FAQs for Child/Adolescent Testing

Why would my child need to be tested?

Clients are referred for testing for a number of reasons. Some individuals are referred for testing if they are struggling at school with behavior or learning issues. Your child may have been in counseling for some time but has shown little improvement. His or her symptoms may be worsening, despite your efforts, which may include trials of medication. The ultimate goal of testing is to understand a client’s specific strength and weaknesses, and their diagnostic presentation in order to provide tailored recommendations to improve functioning.


Is all testing the same?

Absolutely not!  Each testing session is designed with the specific client in mind in order to gain the best understanding of the client. Testing can examine a client’s social-emotional functioning, behavioral issues, learning challenges, cognitive abilities, memory, language, sensory processing, and attention/executive functioning. 


What’s the difference between psychological testing and neuropsychological testing?

Neuropsychological testing is conducted when the purpose of the evaluation is to assess for specific abilities and skills linked to brain function. For example, concerns for Autism, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and memory loss are commonly assessed via neuropsychological testing. Psychological testing is conducted when evaluating for social-emotional-behavioral issues, such as anxiety or depression. While the purpose of these evaluations is different, there is often considerable overlap. Several of the same tests may be used in both psychological and neuropsychological testing. Please note that many insurance companies will not cover the cost of testing for ADHD alone. However, assessment of attention and executive functioning is often considered in more complex cases that require additional areas of evaluation. Our staff will help answer any related questions before your first appointment.  


Will my insurance pay for testing?

In some cases, insurance does cover the cost of testing.  Please review your plan information for specific information related to your deductible, co-insurance, or co-payments.  Insurance typically approves neuropsychological and psychological testing to address the questions above.  However, insurance does NOT typically pay for evaluation for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). 

 

Insurance does not pay for academic testing.  Academic testing in subject areas of reading, math, and writing are not covered by insurance. This means that insurance does not pay for concerns related to dyslexia, dysgraphia, or dyscalculia.  This is because these domains can be assessed in the school environment through an initial special education evaluation (or re-evaluation, conducted every three years).  Because insurance does not cover this type of testing, we do offer it at an out of pocket cost for families.  Please inquire at the time of referral for more information.  Clinicians need to know if you are pursuing this type of testing well in advance of your appointment.

Will this testing go on my child’s school record?

Please know that we strive to ensure that our evaluations take into account all relevant aspects of your child’s functioning. It is not uncommon to hear that a child behaves/performs differently across home and school settings. With your signed consent, we can reach out to your child’s school to obtain additional information, often by way of rating scales that are completed by his/her teacher(s). This provides us valuable insight into your child’s functioning in an alternate setting. However, this evaluation is considered protected health information and is covered by the HIPAA Privacy Rule. As such, all information you share with us is kept confidential unless you specifically request otherwise.


What do I need to do to set up an appointment?

The first step is calling Lynn Reardon, our Client Services Manager at 508-983-1425. Lynn will get information from you about why you are looking for testing and help with insurance pre-authorization.  A signed medical order from your child’s pediatrician is required. 


Is there a need for medical records or prior testing results before the appointment?

We do not want to waste your time or the time of your child.  We need to know what prior testing has been completed to build the best personalized evaluation for your child.  Many assessment measures cannot be repeated too close together (meaning, if you’re child recently completed one IQ test, we shouldn’t repeat it a month later).  This is because scores may be inflated due to practice effects which makes them invalid. 


What is insurance “prior authorization”?

Many insurance plans require that clinicians obtain approval to complete psychological and neuropsychological testing before your child is seen for testing.  Many insurance companies ask that clinicians complete a form to request authorization that includes an explanation of current symptoms, history, and rationale.  This is why it is so important to get copies of prior testing, school documents, medical records, etc. to client services staff as it is needed to get approval form an insurance company.  Once we request authorization, insurance companies can take up to 2 weeks to respond, at which time you will hear from our team regarding next steps. 


Why would my child be referred to another practice?

There are many reasons your child might be referred to another practice.  Sometimes, there are specialists within our field who can address very specific and complex referral questions.  Sometimes, our clinic or providers do not have a specific accommodation or skill to provide testing (e.g., if you require testing in another language or specific instruments to support physical conditions such as deafness). 

