As a practice, we provide a suite of psychological assessments for children, teens and adults. Assessments are tailored to the individual, are the most current/updated instruments available, and strengths based. Each assessment is specifically crafted to answer the question(s) being asked by the referral source. The assessment is followed by an in-depth feedback session, which reviews the results and offers a comprehensive treatment plan including specific recommendations and accommodations as necessary.
Neurodevelopmental assessments are available for individuals 4-17 years old. For individuals 18 years and older, click here for information on neuropsychological testing.
What is included in a psychological evaluation?
A review of the presenting problem. The presenting problem(s) is the reason the individual is seeking treatment or an evaluation. Examples of presenting problems include: difficulty with attention/restlessness/hyperactivity, trouble falling and staying asleep, poor organizational skills, frequently forgetful, depressed or sad most of the day, anxiousness throughout the day, difficulty letting go of things, relational problems/poor social skills, etc. Before the initial session, an in-depth developmental history form must be completed by the client to give a general background on their symptoms.
A psychological interview. The initial session (1 hour) with the psychologist is an opportunity for them to get to know the client personally and in-depth. A review of current symptoms, history of symptoms, and developmental issues are collected so that an accurate picture of the individual can be made. Questions are asked in the areas of family, social, medical, and work/school.
Psychological testing related to the presenting problem. Based on the information obtained in the developmental history form and psychological interview, the psychologist will then identify appropriate testing to obtain specific information about the noted problem areas. Psychological tests typically consist of answering specific questions on standardized instruments. The tests selected may measure mood, personality, aptitude, pathology, skill, intelligence or cognitive ability. Assessments are administered to the client in person by a testing technician, in addition to several assessments which are sent via email to parents, relatives, and/or teachers. Testing sessions vary in length depending on the age of the client. A typical session lasts between 1-3hrs and includes a variety of testing methods, such as paper and pencil, iPads, and a laptop.
A summary of the results and feedback session. After testing is complete and all assessment measures have been collected from the representative parties, the psychologist pulls together all the information gained from the interview and testing to create a clinical picture of the client and generate appropriate diagnoses.
Common diagnoses include:
- Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Sensory Processing Disorder
- Specific Learning Disorders in Reading, Writing, or Mathematics
- Dyslexia and Dysgraphia
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Major Depressive Disorder
- Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia)
- Personality Disorders
Developmental Coordination Disorder
- Language and Communication Disorders
- Non-Verbal Learning Disorder
- Intellectual Disability (and Borderline Intellectual Functioning)
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Bipolar Disorder (I and II)
- Oppositional Defiant Disorder
- Conduct Disorder
Recommendations and suggestions. After reviewing the information with the client, the psychologist creates a list of recommended interventions to address the problems identified in the assessment. These recommendations are typically treatment interventions which have been proven through research and practice to effectively work on the problems identified. The psychologist will refer the patient to appropriate resources/other practices and providers to obtain the interventions recommended. For example, if the psychologist has diagnosed the individual with bipolar disorder and recommended a medication consultation, he will likely refer the patient to a psychiatrist for medications. Sometimes, the psychologist will provide the treatment interventions themselves—depending upon their scope of practice (e.g. using cognitive behavioral therapy in treating a client diagnosed with depression/anxiety).
Comprehensive Report. Finally, a complete comprehensive psychological assessment report will be provided containing the five essential elements listed above. The report may be used for: obtaining necessary services based upon particular diagnoses, collaborating with teachers and schools regarding services needed to address attention/learning concerns (typically called an IEP or 504 plan), for clarity and accuracy when dealing with multiple healthcare professionals (psychologist and a psychiatrist), and for the tracking of symptoms over time.
The initial intake session for assessment services is $250. After the initial session, a financial contract is provided for the client’s approval with the cost of services. This includes an estimated amount the client’s insurance will cover, as well as the remaining out-of-pocket cost for which the client will be responsible. Once the contract is signed by both parties, testing may be scheduled with our receptionist at (704) 464-4910.
