Still have questions? Check out our most asked questions below!
Where are you located?
I am licensed in Maryland, Virginia, and DC, and I have flexible office space availability that allows me meet with clients in a number of locations throughout the area. In the last year, I have done testing in Old Town Alexandria, Rockville, Herndon, Georgetown, and Downtown Bethesda.
At what age should a child be tested?
This is a difficult question because there are at least two competing factors. The longer you wait to do testing, the clearer the diagnosis can become. However, children benefit from early interventions, and waiting to do testing when a child is struggling can contribute to frustration and result in lost learning opportunities. There are good assessment instruments that assess processing skills that underlie academic performance for children as young as age 5, and we do not have to wait for failure before making diagnoses. I believe that the “wait to fail” model that I have seen used, particularly in school systems, has resulted in damage to students. When parents or teachers have significant concerns and see a student struggling more than expected, it makes sense to at least have an intake interview to discuss it with a diagnostician. During the intake interview, the factors can be discussed in more detail, and a decision can be made as to whether it makes sense to go forward with testing. I only charge separately for the intake interview if you decide not to go forward with the testing. Otherwise, the intake fee is included within the testing fees. Look for a blog post coming soon with more information on this topic.
What is the difference between a psychoeducational evaluation and a neuropsychological evaluation?
There is a significant overlap between the two types of evaluation in terms of the content of the evaluation, with anywhere from 75 to 90 percent of the tests administered being the same for the two types of evaluations. Either type of evaluation can provide an effective assessment of deficits with learning and attention, depending on the training and quality of the psychologist. Neuropsychologists tend to have more specified training in areas related to organic brain damage and disorders, and if there are concerns about possible such brain damage, such as after an accident or related to a seizure disorder, then a neuropsychological evaluation may be preferred. For most evaluations related to school, a psychoeducational evaluation will provide the information that is necessary to make an appropriate diagnosis and recommend effective interventions. Some psychoeducational evaluations focus on making the final report readable and bridging the gap between the evaluation and the interventions; this is something I strive to do in my practice.
Do you take insurance?
I do not participate as an in-network insurance provider in my private practice, but I provide you with a bill that can be submitted for possible reimbursement. Many clients are able to obtain reimbursement for the psychological testing, but insurance companies rarely reimburse anything that they deem as solely educational. If you have any questions about insurance, you should consult your insurance company, as everyone’s policy is different. I recommend asking three questions: is psychological testing (CPT code 96101) a covered service, is there an out of network benefit, and is preauthorization required. I do ask that full payment be completed before the final report is sent out.
What makes your practice special?
There are a number of well-respected psychologists who perform evaluations in the DC area, many of whom will do a fine evaluation. Some of the factors that I have focused on in my practice to help set myself apart include:
- Making the testing an efficient process that limits the stress on the child while maximizing the utility of the results (it is amazing how often students indicate that they have enjoyed the testing process)
- Providing parents with detailed feedback sessions that empower them to use the test results most effectively
- Making connections between the evaluation process and the interventions that will make the difference moving forward
- Proving older students with their own feedback of test results to help them understand their strengths and weaknesses, and to help them develop self-advocacy skills
- Writing reports that are both informative and highly readable, which helps ensure understanding of the results and effective implementation of interventions
- Helping parents understand test results and prioritize interventions, so that the testing process leaves them ready to intervene and advocate effectively, rather than feeling overwhelmed and confused
Do you work with adults? Is there a benefit for an adult to have an evaluation?
Yes, I frequently provide evaluations for adults. Sometimes these are evaluations for individuals who have been diagnosed previously, but often this is the first time an individual is being seen for an evaluation. There can be significant value to an evaluation at any age. It is never too late to help understand yourself better, and, it is never too late to provide academic interventions that can help improve academic performance, learn to enjoy the pleasures of reading, or improve functioning in an occupational setting.
Do you evaluate students from out of town?
I have frequently worked with families coming from out of the area for an evaluation. In these situations I would with you to make the process as convenient as possible. Please email me for further information.