Please note that we regularly refer out, to other providers, evaluations that are court-mandated, requested by the Department of Children and Families (DCF), or other cases that involve legal issues. These situations are best managed by a forensic psychologist, who is specifically trained to handle such evaluations. If we do refer out, we will try to share the names of possible providers within your area.


What should I expect on the day of testing?

When you come for testing, we will conduct a 60-minute diagnostic interview with you and your child.  Then your child will complete testing measures with a clinician for anywhere from 2-4 hours depending on the referral questions and needs.  Some children may need more time, and academic testing may require a second appointment. Parents are escorted to a waiting area to complete parent measures, and we ask that you remain on the premises to support your child during breaks or any moments of struggle or worry.  Please bring food and drinks for your child.


What should I tell my child?

Some children do best by knowing that they are being tested and that the information learned from testing will be used to help them with whatever they are struggling with. For other children, it helps to explain that they will be meeting with a doctor who is going to ask them a bunch of questions and have them look at pictures to help figure out what is easy and hard for them and how their brain works. You can tell your child that they might enjoy parts of testing, but it also might have some parts that are more difficult for them. Please do not tell them that they are going to be playing games.  


When can I expect feedback from testing and the testing report?

Once all data has been collected (meaning, your child has attended all testing sessions and your clinician has received all parent and teacher rating forms), reports are typically ready in 4 weeks.  You should discuss specific information with your provider on the day of testing. 


Is there anything else that I should know?

While testing provides valuable information in clarifying diagnoses and guiding treatment, there are times when testing is not appropriate. For instance, individuals who are in crisis typically need more emergency and immediate care. It is important that any client being tested is able to sit and participate throughout the evaluation. 

To ensure comfort for your child and accuracy of test results, we do not complete evaluations within 45 days of any crisis intervention or discharge from psychiatric treatment. However, we can still discuss your child’s needs and gather appropriate documents so we are ready once stability is achieved after 45 days. If your child is scheduled for testing but experiences crisis, we kindly ask that you inform us so that we may adjust your appointment accordingly.  There are many instances when referral to a community-based therapist is an important first step.   

In addition to providing diagnosis and treatment recommendations for home, many parents use our reports to inform their child’s educational programming. To this end, we ensure that our reports also offer relevant suggestions for schooling. However, please note that our ‘medical’ diagnoses do not automatically result in eligibility for special education or 504 accommodations. Our testing can provide additional information that can be used to determine your child’s need for school services, but this decision is ultimately left to the school team (of which you are a critical member). We often speak with school staff about our findings, if a proper release of information is obtained.  Please note that if your child is in the process of completing an evaluation through school, we may recommend that you wait until after this is completed.  This avoids confusion of repeated measures.  Please note our timeline of at least 4 weeks after all data is gathered before reports are ready for review.  



Additional questions?

If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by phone or email:


508.983.1425 or help@metrowestneuropsych.com


We look forward to working with you!




*Payment Options

Contact Us

Is all testing the same?

Absolutely not!  Each testing session is designed with the specific client in mind in order to gain the best understanding of the client. Testing can examine a client’s social-emotional functioning, behavioral issues, learning challenges, cognitive abilities, memory, language, sensory processing, and attention/executive functioning. 

Is all testing the same?

Absolutely not!  Each testing session is designed with the specific client in mind in order to gain the best understanding of the client. Testing can examine a client’s social-emotional functioning, behavioral issues, learning challenges, cognitive abilities, memory, language, sensory processing, and attention/executive functioning. 

Is all testing the same?

Absolutely not!  Each testing session is designed with the specific client in mind in order to gain the best understanding of the client. Testing can examine a client’s social-emotional functioning, behavioral issues, learning challenges, cognitive abilities, memory, language, sensory processing, and attention/executive functioning. 

Is all testing the same?

Absolutely not!  Each testing session is designed with the specific client in mind in order to gain the best understanding of the client. Testing can examine a client’s social-emotional functioning, behavioral issues, learning challenges, cognitive abilities, memory, language, sensory processing, and attention/executive functioning.