessments and supervised all assessments given by graduate student trainees and interns at our clinic.

I earned my M.S. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Auburn University and have been a Colorado licensed psychologist since 1999. Over the course of my careerI have provided individual and couples psychotherapy, psychological and neuropsychological assessment, and consultation services to children, adolescents, adults and organizations in a wide range of settings. In 2010, I left my position as the Director of Counseling Services at the University of Denver to focus on building a private practice and to spend more time with my family. I have never once looked back on that decision. It is truly a blessing to be able to focus all my time at work on activities that I absolutely enjoy (no more useless meetings!), and to have a more balanced life. It is an honor to offer my own gifts of observation, intuition, and compassion to others who need my assistance.

At the height of the pandemic in 2020, I took the opportunity to become credentialed through the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Board (ASPPB) in order to provide services outside of my home state of Colorado. The Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (“PSYPACT’) is a process that facilitates the practice of psychology across state boundaries. Because my work as a specialist in twice-exceptional (2e) and gifted assessment and advocacy is such a unique niche, I frequently have families from other states reach out to me for consultation. Becoming credentialed through PSYPACT now allows me to provide telehealth services to families from the following states (in addition to Colorado) where PSYPACT has been approved by the local legislation: Arizona, Delaware, District of Columbia (D.C.), Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, and Virginia. I am thrilled to be able to offer video consultation services to individuals and families from any of these states!

Personal Life

I strive for a healthy work-life balance and one of the many benefits of working for myself is that I can prioritize scheduling time with my family, as well as time for other interests and passions. After many years as a volunteer soccer coach for both my children’s soccer teams, I hung up my whistle and moved to the other sideline to cheer on my son and his competitive soccer team. My oldest child shifted their focus to competitive swimming, so I also spent many years as a Swim Mom and official Sports Taxi for our family. As a former swimmer myself, I wasn’t content to sit in the stands and wait hours to watch a few minute-long races during swim meets. So, I am a USA Swimming Certified Official and I have spent many weekends officiating at swim meets (pre-COVID, of course), which made the five-hour swim meets go by a little easier. With two busy teenagers in the house, “me” time is hard to come by these days. Listening to music feeds my soul and I enjoy a wide range of music genres. I have developed a deep appreciation for jazz music through my son’s evolution as a drummer. Somewhere in between all that hustle and bustle, I look for moments where I can get some exercise myself and spend some time at home relaxing.

Schedule with Dr. Lucero

Have questions for me?
Send a message (terri@peakgifted2e.com) or call 720-377-3250, extension 2.