Why should someone be tested?

Testing is helpful to guide treatment or education planning, understand someone’s strengths and weaknesses, and sometimes decide if a diagnosis is present. We get many calls from people who have been given different diagnoses, or labels, over the years. Testing can help tease out which, if any, of these concerns are correct and which should be the focus of treatment. Results can help therapists know how to help a client with mood, anxiety, social skills, organization, stress, etc. Teachers can learn how to build on a child’s strengths and what way a child learns best. Sometimes, even the best-intentioned helpers may miss issues like focus difficulties, learning problems, social skill deficits, fine motor problems, sensory differences, or even anxiety, when just working off of client report or teacher observations.

When should I have my child tested for learning problems?

As soon as you have concerns! Early intervention helps prevent later problems and reduce symptoms later on. Some learning problems are not apparent until second or third grade, but red flags or risk factors might be identified, and intervention put in place early. It is never too late for a good evaluation though.

That seems expensive, is it worth the money?

Although psychological testing can seem costly (in terms of time and money), it is well worth the investment. You will understand yourself or your child better, clearly identify needs and challenges, and cut directly to the heart of the problem without wasting time and effort guessing. The right professionals can then help more efficiently and effectively.

Is any of your process covered by insurance?

In general, educational or academic testing is not a covered service with insurance. ADHD or emotional/behavioral testing is usually covered.  We are considered out-of-network, and have a self-pay practice. We provide a receipt you can file for personal reimbursement if would like. More information about this process can be found on the website under fees and policies.

Who does the testing?

Our evaluations are conducted exclusively by doctoral-level providers who are licensed psychologists or postdoctoral fellows under the supervision of a licensed psychologist, as required in the licensure process.

What is your process for testing?

Our approach to testing is complex. First, we have a parent intake session to review history, concerns, and any previous reports/data you have. We finalize what type of testing is needed and make a plan to complete it. Then, your child comes in for face-to-face testing. We may cover intellectual functioning, academic achievement, reading skills, language, attention/memory, and emotional/behavioral functioning at home or school. We collect standardized rating scales from parents and teachers if possible to see what behaviors or issues are present in those environments. We then score everything, interpret the measures along with history and observations, and write a lengthy, comprehensive report of the results, diagnoses (if relevant), and recommendations. Here is some general information about psychological assessment:

http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/assessment.aspx

How long are sessions and how many are needed?

We like to start testing in the morning when children are fresh and rested from sleep. Children often perform their best in the morning hours. Face-to-face testing usually takes one to two sessions, depending on age, referral questions, stamina, and number of tests administered.

How is private testing different than school testing?

School evaluations are done to determine eligibility for special education services. Sometimes schools decide that a child demonstrates some learning, social, emotional, or behavioral weaknesses but does not think they meet the criteria to get extra services at school. Private testing can provide clinical diagnoses such as ADHD, autism spectrum, anxiety, mood problems, or specific learning disabilities. Our results can also help parents find resources in the community to address issues or cultivate talents/gifts such as speech therapists, tutors, behavioral interventionists, psychiatrists, schools, enrichment programs, or educational consultants.

Do public and private schools accept your reports to guide services?

We provide quality and thorough assessments that follow best practices in psychology assessment. Each school and district have their own policies about making decisions for services. Some use our recommendations alone, and some also like to do their own testing. We are happy to talk with school staff to help explain our results and recommendations.

Can your testing help my child get accommodations on the SAT or in college?

The College Board, universities, technical schools, and other standardized test administrators requires recent (within 2-3 years) documentation of diagnoses and functional limitations for students to get accommodations. Our testing meets those stringent requirements and also provides detailed recommendations to inform learning plans at the college level.

What is your approach to ADHD testing?

Basic ADHD screening/testing usually includes interviews, observation, IQ testing, attention/executive functioning tests, and emotional and behavior rating scales. Sometimes a more comprehensive approach is best, especially for older children; those planning to seek accommodations for high school, college, or standardized tests (e.g., ACT, SAT, LSAT); or when we have concerns about learning or processing problems.

What do I bring to the first session?

Any school records, previous evaluations, or other background information are typically helpful.

What do I do to prepare for the testing day?

Make sure you/your child get a quality night of sleep. That means no late evening TV, gaming, or screen time and going to bed at a healthy time. Eat a good breakfast with protein and bring a healthy snack and drink (limited sugar please). Bring along a light jacket or sweater for comfort in the office. Be sure you have any requested paperwork or rating forms with you.

Should my child take his/her ADHD medication on the testing day?

If we are doing testing to diagnose or confirm a diagnosis of ADHD, then please do not give your child his/her medication for 24-48 hours before our appointment. Bring the medication along, and we may do a part of the evaluation on the medicine. If the diagnosis of ADHD is not the concern, then have your child take his/her medication, as he/she would normally.

How long will it take before I can get the results of the evaluation?

Typically, a feedback appointment is scheduled approximately three weeks following the evaluation. A full written report will be provided at the feedback, or mailed afterward if more information is needed. All rating forms must be provided by two weeks following the last testing session to be included in the report.

Will my school, work, or doctor get a copy of the report?

Your/your child’s information and results are confidential. We cannot release any information without written permission. Please complete a release of information form for anyone you want us to share the results with.

Can you help after testing?

Following the assessment, we are available for ongoing therapy for emotional regulation, coping skills, social skills, study/organizational skills coaching, and behavior/parenting work with parents. We can also help guide you in advocating for your child at school.

 

 

     

 

 

 

 

 

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