How does an assessment help my child?
A number of benefits are available from obtaining a psychological evaluation for your child. An assessment helps clarify current functioning and rule out the possibility of mental health disorders. If a diagnosis is made, this can help open doors for treatment opportunities, resources, and supports for the family and child. Often times, a diagnosis is needed from a qualified professional, like a child psychologist, for schools to provide services or for insurance companies to pay for services.
Do I know if my child needs an evaluation?
Typically, many teachers or physicians will refer a child for testing based on concerns that they have. Parents are often also concerned about their child's development due to observing behaviors, or the lack of behaviors, that are atypical for a child's age (i.e., not talking by age 2 or being much more hyper than an older sibling was at the same age). Therefore, pediatricians, teachers, or parents can make referrals based on their concerns.
What does the assessment look like?
The assessment will consist of 3 meetings with Dr. Chandler. The first meeting is with the parents only. In this meeting, a full psycho-social history and current concerns will be discussed. The parents might be sent home with some questionnaires for the child's teacher (if applicable) and parent to fill out. The second meeting will be with the parent and child. In this meeting, all psychosocial measures will be completed and completed questionnaires will be collected. This appointment can last 1 to 6 hours depending on the age and needs of the child. For children who need a full day of testing, or 6 hours, breaks will be taken periodically for snacks and rest and a 1 hour lunch break will be given usually between 12 -1 pm. Testing usually is completed by 3:00 or 3:30. The third and last meeting will consist of meeting with the parents to discuss results of the testing and all recommendations. The parents will be given 3 copies of the psychological evaluation at the last meeting.
Do you accept insurance?
At this time, Dr. Chandler's services are considered self-pay and she does not accept insurance. However, many insurance companies will allow you to be reimbursed for charges (out of network) or allow you to apply charges toward your deductible. Dr. Chandler will be happy to provide you with documentation that you can submit to your insurance to help with this process.
Do you provide counseling or therapy services?
Dr. Chandler specializes in psychological assessments. She does not provide any type of ongoing counseling or therapy services. However, if counseling or therapy is indicated by the results of the evaluation, Dr. Chandler will provide you with appropriate referrals. One can also contact their insurance company for a list of therapists.
How should my child prepare for the evaluation day?
To prepare your child for the day of testing, it is helpful to tell them they will meet with someone "who helps figure out how children learn" or "to help you in school". Telling your child they will be "playing", will only be meeting with someone for a short time (i.e., "a few minutes") or will be taking "tests to see how smart they are" is discouraged. Encouraging your child to just do their best is helpful. The night before testing, parents should attempt to have their child get a good nights sleep. Eating a good breakfast is also recommended.