Our process starts with a 45-50 minute initial intake session conducted with parents only. This appointment can be virtual or in-person depending on your needs. At this appointment, you can expect to meet with us to discuss the concerns that you and possibly other important people in your child's life may have regarding your child. Please fill out any requested paperwork. This will make the appointment go more smoothly and allows us to use our time effectively. We also will discuss any records we might want, and you are welcome to provide records to us if you already have them. If you aren't sure, please ask! At this appointment, we'll determine what our next steps are which could include assessments or other resources/referrals. Either way, we want to make sure your child gets whatever they need.
If an assessment is needed, the initial interview guides our plan for testing in terms of what skills need assessed and how much time will be needed. On the day of testing, your child will come into the office and work with us while engaging in a variety of activities that are designed to measure their strengths and struggles. Many kids may experience some initial anxiety, even when they are not typically anxious. We will make every effort to increase their comfort in the session and encourage them to do their best. Our goal in the assessment is to get to know them better and the way their brains work.
The final appointment is again parents only so that we can discuss results and recommendations openly. This appointment will be in-person or online and lasts about 45-50 minutes. This feedback session is a collaboration between the child's caregivers and us. Following this appointment, you will receive a copy of the assessment. This usually occurs on the same day, though not always at or immediately following the appointment; however, this will usually be the same day as the feedback appointment. In many cases, the discussion during the feedback may include some additional ideas or information that we may want to add to the report.
Ready to get started?
Complete the New Client and History forms for HRA Psychological Services and our office will contact you for scheduling.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I need an assessment?
Some people are referred by another provider who believes it may be beneficial whereas others come in self-referred. You don't have to know if you need an assessment. That's what the first appointment is about.
I don't even know what my child needs assessed for. What should I do?
Families aren't expected to know. We're here to help with that. But if you do have specific concerns, please bring them up with your clinician.
What do I tell my kid?
It depends on your kids. We often try to help them see the assessment is to help us understand them better rather than "what's wrong with them". We talk about how brains are like fingerprints and everyone has a different one. Some kids are happy with a simple explanation that this will help with whatever they have concerns about. We try to relate it to their own concerns. We recommend just reinforcing that they do their best.
Will I be in the room doing testing?
No, assessments are completed one-on-one with the clinician unless a different arrangement is determined ahead of time.
Can we bring snacks, a drink, fidgets, and comfort items?
Yes. Bring what makes your child feel comfortable, but not distracted. No electronics unless they're turned off.
Do I need to wait in the waiting room?
It depends. Sometimes, the adult bringing the child will need to stay in the waiting room and other times, a parent may be able to wait in their car or run a quick errand.
What if they have a great day that day?
Testing is a snapshot of a child's behavior. This is why we love information from parents, school, therapist, etc. On the same note, testing is about skills. We actually like to see kids at their best because it tells us if they have the skills.
What if they are having a bad day?
Please don't bring your child in if they're sick, in notable pain, or in intense emotional distress. If this is the case, we will not be able to complete their assessment and you will need to reschedule. We also would prefer that they maintain their typical routine so please don't schedule a sleepover the night before the assessment, but feel free to plan a fun activity for after!
We're done with the process. Now what?
There will be a number of recommendations in your report. Your clinician will have highlighted the most important within the feedback, but read through the recommendations as they will include referrals, resources, and ideas for skill development and reinforcement. Assessment is a great tool to understand more and provide direction for next steps, but the next steps promote growth.