TESTING AND ASSESSMENTS FAQS
Q: Does my child need a psychological evaluation?
A: There are many reasons a child or individual may want or need a psychological evaluation. You may feel stuck or confused about what your child is thinking or feeling. Or you may notice things like attention, hyperactivity, developmental delays, lack of social communication, change in behavior, emotional outbursts, depression, anxiety, learning concerns, lack of progress in therapy, or school problems just to name a few. Maybe you are wondering if your child might need medications, but you want to make sure you pursue the right ones.
Q: What if I am not sure if we really want an evaluation?
A: Not a problem. If you have questions about testing or are not sure if you need testing, you may go on and complete the paperwork for testing and get scheduled for your initial testing consultation appointment to determine the needs for you or your child. At this appointment, the psychologist will gather a full history and help you clarify what goals you might have for evaluation. She or he can then propose a testing package and final cost, and you can decide how you want to move forward! You can share your concerns and ask for consultation on next best steps. If it is testing, then this will be your testing intake. If it is not testing, the psychologist will recommend the next best steps based on what you have shared and their clinical expertise.
Q: What is the evaluation process?
A: All testing clients are scheduled for an initial consultation appointment (described below) and then 1-3 testing sessions one-on-one with the psychologist or LPA (Licensed Psychological Associate). At the conclusion of all testing, and after all supplemental information is received, the psychologist or LPA will schedule a follow-up appointment with parent or adult client to review the evaluation report and results in detail. This appointment is typically scheduled two to three weeks after all information is received. At this feedback session, all results, the report, and any recommendations will be discussed in detail.
Q: What happens at the initial consultation appointment?
A: All evaluations begin with an initial consultation appointment with one of our Licensed Psychologists or Licensed Psychological Associate. At this 60-minute appointment you and the psychologist will work together to determine the best testing plan for you or your child. In this appointment you will share concerns, why you are wanting testing, and more specifically questions you are hoping to have answered.
The psychologist or LPA will review what the evaluation is, the testing process, and will interview you to obtain detailed history regarding concerns, emotional/behavioral history, development history, family history, medical history, learning and academic history, and any other area that may impact testing and testing choices. The clinician will then come up with a testing plan and will review that plan with you including days of testing, cost, etc. Lastly the first testing appointment will be scheduled. You can choose whether to continue with services or not at this point.
Releases of information will be completed for the school or other individuals with information that may need to provide teacher or caregiver reports.
Q: How many hours of in-person testing is required?
A: This depends on the age of the child. For young children we typically schedule multiple 2 hour testing sessions to allow for the best focus and effort. For some elementary school students, they are able to handle 2 three-hour sessions with breaks. Other high school or adult clients may be able to handle all day testing with breaks. This is dependent on the needs of each client.
Q: What should I or my child expect during evaluation appointments?
A: Testing appointments are typically one on one with the psychologist or LPA. These take place in a quiet office setting where rapport may be easily established. Typically testing may include self-report measures (depending on age), computer measures, objective tasks where they may work with blocks, puzzles, school type tasks, drawing, clinical questions, and sometimes play observations. The psychologist will give ample opportunity for breaks.
Q: Do I need to stay on site while my child is being tested?
A: This is decided by the psychologist and is dependent on the child’s needs. If there is a young child that will need assistance on breaks, we ask that you stay. Typically, children under 10 have a parent on site unless released by the psychologist.
Q: Will I be in the room with my child during testing sessions?
A: You will not typically be in the testing room during the testing sessions as this frequently disrupts the focus and attention of the child. The exception is in very young children being assessed for autism. In these cases, you may be a part of the testing sessions. Your provider will let you know.
Q: Will my children’s school or other professionals be contacted during the evaluation?
A: Typically, we ask for releases to speak with the school and any professional working with your child on the areas of concern. We will ask for teacher feedback and teacher report measures on most if not all child testing cases. If there is a concern this will be discussed at intake.
Q: Will you observe my child in school?
A: Sometimes we do feel the need to observe the child in school or other setting to have a clear understanding how the child is functioning. This would always occur with parent consent and release.
Q: My child is needing accommodations for school or extra time on standardized tests. Is this testing able to meet this need?
A: Yes, any child that testing determines qualifies for accommodations in some area will be noted on the recommendations and written in language commonly requested by schools and testing facilities. If the accommodations you are seeking have specific testing requirements please share this with your psychologist prior to starting testing. We do not guarantee the accommodations you are seeking. Accommodations will be noted only if testing justifies the need for the accommodations.
Q: Will you complete an IQ testing with my child?
A: Yes, most testing evaluations include at least an abbreviated IQ measure if not a full IQ measure.
Q: Will I complete questionnaires of my observations of my child?
A: Yes, these are typically sent through our testing bank to you after the initial appointment. You will complete the measures in the HIPAA compliant testing bank and then the clinician will be notified when complete.
Q: Do I need to give the psychologist any past records for testing?
A: Yes, any past testing, report cards, school information, 504 plans, relevant medical reports, speech evaluations, etc. are all helpful when completing testing to have a full and complete understanding of concerns and needs.
Q: Do you accept insurance for psychological evaluations?
A: We are unable to accept insurance for psychological evaluations. We have found that insurance does not reimburse for the in-depth types of evaluations that we provide. We will provide you with a superbill if you need this for tax purposes or to file on your own.
Q: What is the earliest age we can do testing?
A: Typically learning concerns, ADHD testing, etc. can be started in kindergarten or by kindergarten age (5 years old). Autism and developmental testing can occur earlier - as young as age 2.