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All Your Questions Answered

  • What is a psychological evaluation?
    A psychological evaluation (“psych testing”) consists of information gathering and a series of assessments that are administered one-on-one, on a computer, and/or paper format. Psych testing can answer a number of questions including: Help clarify presenting concerns and answer questions about how you or your child are functioning. Determine strengths and areas needing more support Inform diagnosis and help provide appropriate recommendations Psychological assessments can assess a number of areas including: General intellectual functioning Attention, focus, concentration abilities Memory and learning Academic abilities (aka “Achievement”) Language abilities Executive functioning Processing speed Reasoning Visuospatial abilities Developmental functioning Personality Behavioral, emotional, psychological functioning
  • What questions can testing answer?
    Do I have ADHD, Anxiety, Autism, Learning Disorder, etc? Does my child have ADHD, Anxiety, Autism, Learning Disorder, etc? Is my child gifted? Questions regarding multiple conflicting mental health diagnoses (e.g., “diagnostic clarity”). How do I or my child learn best (e.g., visual, auditory, etc.)? Help answer questions if you/your child are struggling in school Identifying strengths and needs Providing recommendations for accommodations as needed (example: IEP, 504 plan, additional time on assignments or tests, provided note-taker, test-taking in a quiet environment, etc.)
  • What should I expect from a psychological evaluation?
    There are three main components to a psychological evaluation: Intake Testing Feedback We will typically start with a clinical interview (“intake”) where we gather information about the issue for which you or your child are seeking help. Depending on the child’s age, we may meet with parents alone or have the child/minor involved in the intake For adults, the intake is typically conducted individually, although some adults may wish to bring a partner or spouse This interview is followed by testing, which is often conducted in two-to-three hour sessions. The testing duration depends on several factors including: complexity of the presenting question(s), possible behavioral issues, potential changes or additions to the testing list throughout evaluation, etc. Depending on the evaluation we will request standardized forms from parents, teachers, spouses, and other collateral information. For children, if appropriate, we may also perform a school observation. Remember, we will never contact anyone without your written consent! Rest breaks are provided as needed. A feedback session is scheduled after all testing is completed and collateral information is received. A feedback session is conducted so everyone can understand the results and how to implement an effective treatment plan and roadmap moving forward. This is where results of the testing and recommendations are provided and explained.
  • What if I (or my child) have received previous testing?
    As part of our assessment process, it would be helpful to have any copies of past evaluations whether these were psychoeducational (“psycho-ed” provided by the school for an IEP), by the Regional Center, or by a previous clinical psychologist. Psychoeducational testing is NOT the same as a psychological evaluation - psycho-ed testing is narrower in scope and completed by a school psychologist to determine whether a child qualifies for services under an IEP (Individualized Education Program). It does not provide a diagnosis or assess the full scope of functioning that a clinical psychologist is able to address. A comprehensive evaluation provides insight and information about cognitive, emotional, interpersonal, and educational functioning overall and not just as it relates to school functioning.
  • How can I (or my child) prepare for the appointment?
    You and your child will perform best while well-rested and relaxed. A full night’s sleep and healthy breakfast prior to the appointment are also encouraged. Please do not coach or attempt to prepare your child for testing as this can raise their anxiety and lead to inaccurate performance and results. Please encourage them to have fun and try their best! Similarly, attempting to prepare for a testing session yourself may also invalidate results and accurate feedback will not be possible. Please bring any prior assessments, relevant records, and previous IEPs (if applicable). Please also refrain from using any non-prescribed substances prior to testing including, but not limited to, marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamines, and other stimulants including caffeinated beverages (e.g., coffee, soda, green tea, black tea, etc.) Please notify your clinician if you are on any prescription medication or if your medications/dosages have changed.
  • Do you take insurance? What are your fees?
    Yes! We do take most major insurances including Aetna, Anthem, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Blue Shield MHSA, CIGNA, Magellan, Medicare, Optum, Oscar, TriCare, TriWest, and United Health Care. If you do not see your insurance company listed, we are working to become paneled with them so please check back with us! We do not have privately set fees, and charge only what we are contracted with your insurance for the services we provide. In doing so, we are able to provide these services at a much lower cost than private pay.
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