Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
There are three stages to the evaluation:
- The first step is a parent-only (or guardian-only) interview with the psychologist. A licensed psychologist will meet with you either via telehealth or in our office to go over your child’s history and your current concerns. This meeting lasts about 90 minutes. Most parents prefer to meet virtually due to the convenience. However, for a virtual appointment, you will need to be sure that you are in a private room where no one other than the child’s parents or guardians can hear. If your child is with you for the meeting, that’s no problem! However, they do not need to participate during this stage of the evaluation.
- The second step is an in-person testing session at our office in Rockville, Maryland. A parent or guardian needs to be present along with the child for this session. The session can last between 2 and 5 hours, and sometimes a second session is needed if your child becomes too tired or if a lot of tests are necessary to find the accurate diagnosis.
- The final step is a feedback session between you (the parent or guardian) and the psychologist. The psychologist will help you to decide whether your child needs to be present for this session, which usually depends on the child’s age. The feedback session is held via telehealth or in-person in the office, based on your preference. During this appointment, the psychologist will review the results of the testing, any diagnosis that is made, and the recommendations for your child. They also provide recommendations for home, school, and community services. You also have lots of time to ask questions during this appointment. You will also receive a physical copy of your child’s evaluation report.
It is very important to us that the evaluation process is as efficient as possible. We know that many families have waited a long time for their child’s evaluation. The time from the first session until the final feedback session is usually approximately one month. During that time, you may have 3 or 4 appointments with our team of clinicians. For instance, your intake session takes place in Week 1, two testing sessions take place in Week 2 and Week 3, and the feedback session is held in Week 4.
Please bring along:
- Any previous evaluations your child has received (including IFSP, IEP, FBA, and previous psychological, speech, or OT evaluations). We will make copies in our office so that you can keep your original copy.
- A snack and drink for your child, especially if they have any dietary restrictions or allergies.
Masks are not required in our office at this time. Feel free to wear a mask if you would be more comfortable doing so. During the evaluation, your child will take off the mask to complete the testing, which allows us to connect fully with your child and get the most accurate information.
Depending on your child’s age and the goals of the evaluation, some tests require you to be in the room with your child and others require your child to be alone with the psychologist. This is to make sure that your child is comfortable, at their best, and free from distractions. When you arrive for testing, the psychologist will help you understand how the evaluation will be administered.
During the time that your child is in the office, you will have some tasks to complete but will also likely have some down time! The psychologist will give you several rating forms to fill out that ask questions about your child’s behavior, emotions, and social skills. We have forms in both English and Spanish, and if it is difficult for you to read the questions, our psychologist will work with you to complete the forms. We welcome you to bring along a book or headphones in case you have some free time during the evaluation. While your child is in our office, you will need to stay on-site but we will make sure you are as comfortable as possible!
Our psychologists offer comprehensive evaluations, which means that we evaluate your child’s cognitive, social-emotional, behavioral, and adaptive functioning. Many of the children we see have difficulties with social skills, paying attention, learning, and behavior. Our specialty at Behavioral Framework is working with children with neurodevelopmental disabilities such as Autism and ADHD, but the psychologist will tailor your child’s assessment based on the information you give about your child’s specific strengths and needs.
We often work with families that speak languages other than English. For children who are nonverbal or do not speak English, the psychologist will use a different set of tests to evaluate the child’s strengths and needs. We can also use an interpreter to facilitate our communication with families if needed.
Our clinical staff is very comfortable working with children of all abilities and with all sorts of needs! We are often able to manage children’s needs with very simple strategies, such as providing breaks and access to fun activities. We also include parents as needed and have the environment set up to be as relaxed and comfortable as possible. If you are worried about your child’s behavior in the office, please bring up your concerns to the psychologist in your first appointment (the parent interview). We are very experienced with children and will help to find solutions to your concerns!
This is a great question, and the answer varies depending on your child. The psychologist can help you decide how to explain this process in an age-appropriate way during your first appointment (the parent interview). In many cases, children are not as anxious about the assessment as their parents! Our clinicians ensure that everyone is comfortable during testing sessions, which includes introduces themselves to our clients in a developmentally-appropriate way.
Even if your child does not meet the criteria for a diagnosis, our psychologist will provide a detailed report of your child’s strengths and needs. Recommendations will be provided to suggest ways to support your child at home, at school, and in the community.
The process for getting services in the community is separate from the process at school. However, the psychologist will sometimes ask to speak to your child’s teacher to understand how they are doing in the school setting. Unfortunately, having a diagnosis or IEP at school does not automatically translate to getting services outside of school. Your child will still benefit from a psychological evaluation to make sure that anything that is needed medically (such as ABA therapy) can be provided outside of school. Please let the psychologist know in your first session if your child has had an evaluation at school. We will be able to use that information as we work with your family.