The assessment process for children involves collecting information from several different sources. Usually a brief interview with a parent or guardian occurs over the phone prior to the appointment to review basic information about the reason for testing and to determine the appropriate testing plan. We will also discuss costs and what portion will be covered by insurance (if applicable). You may need to obtain authorization from your insurance company prior to scheduling the appointment. Once the appointment is scheduled, parents will be provided with some detailed questionnaires to fill out about the child's history and current areas of concern. These can be completed at home and brought with you to the appointment. It is recommended that teachers also complete some questionnaires about the child's behavior and performance in school.
On the day of the appointment, parents should bring in copies of any provided forms, past evaluation reports, school records, and medical reports if indicated. Some time will be spent talking with the child and parent(s) together to discuss the plan for the day and help the child feel comfortable. Parents will be excused to wait in another room while the child is being interviewed or doing testing with the psychologist. The child will be able to see the parents whenever they wish and during breaks. For older children, parents may leave and return at a designated time if this appears appropriate for the child. The actual testing process involves a variety of activities that most children do not mind. They may be asked to complete some questionnaires or some tasks that involve thinking or academic skills, depending on the reason for the assessment. Some activities may seem like games or puzzles that they do with their hands, some activities may involve paper and pencil tasks, and some activities may require them to listen and focus on certain information. Sometimes they will need to work quickly and for other tasks they can take their time. Depending on the reason for testing, some children may also do activities that remind them of school work. Most children remark that the testing day was better than being at school all day. The number of hours needed for testing will depend on the purpose of the testing and the age of the child. Breaks will be given whenever needed.
After the testing is complete, the psychologist will review all the records and history, score up all the testing, interpret what the scores mean, and put all of this information into a comprehensive report. The results will be explained to the parent(s) in detail and to the child in an age-appropriate manner. If desired, arrangements can be made to review results with school personnel or other relevant parties.