Q: What is the testing process like?
We are happy to schedule a brief complimentary telephone consultation to discuss what you hope to gain from an evaluation and to share our general procedures. ( approximately 15 minutes; free) However, it is most efficient if you first register in our client portal so that we have the benefit of your intake input and other information when talking with you.
In order to establish a comprehensive understanding of your needs, evaluators will meet with you for a virtual intake meeting*. This time together is enhanced when you can send records and prior reports for review in advance. We discuss relevant history, identify current concerns, review what type of testing may be necessary, and what will be involved in the process. We talk through your hopes and concerns regarding the process and outline logistics. This information gathering allows us to select the appropriate measures and approaches to address the question(s) at hand, which culminates in creation of an individualized evaluation plan. Following this meeting, the evaluator will send you a formal assessment agreement, which outlines the purpose/nature of testing, associated cost, time involved, and related expectations of both the evaluator and the participant. (approximately 45-60 minutes as well as time to review information in advance and complete/send follow-up documents; $43o) * Intake may be bypassed for returning clients under some conditions.
A full battery of tests typically requires several hours to complete and we emphasize the client’s needs and comfort in establishing a schedule for evaluation. Testing will be split up or consolidated in personalized ways but is most often completed on 2 or 3 separate dates. We do a number of hands-on and interactive activities that show us how a person functions, and some that are more focused and independent (i.e. tests of reading comprehension, completing a survey of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors). While work is occurring in the office, parents, teachers, and significant others serve as collateral resources to provide input via various questionnaires . We often speak to other providers (i.e. therapist, tutor, psychiatrist) and aim to appreciate your experience in context. The testing process is a dynamic one, and as information is collected, an evaluator may consult with you to adjust your individualized evaluation plan to perhaps abbreviate or supplement it. Once the proper information has been obtained through clinical evaluation, interview, and consultation, evaluators score, analyze, and interpret data which is then compiled in a formal written report. We customize the report based on its intended audience and include thorough, targeted recommendations. In most cases, this report will be completed within three to four weeks of final data collection.
We schedule a follow-up feedback appointment to share the report with you, review the findings, discuss any questions and concerns, and assist you in contemplating next steps. (approximately 60-90 minutes; included in testing fees). These meetings are currently occurring virtually.
Based on your preferences, we can then help schools, physicians, and other providers integrate report results.
Q: Do you accept insurance?
Washington Psychology Associates is considered an “out of network” provider, which means you may get reimbursed a percentage of our fees by your insurance company after paying us directly. Please allow 7 business days to process the initial intake paperwork and final bill. Once paid in full, we add the requesite details and send you the documentation you need to submit to your insurance to request reimbursement (this includes both service/CPT and diagnostic coding).
Q: Do insurance companies cover testing?
The answer to this question depends on your individual plan and insurer, as well as the type of testing being done. Typically, insurance companies tend not to cover educational and admissions testing, but may cover a percentage of broader diagnostic psychological or neuropsychological testing. Often times, insurers base their coverage approval on a diagnosis, which cannot be determined until after the testing is complete.
Q: Do you offer therapy?
We don't. However, over the years we have been fortunate to get to know some fantastic therapists throughout the DMV area. We are happy to help clients connect to great service providers--whether for psychological therapy/counseling, occupational therapy, speech/language work, tutoring, executive function coaching, therapeutic body work, etc.
Q: Do you understand what is needed to quality for accommodations?
We sure do. Please see our links & resources page for information about IDEA and see how various testing companies explain their requirements for documentation (i.e. SAT, MCAT). Not every diagnostic finding results in accommodations... and not every person with the same diagnosis needs the same supports. We are well versed in these areas and happy to discuss.
Q: How long will this whole process take?
This depends a lot on the nature and scope of evaluation, alignment of schedules, cooperation of collateral sources, and individual preferences. Sometimes we meet far in advance for intake. However, once underway, it is best if the testing sessions are fairly close together (usually 1-2 weeks apart). Once all data is collected, we typically get together about 3-4 weeks later to review the report, discuss findings, and talk through potential next steps. You will leave the feedback session with report in hand and we are always happy to keep the conversation going by phone, in-person, or by helping others apply recommendations. Please note that admissions testing is quick--no more than 2 hours from arrival to departure and report within 2 weeks, often earlier.
Q: How do ADHD and Learning Disorders get assessed?
There is no one single test that can determine whether an individual has ADHD or a Learning Disorder. The process of assessing and diagnosing ADHD and LD’s is much like assembling a puzzle, in that it involves putting pieces of information together from various sources to make sense of the bigger picture. We use a comprehensive process and work with individuals and families to gather the information necessary to make a reliable and informative diagnostic assessment. Initially, we conduct an in-depth clinical interview to get a strong understanding of the nature of the question at hand. Based on our conversation (and often times information gathered from collateral sources such as family members, service providers, and teachers), we choose an individualized battery of tests that will best address the issues to be evaluated.
Q: Can you help me communicate therapeutic needs or testing results to others?
Of course. We are legally and ethically bound to maintain your confidentiality and we uphold this responsibility with the utmost care. With your written consent we can consult with others about you or your child. We recognize that you may need help interfacing with other interested parties such as a psychiatrist, a child’s educational team, or an attorney. With your permission, and in accordance with American Psychological Association (APA) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements, we are available to provide consultation services.
Q: My son/daughter/family member is in college/graduate school in DC--can you work with me remotely to help set up testing?
Yes. We do this all the time! We are adjacent to George Washington University's Foggy Bottom campus, less than 2 miles from Georgetown and Howard, and 4 miles from American and Catholic universities. We have established relationships with their offices of disability services and counseling centers and greatly enjoy the opportunity to work with students of all ages. We can work around class schedules, team practices, jobs, and the many complexities that come with campus life. We also like to include parents, spouses, and significant others in the process whenever possible.