AI for Better Feedback

Perhaps the most powerful use for AI in our field is its ability to make our work more accessible for families.

A while back I asked what was the hardest part about explaining testing results to parents.

It turns out, nearly all psychologists struggle with the same challenges. Namely, providing feedback that is:

  • Clear,
  • Concise,
  • Serves multiple audiences, and
  • Does not take a ton of time to prepare.

Our current tools do not make this easy.  We’ve inherited a language that is complex, jargony, and often quite negative.

Enter AI.  

AI Basics

What is AI?

When we refer to “AI,” we’re actually talking about generative AI tools such as ChatGPT.  This means that we are working with Artificial Intelligence that generates something novel based on the information it was trained on.

This is different from a search engine, such as Google.  In other words,

While you can ask a search engine for something that already exists, you can ask an AI tool to do something new.

For example, we could ask Google for a definition of dyslexia and it will pull up a number of articles and websites that talk about dyslexia.

However, we can ask an AI tool to…

Create a definition of dyslexia that a parent of a 3rd grader can easily understand.” 

…and it will generate a definition we can use to help a parent better understand their child.

For me, the most impactful application of these tools has been the ability to make it easier for families to understand their child’s testing results by:

  • Simplifying language
  • Summarizing information
  • Creating examples to illustrate complex concepts
  • Rephrasing the same information for multiple audiences

How to Talk to AI

If you’re new to AI, the first step is learning how to ask it for help.

AI does an amazing job understanding conversational-style requests, as if you were talking to a colleague.  However, there is a still a learning curve.

In general, a good request, or “prompt,” might include the following components: 

  • Task: What you want it to do.
  • Context: A little background on the situation you are asking about.
  • Exemplar: An example of the structure or type of answer you want.
  • Format: How you want the information organized, such as a paragraph, bullets, or specific sections.
  • Tone: Degree of formality or grade level of the response.
  • Role: What you want the AI to act or sound like; e.g., “a psychologist.”
For example:

Act as a testing psychologist and write an email to a parent to invite them to a feedback session about their child's assessment results.  Use 3-4 sentences, and write with a positive tone, using 8th-grade level language.

There are many resources out there to help with the basics, including this article on The Perfect ChatGPT Prompt. 

However, the best way to learn is to dive in and try it yourself!

Here are a few ideas to play with:

Using your report template, ask ChatGPT to “Rewrite the following in a more concise and positive tone.”

Then paste the paragraph from your template you want it to rewrite for you.

“Create a description of the Special Education assessment process using positive, 8th-grade level language that a parent can easily understand.”

“Describe the BASC-3 using parent-friendly language.”

Read on for more ideas and video demos of prompts for testing psychologists.

Risks of Using AI

While AI is powerful, it is important to remember that it is only as good as the information it has been trained on – and we are still better trained than AI for the work we do.

These tools have incredible potential for enhancing our work and making it more accessible to families, but it should never replace our clinical expertise. This means:

  • Using HIPAA-compliant platforms when working with patient information
  • Always editing what AI produces to ensure it is factually and clinically accurate
  • Never relying on AI output for clinical or diagnostic information
  • Recognizing that AI will never replicate the emotion, nuance, and passion that is at the core of our work with children

That said, I believe AI can be incredibly helpful for finding ways to communicate clinical information with families that is clear, concise, and easy to relate to every day life.

Here are a few ways to do it!

AI for Better Feedback

1. Concise & Accessible Summaries

After an assessment, most of us spend hours writing up a detailed report that, in the end, can be very challenging for families to fully comprehend.

Therefore, the first way AI can help us make our work more accessible to families is by creating a concise report summary that:

  • Is easy to read,
  • Takes up less than a page, and
  • Is something parents can easily share with others to explain what they learned about their child.

This kind of summary can be quite challenging to create given the complexity and depth of the concepts we want to communicate.

To help, I’ve been using a HIPAA-compliant platform called BastionGPT.

In Bastion, I can share the body of my report and it will highlight the major themes or key concepts I’ve emphasized in my narrative.

From there, I edit it to ensure it accurately captures what I want to say, as well as the feeling and nuance of my time with the child.

My motto is: AI is my co-pilot.  It is not auto-pilot.

Check out the video below to see what this looks like.

(PS – Bastion has offered this community a 30 day trial to see if it’s helpful.  If you continue using the platform, a small percentage will go to funding donations of The Brain Building Books to under-resourced communities.)

2. Auto Meeting Notes for Parents

The second way we can make our work more accessible to families is by relieving some of the stress of the feedback meeting itself.

It turns out that no matter how fabulous our rapport, how structured we are in our presentation, or how familiar families are with the child’s profile, feedback meetings are still a lot to process.

To help, I’ve started offering to record our meeting and create a summary for families using another HIPAA-compliant platform called NoteZap.

NoteZap records meetings on Zoom or in person, and then can organize our conversation into headings such as:

  • Main Findings
  • Diagnostic Information
  • Recommendations

When I ask for permission to record our meeting, the response has been unanimously…

A big sigh of relief.

Families have shared that this makes it easier for them to listen because they know they will have notes to review later.

Check out how I’ve been using this tool in the video below!

(PS – I asked NoteZap for a discount for our community – just enter my email as the referral source.)

3. Explaining a Diagnosis to Kids

Finally, we can use AI to help us make our testing results more accessible to children.

While many psychologists have started using the Brain Building metaphor to help kids understand their strengths and areas for growth, it is still challenging to define the actual diagnosis for kids.

To help, I've created a prompt that asks the AI to interview you about the child you're working with, and then craft a personalized definition of their diagnosis.

You can personalize it even further by asking the AI to write it for a different grade level, or with a metaphor using their favorite game or activity.

See how it works in the video below!

I hope these ideas are helpful in your work supporting kids’ amazing brains!  As always, please let me know your questions, or any way I can be helpful.

Feel free to reach out using the link below.

Special thanks to Drs. Donna Henderson, Taylor Day, Rebecca MurrayMetzger, Amara Brook, and Christine Henry for their feedback on this post.

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