Most evaluations are now in person, with COVID precautions. Telehealth is still an option for those who request it.
The evaluation process begins with an intake appointment. In the case of an adult, you will be asked to come in to meet Dr. Eckart or her associate and to discuss your life history and your present concerns. In the case of a child, one or both parents will meet with the clinician without the child present. Please note that most intakes are now through telehealth, to reduce the number of people who come into the office.
An intake appointment can be scheduled over the phone 781-646-6306 or by email: email@example.com.
The diagnostic evaluation includes psychological or neuropsychological testing which is completed in one or two sessions.
After the evaluation session or sessions are completed, a report will be generated that includes test scores and interpretation, diagnostic information, and recommendations. It usually takes from one to two weeks after the last evaluation session to receive a written report. The evaluation process also includes a feedback meeting to review the report.
When children are preschool age or younger, the evaluation session lasts from one to three hours. With very young children, parents will remain in the room with the child and evaluator, and will contribute to the evaluation by providing information about the child’s skills and behavior at home.
Slightly older children who attend preschool are usually able to participate in an evaluation on their own, and they may be less distracted when the parent waits in the waiting room. Parents may be asked to complete a developmental history, or a behavior checklist, as they wait.
During the evaluation session, the child will be asked to complete many different types of activities. Most children this age are curious about the test materials, which are like puzzles, games, and toys, and they enjoy the adult attention.
The testing may evaluate skills such as verbal comprehension and expression, verbal and nonverbal problem-solving, and spatial and fine-motor skills.
There is also an opportunity for ‘free play’ with toys, which allows the evaluator to more informally assess the child’s social, language, and play skills.
Evaluation sessions with older children can last from two to four hours. Breaks are provided as needed, and the child may want to bring a snack and drink. Parents will be asked to complete behavior checklists and other questionnaires as they wait. When there are questions about academic achievement or learning disabilities, it may be helpful for the evaluator to speak with a teacher, or observe in a classroom, as part of the evaluation.
The types of tests used with children in this age range will vary according to the referral questions. They will often be asked to complete measures of verbal and nonverbal reasoning and problem-solving, spatial skills, memory, attention and concentration, verbal fluency, fine-motor skills, and processing speed.
If there are specific questions about academic skills, they may be evaluated in areas such as reading decoding and comprehension, or math reasoning and computation.
When there are questions about emotional functioning, the child may be asked to participate in activities that help them to express their feelings and ideas, such as drawing, storytelling, and in the case of younger children, free play.
Evaluation sessions with adults can last up to four hours. The types of tests used will depend on the referral questions. There may be activities designed to provide information about the person’s learning style and their cognitive strengths, as well as to identify areas of difficulty.
The person may be asked to complete tasks that require verbal and nonverbal problem-solving, verbal expression and fluency, different aspects of memory, attention and concentration, and executive functions such as planning and organization.
When there are questions about possible learning disabilities, some academic achievement testing may be included.