What Is It?

Psychoeducational or Psychological Evaluations consists of an individualized assessment designed to determine the child/adult’s specific strengths and needs and to yield information regarding the individual’s current levels of functioning.  Depending upon the reason for referral, the following areas may be assessed:  intelligence (IQ), academic achievement, personality, social-emotional, behavior and mental status.  Referrals may come from a variety of sources, including parents, adult clients, physicians, attorneys, school personnel, and other psychologists.

How do I know if I should pursue Psychological Evaluations?

Psychological evaluations may be appropriate if you suspect difficulties at school (e.g., learning disability, intellectual deficiencies, behavior problems), work, home/community, or court-related referrals.  Evaluations can be completed for individuals of all ages (young children through adults).  Psychological Evaluations may also be necessary to determine eligibility for specific special education supports, school and test accommodations, work-related assistance, insurance reasons, and to determine giftedness.  You can clarify the need for an evaluation via discussion with your primary physician and/or staff at Behavior Therapy Associates, P.A.  Parents of school-age children have the option to pursue an evaluation through the school’s Child Study Team or may choose to have it completed privately.

What procedures or tests will be used?

The procedures will be carefully chosen based upon the reason for referral.  Psychological evaluations may consist of at least several of the following: clinical interview with parent, child, and/or adult client; social-emotional and developmental history; behavior rating scales; intelligence (IQ) testing; academic achievement testing; personality testing; play-based assessment; school observation and teacher interview (as appropriate); figures drawings; and review of records.

What feedback will I receive?

Appropriate recommendations will be developed and shared with the parent and/or adult client. A formal, typed report will be provided following the evaluation. At a sharing/feedback conference, the results will be reviewed with the parent and/or adult client. The report will remain confidential and for professional use only unless the parent and/or adult client choose to share it with others.

What is the cost of a Psychological Evaluation?

The fee for psychological evaluations depends upon the type of evaluation needed, as well as the reasons for referral which will dictate the procedures administered and clinician’s time needed to administer, score, analyze, and interpret the procedures, as well as report writing, and additional consultations. We do have predetermined fee schedules for most evaluation referrals. Since people have different insurance companies, we cannot determine whether you may receive reimbursement for the evaluation. You are encouraged, therefore, to contact your own carrier to clarify the nature of your coverage. This can be discussed further with our staff.

How do I arrange Psychological Evaluations?

Schedule an appointment with the receptionist (732-873-1212). The duration of the evaluation will vary depending upon the number and type of procedures. Most evaluations can be completed within one day or two half-days.

Preparing Children for Psycheducational & Psychological Evaluations

Assessing a child’s psychological and educational functioning begins with preparation. There are a couple of important steps parents can take at home before the day(s) of testing.

  • First, preparation involves the foundation of a regular routine, nutritional dinner and breakfast, and an adequate night’s sleep. Laying this foundation facilitates optimal performance on evaluation day.
  • When appropriate, explaining to your child the visit is critical. Depending on the age and functioning of the child, parents/caregivers are encouraged to communicate that the assessment is to help them do their best in all situations. This includes figuring out better ways to achieve academically, get along better with others, and handle difficult situations in school and home.
  • Children may have questions about when, what time, and where the testing will occur. Showing your child a picture of the evaluator, a picture of the location, and a calendar can help ease the nervousness often surrounding the unknown. Additionally, letting them know that they will have breaks during testing and lunch, and that you will be in the waiting room during the assessment, can help solidify the day’s structure in their minds.
  • You may want to bring a light jacket and dress them in comfortable clothing for the day. Furthermore, pack a healthy snack for them to have during a break. These can ensure that they are focused on the tasks of assessment rather than being preoccupied with uncomfortable clothing or a rumbling stomach.
  • Children may wonder what types of activities they will be doing. Generally, and depending on the nature of the evaluation, children can expect to be presented puzzle-like activities, vocabulary, memorization tasks, questions about social situations, possibly a task on the computer, an interview, and complete questionnaires about themselves. There may also be writing, reading, and math components. Informing them that some of the tasks they encounter may seem fun or unusual, while others may be boring or hard, is normal and part of the evaluation process to see both areas of strength and challenge. Parents can explain to their child that they are not expected to know every answer on the assessment, and to try their best is most important.
  • Children may confuse the evaluation with visits to other types of doctors. Children, who have had an unpleasant experience at a general physical examination, may express or display hesitation. If they are concerned about getting a shot, let them know that this is not that type of doctor. Encourage them to ask questions and answer them truthfully. If your child asks a question that you may not be able to answer, tell them you will call the evaluator to ask.

Before your child arrives, your evaluator may have specific suggestions based on information you provide during the intake to help with the preparation process. The evaluator can assist you in explaining to your child the reason for the evaluation and can role play questions your child may have. Through this preparation, both you and your child will have a better understanding of what to expect and make the evaluation process smoother and less unknown.