Psychoeducational History Consultations
- FAQs -
Providing comprehensive psychological assessments is a service that we provide at Talk-a-While by a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Assessments are a way to provide testing with psychometric measures to assess if your child may suffer from a clinical mental health disorder such as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); Autism Spectrum Disorder traits; Depression; Anxiety; Bipolar Disorder; psychosis, etc. We also provide assessments to evaluate your child’s cognitive and academic abilities to assess whether your child may have a learning issue or could benefit from further accommodations at school or in the community.
In addition to assessment/testing, we also offer a service called Psychoeducational History Consultation where the Psychologist examines all school records and past testing results/reports and provides a recommendation on how to better support your child and/or adolescent.
How do I know if my child may need testing?
There are several reasons why your child may benefit from an assessment.
If your child has been experiencing ongoing academic struggles for some time, testing may be a benefit to see if your child may suffer from a specific learning disorder or processing issue. This type of assessment is called a psychoeducational evaluation to assess your child’s strengths and challenges in regards to IQ testing; academic and achievement capabilities; and emotional functioning. Depending on the results of these assessments, your child may qualify for a 504 plan or Individualized Education Plan (IEP) at their school.
You may also find that your child has been having worsening mood symptoms, behavioral changes, development, and difficulty with lack of focus/attention and hyperactivity, in which case we can also assess if your child may be struggling with a mental health issue.
Another reason we may receive a referral for testing may be from a treatment provider such as a physician, therapist, counselor, or even schools who may be concerned about issues your child may be facing. In addition, if your child is already seeing a therapist at Talk-a-While, your child’s therapist may recommend further psychological testing to assist in diagnosing and/or treatment planning.
How do I refer my child to the center for the possibility of testing? Can I consult with a licensed clinician about whether testing may be the right option?
Yes, feel free to call our center at 408-962-9267 during business hours. You may reach one our Director of Clinical Services who can provide you a free 15-minute consultation over the phone as to whether testing may be an option and appropriate for your child.
What is the process for psychological testing? How long do we expect this process to take?
- Testing consists of Brief triage phone call: This is a free, no charge, consultation phone call of up to 15 minutes to discuss reasons why your child may benefit from testing, and to gain more information and history from you, and initiate the paperwork and screening process.
- Initial visit/Clinical Interview/Questionnaires: Expect to be at our center for several hours to begin the testing process. Expect about 1-2 hours of time to be spent with caregivers and the child/teen to answer questions about the evaluation, and to gain a thorough history and background of your child.
- Assessment: You most likely may be asked to complete a parent, and/or teacher self-report questionnaires. Depending on the measures, they may be completed on your own, or during your appointment at our center. Testing measures will also be conducted with your child, separately, while you may be completing questionnaires, depending on the reason for testing, this may take a few or several hours over the course of 1-3 visits.
- Collateral Information: If necessary, we may wish to speak over the phone, with others involved in your child’s life for further history or data. This may include teachers, other caregivers, therapists, or other treatment providers. This information will NOT be sought, without your signed consent and your child’s signed consent if 12 or over.
- Scoring/Interpretation of results/Report writing: The psychologist administering the assessment measures will need several hours to manually or digitally score the tests, interpret results, and write a comprehensive report and summary.
- Review with Child/Family: A final office visit will be scheduled to review the findings of the assessment, and provide recommendations and a copy of the report, if necessary. Depending on your child’s age, feedback may be given separately to parents, and then with your child in an age-appropriate way.
Please expect for the entire process to take between 3-6 weeks, once the first appointment is scheduled. Depending on the assessment, it may take longer. Our goal is to provide you with timely, yet thorough and collaborative results and feedback.
How much does an assessment cost?
We charge an hourly fee for testing. Again, the cost may vary due to the amount and type of testing measures we use with your child, and hours to administer, score, and interpret results. In addition, a thorough feedback session and written report will be provided and included in the cost. The average evaluation may take between 15-30 hours. Our hourly fee is $250/hour.
Why is the cost of psychological testing so expensive?
We realize the cost may seem high. Testing is a specialized service, and due to the costs of the measures to purchase and administer, scoring and time it takes to interpret and write reports, it can take several hours over several days or weeks. Our priority is to provide exceptional service and assessments and assure that the results of the testing are a benefit to your child at home, school, and the community. We do not require the entire amount to be paid in full prior to testing to begin. We do require a deposit prior to initial testing appointment, which can be further discussed once we initiate the service.
What should I do to help prepare my child for the first appointment?