Genesis Clinical Services is in network with Blue Cross Blue Shield and Aetna for testing services. We also assist with preauthorization of insurance coverage for assessment. If the assessment is being conducted out of network, we will provide a superbill of charges for you to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.
How will a comprehensive neurodevelopmental assessment help my child?
Provides CLARITY – It’s easy to make assumptions as to why a child may be struggling in school, or why they are struggling to make/keep friends. Our assumptions and ideas may be right on some occasions, but on others they may not. A psychological evaluation helps sift through the hunches and foggy ideas about what “may” be going on, and provides clear, accurate, and detailed explanations of what is causing the child to struggle in a particular area.
Sets EXPECTATIONS – Clearly understanding an individual and their struggles with clarity enables parents, teachers, coaches and friends to set realistic and appropriate expectations for the child. Assuming that someone is capable of something when they are not is a recipe for discouragement and low self-esteem. Often, an accurate diagnosis can help with providing clear guidelines for what can and should be expected from a child.
Helps develop a TREATMENT PLAN – It’s hard to treat a problem when you’re not sure what’s wrong. It’s amazing how frequently people may begin to try and treat a problem before accurately understanding the problem. Treatment plans and interventions are most effective when developed around a thorough understanding of a client’s diagnosis, which is obtained from a good psychological evaluation. Treatment plans are often well crafted, but can miss the mark if there is misunderstanding surrounding the cause or nature of the problem.
Improves PARENTING – When a parent has clarity regarding what makes their child tick and is clear on what expectations are appropriate, they are in a much better place to know how to parent their child effectively. This enables them to set reasonable limits, provide adequate praise, and establish the correct amount of structure into their child’s life.
Prevents years of FRUSTRATION – Having clarity, the right expectations, a solid treatment plan, and the right support can have a dramatic effect on the development of any child, particularly, in the areas of: academic performance, social skills/relationships, confidence, self-esteem, level of motivation, and happiness. Struggling with an undetected problem for years can be a drain on anyone’s level of functioning and can create problems in all areas of life. Therefore, it is worth the time and effort to properly address the problem before the consequences become more difficult to manage.
How to prepare
Preparing your child for testing will minimize anxiety and encourage cooperation. Before the day of testing, it is helpful to remind the child what the day will be like. Try to avoid calling it “testing,” as this word makes many children anxious. Make sure your child knows they will be meeting alone with the psychologist. Explain that children learn in different ways and that testing will help parents and teachers understand how he/she learns best. The day will include a variety of questions, puzzles, drawings, and stories as well as some school-like tasks such as reading, writing and math. While your child will be challenged, he or she will probably have fun with some of the tasks. On the day of testing, make sure your child is well rested and has eaten a good breakfast. Arrive a few minutes before your scheduled time to allow your child to become familiar with the psychologist and get settled before starting. To avoid fatigue, breaks will be taken during the testing to allow your child to use the restroom and have a drink or snack. Children also often like to talk with their parent(s) during breaks. For children under 9, we require parents to remain in our lobby for the duration of the testing. It is at your discretion to remain or run errands if your child is over 9, but please make sure that the office has a number at which you can be reached immediately in case of illness or other difficulty.
What happens after?
Approximately two weeks after the testing (depending on availability), you will return to the office without your child for a feedback session (scheduled for 90 minutes). The psychologist will review the findings, discuss recommendations, and answer any questions. A comprehensive report is provided within three weeks of the feedback session and the diagnosis and treatment plan are typically emailed the same day or the day after the feedback session. The report provides a written record of the testing that was completed, and provides specific recommendations so that parents, educational staff, physicians, and other professionals working with you/your child can coordinate a treatment plan. You may be asked to sign a release so that the report can be sent directly to certain professionals. Reports are generally not sent directly to schools, as it is typically more helpful for parents to hand-carry (or email) a copy of the report directly to the school personnel who need to see the results and recommendations.
A timeline of this process from beginning to end is described in the following diagram: