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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the steps of the assessment process?

Individual needs are unique and the assessment or testing process may vary. Most assessments involve the following steps: 

  1. After your initial email or contact submission to Dr. Lord you will be able to schedule your 20 minute consultation. 

  2. Once both you and Dr. Lord have decided on the best assessment for your needs, you will schedule a 1-2 hour intake appointment to gather historical information. This appointment may occur with the client directly and/or with a parent/guardian. 

  3. After history is gathered, the client and/or a supportive caregiver will be scheduled for at least 2-4 hours of in-person testing. 

  4. Follow-up telehealth session to gather any remaining information (duration may vary) and collaboration with other providers may also need to be scheduled. 

  5. Scoring, data gathering, and report preparation generally take about 1-2 weeks. 

  6. Once the report is complete for review, a feedback session will be scheduled to go over the results of the evaluation, provide education, and discuss recommendations. 

  7. A 3-6 month, per request of the client, follow-up feedback session check-in is also provided. 

What should I tell my child about the assessment?

Explanations will vary depending on the age and maturity of your child. It is best to be open and honest. General explanations around meeting with a doctor "to figure out what things you are good at and what things might be more difficult to help with [the challenge]" they are having the most difficulty with. It is important to emphasize that many children have evaluations and that this does not mean there is "something wrong" with them. Instead psychological testing should be viewed as a way to learn the best way to help your child. 

Do I really need an assessment?

The answer is, Maybe.

Here are certain situations in which a psychological evaluation may be helpful:

 - When a therapist or a person feels there is a need to know or better symptoms, experiences or diagnoses.

 - A person has complex symptoms or historical information

 - When an person is attending treatment regularly, but not making progress.

 - When treatment and medication have not worked.

 - When there is a question about neurodevelopmental challenges or needs (ADHD, ASD, Learning, etc.)

 - Previous assessments have been unhelpful or "missed the mark."

 - When there is an unexplained decline in the someone's day-to-day functioning.  

If you have had testing or an assessment, but the results were not helpful or did not meet a need, a consultation may be an option. Since, evaluations are expensive and require a lot of time and effort, a consultation might be easier. Please contact us and we can discuss if alternative option might be better suited to your needs. 

When would an assessment not be helpful? 

 - When someone is actively abusing drugs or alcohol.

 - When someone has been in crisis (within the last 30 days) and has not stabilized.

 - When someone just completed testing/assessment and the new assessment would use the same tools. 

 - When someone is "shopping" for  a specific diagnosis. 

How do I prepare for my testing session?

Gather all old evaluations, treatment records, education records, IEP assessments, relevant medical records, etc. Bring those or send them electronically before your first appointment. We recommend getting a good nights sleep the night before, and eating a balanced meal prior to testing to avoid any impact tiredness or hunger may have on concentration. Testing can take several hours, so bringing snacks and water are encouraged.

Are appointments remote or in person?

Most intake or first appointments are conducted via telehealth. However, the testing sessions are completed in person. Often, additional interviews, calls, or appointments will be needed. Other appointments with therapists, parents, caregivers, and support individuals will probably be asked to participate or give information. Feedback and consultations sessions are offered as remote or in person and are based on client/family preferences and appropriateness. 

Why would I choose private pay vs. insurance?

Unfortunately, insurance companies make it very difficult for all of us. They ask both you, the client, and the provider to jump through several "hoops" to authorize testing or psychological assessments. This puts many restrictions on the type, amount, time, and rates for psychological assessment. The limits can stop clients from getting the best assessment or care they might need, without a significant financial burden.

 

Insurance companies don’t always screen their providers. Many insurance companies may ask for a diagnosis to authorize testing, which could be listed in your record permanently. Some mental health diagnoses impact eligibility for certain services or in certain occupations (e.g. U.S. forces, etc.).

While getting an assessment through your insurance will come at a lower out-of-pocket cost, private pay comes with a lot more flexibility. We can provide a thorough and responsive assessment based on your needs alone, and not insurance rules.

Why does an assessment cost so much?

Psychological testing/assessment is a specialized service in  psychology. A good assessment psychologist went through additional training - above and beyond the training they already received during doctoral graduate preparation. Specialty tests and equipment are needed to complete most evaluations. There are many hours hours involved in each assessment from the initial referral, to the appointments, and the feedback session. In person testing appointments can range from 4-8 hours, and there are many more hours spent gathering information, scoring assessment, reviewing records, analyzing and integrating information, and report writing.  1-2 hours are also dedicated to feedback sessions. The total time required to complete an assessment can range from 12 to 20 hours. 

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