It may depend on the age and development of your child. Simply tell your child that the appointment(s) for testing are a way for us to further see what their strengths and challenges are and it is a great way to find solutions to help support them to be successful. You may tell them that they are going to see a doctor who will be asking lots of questions, may do different activities with them that may be similar to tasks they do at school. If your child struggles with anxiety or worries, you can assure them that you will also be in our center during the appointment, and that we will provide breaks for them if they need. You can tell them that the first appointment may take between 1-3 hours, and depending may need to schedule 2-3 office visits to complete the administration.
What do I need to provide?
During your initial triage call with us, you will further be informed what you will need to bring. Typically, we ask for copies of any past evaluations completed through the school districts or other providers, as well as the signed informed consent/intake paperwork. We may also ask for phone numbers or fax numbers of your child’s school, therapists, psychiatrists, or third parties that we may need to consult with or receive information from. You will need to sign a written release prior to us communicating with any third parties.
Will my insurance plan cover neuropsychological or psycho-educational testing?
Most insurance plans do not cover psychological testing unless they deem it to be "medically necessary." "Educationally related" testing is typically not deemed medically necessary testing. Often, insurance plans will exclude psychological testing; therefore, will not cover it. Should your insurance cover this type of testing, they will not cover the full cost of the psychological testing. Some plans will cover 40-70% of the hours and others may pay even less. Check with your insurance company to see what percentage, if any, they cover. When contacting your insurance company, use this document to ask the right questions.
What is a Psychoeducational History Consultation?
Many parents are uncertain about what psychoeducational test results mean and what to do if their child has a Student Success Team (SST), 504 or comparable accommodation plan, or an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
You may even suspect your child needs additional school support or additional psychoeducational testing to rule out other causes for academic/learning and emotional challenges at school but aren’t sure how to best present this suspicion to school personnel.
We provide Psychoeducational History Consultations to provide guidance and support in better understanding your child's historical record and testing results, and provide recommendations on what are the next steps.
How will I benefit from a Psychoeducational History Consultation?
The goals of a Psychoeducational History Consultation are to:
- help you better understand your child’s/adolescent’s educational history testing results;
- help you and any current or future treatment providers better understand your child’s challenges and strengths;
- provide guidance in what further testing may be appropriate;
- assist in possible therapy or treatment recommendations;
- ensure your family can discuss the specific needs/challenges of your child during school-related meetings.
What does the Psychoeducational History Consultation process look like?
a review of all school reports including psychoeducational evaluations, IEPs, SSTs, 504 plans, or relevant past records;
a review of past report cards from teachers or special education teams;
- a review of any past medical, cognitive, or clinical reports that pertain to medical or other clinical conditions that may be affecting your child’s learning
Once all the information is gathered, reviewed, and interpreted, our psychologist will provide a report of their findings and recommendations. The report is designed to provide you with: (1) clarity around your child’s educational history, challenges, and strengths, and (2) clear recommendations for academic supports, medical or therapeutic services, and other interventions that may aid your child at home, at school, and in the community.
What is the cost of a Psychoeducational History Consultation?
The cost may vary depending on the complexity and number of documents reviewed and assessed; however, it generally ranges from 2 to 5 hours. The hourly rate for this service is currently $250.00.
Why would this consultation be helpful for me outside of what my school has already provided me?
While schools provide assessments/testing for students, parents often struggle in understanding the details of the testing results. There are also certain limitations that come with school testing that can delay the identification of additional challenges a child/adolescent may be facing but hasn't been identified.
Some limitations can include:
- Some school assessors may have master’s degrees and are limited on certain measures they can use which may limit the type of testing conducted, and what is ultimately found;
- Schools can screen for ADHD or ASD but they can not diagnose clinical disorders, so often the need for additional psychological testing may get lost in translation to parents. For example, school testing reports may contain language that refer to ADHD or Autism traits but it does not provide a formal diagnosis, which then leaves parents to not follow up on seeking a formal screening/diagnosis of these diagnoses
- Schools are not able to identify severe autism, mood disorders, or psychosis disorders in students that have been deemed as having Emotional Disturbance and are placed in special day classes, which prevents these students from receiving appropriate therapeutic support without a formal diagnosis(es).
We believe consulting with a psychologist (outside of school) who understands assessment measures, testing results, and can identify other clinical disorders that may be affecting a child's/adolescent's learning/behavior is a critical tool for parents to utilize. We created this service line after hearing from parents that this is a needed service that isn't readily available.