Before the day of your appointment, our staff will be in communication with you to gather necessary information and to provide you with initial self-reports to gather information related to your history and current struggles and successes. Some paper and pen/pencil tests may also be sent to you. For these, we will provide you with a stamped return envelope. In most cases, it is essential that these pre-appointment tests be completed and returned before the date of your appointment in order to continue the testing. We also ask that you complete a Release of Information so that we may discuss your symptoms and history with your primary care physician (medical doctor). We may also ask that you have someone close to you, such as a parent, sibling, or spouse, complete a questionnaire as well.
On the day of your first appointment, you will meet with an assessment team that will consist of a licensed psychologist and an associate with specialized training in testing (e.g., school psychologist). The day will begin with an hour-long conversation with the assessment team to go over the problems you are experiencing as well as some general history that will help the team understand the “big picture.”
After this interview, you will complete a number of tests that look at social communication and behaviors, overall cognitive functioning, emotional functioning, and your overall personality. These tests vary from answering questions on a laptop, involvement in conversation and structured interviews, to activities on iPads, and some include interactions with objects. The length of time these tests take vary per person, but average around 3-4 hours. You will be allowed to take breaks as needed to help keep you comfortable and motivated. You may also bring along a snack or beverage. The testing is often scheduled on a separate day than your first appointment so that we can review your information, contact your primary care physician, and determine which tests will best meet your needs to provide us with the best information for helping you.
After the testing is complete, the assessment team will meet with you again to ask any follow-up questions and to discuss the next steps. The next step may vary; if appropriate, you may be excused for lunch and invited back for a feedback session later in the same day. Other times, the results of the tests may indicate the need for additional tests related to other potential causes of school and home difficulties (such as a learning disorder or an emotional disorder) and your assessment team might recommend further testing to be scheduled on another day. Prior to leaving at the end of your testing, you will be asked to schedule a feedback session.
At the end of testing, you can expect a one-hour feedback session that communicates the results of the tests and whether your symptoms meet the criteria for any particular disorder. The feedback session will also include recommendations for treatment. You will receive a 7-8 page assessment report that summarizes the findings and the recommendations for your use.