What is a psychological evaluation?
The purpose of a psychological evaluation is to address the specific area(s) of concern. Therefore, there is not a standard battery of tests used for every evaluation given. Instead, the evaluation will be tailored to address the specific concerns. Based on the area of concern(s), a variety of assessment instruments may be used to measure your child’s general intelligence; cognitive processing skills; individual academic achievement; emotional and/or behavior functioning; and/or self-concept measures. Additional information might be gathered including, but may not be limited to, developmental history, adaptive functioning rating scales, interviews and/or specific behavioral observations. Generally, assessment sessions can take 1-3 sessions depending on how much testing is needed and the age of the child. Each session can typically last from 3 - 3.5 hours.
What does the evaluation process entail?
After the intake appointment, the next appointment involves testing. There can be 1-3 testing appointments depending on how much testing is required and the age of the child. Each testing session can last for approximately 3-3.5 hours. The sessions are typically conducted in the mornings. Parents and teachers may be asked to complete rating scales to provide insightful about the child's behaviors.
The final appointment is scheduled once the psychologist has completed testing, interviews, observations and received outstanding rating scales. Dr. Wells will score and interpret all information and write a written report. A feedback appointment is scheduled with the parents and sometimes the student, when appropriate, to review the results of the evaluation. This is typically completed approximately 2 weeks after testing. This feedback appointment usually takes about 1.5 hours (and sometimes longer) to provide a detailed understanding of the results, review the recommendations and answer any questions. At this meeting, you will receive a copy of comprehensive written report.
What should I expect to happen during the parent intake appointment?
The evaluation process starts with an intake appointment, which is held with parents (or care providers) and/or with the individual being evaluated, if the student is 18 years or older. Sessions are approximately one hour (sometimes longer) in length where a detailed clinical interview is conducted to gain a thorough understanding of the child's current strengths and area(s) of concern. During this time, we will also discuss what the evaluation will entail, review policies and procedures, and answer your questions or address any concerns that you may have.
In advance of your appointment, please email (
firstname.lastname@example.org) or mail a copy of your child's most recent evaluations (through the school or other agencies/doctors), IEP, 504, and/or grades prior to your appointment. You can also bring copies along with you to your initial intake appointment.
Now that the evaluation process has been completed. How can I use this information?
Depending upon your child's circumstances, the psychological evaluation report can be useful in many ways. Generally, it is recommended that the results are shared with your child's school to request for educational support and additional accommodations that are offered through special education services (e.g., IEP), 504 accommodation plans or by serving as a guide to establish a learning plan (e.g., Response to Intervention, private school settings, tutoring, etc.).
Others have shared the results with medical and/or mental health professionals to support treatment planning and/or medication decision making and management. The psychological evaluation report can also be used to help obtain accommodations for: college entrance exams (e.g., SAT or ACT), school-based standardized testing, and establishing college support through the Office of Students with Disability Services.
How soon will I receive a written report after the evaluation?
The entire process from the initial intake appointment to receiving results and a written report typically takes around 4-6 weeks. In some cases, teachers or parents take longer than expected to complete rating scales or issues arise in scheduling the feedback appointment. In these cases, it may take longer for the evaluation to be completed. Expect around 2 weeks after all testing and rating scales are completed to receive a report at the feedback appointment.
How should I prepare my child for the evaluation appointment?
If you have a younger child, let them know that they will be working with a teacher (or psychologist, if they understand) and completing many activities. For older children, you can explain that they are working with a psychologist that helps children with school, friends, and feelings. She will be figuring out how they learn best, getting a better understanding of their friendships, help them understand their fears/worries, etc. (tailor this to your child's unique experiences).
On the day of testing, try to make sure your child has had a good night's rest, has had breakfast, and has glasses and/or hearing aids (if needed), etc. If you child typically takes medication, make sure that they take their medication as prescribed prior to the appointment. Many parents want us to see their child's true behaviors; however, not taking medication that they typically take could negatively impact other areas and result in an underestimate of their true abilities on intellectual or academic tests. If you have questions about this, we can discuss further.
How long does the testing appointments take?
The testing appointments typically takes between 3-3.5 hours, depending on the amount of testing that needs to be completed and the age of your child. All testing is completed with Dr. Wells and your child. Parents will have access to a business lounge and internet if needed. In the office space, there is a small eating area where you are welcome to get warm drinks (e.g., coffee, tea, hot chocolate) and there are vending machines. There is also a cafe located in both buildings to make food purchases.
If the testing is comprehensive, we will schedule testing over two days. We typically schedule 3-3.5 hours maximum for the first day of testing, and the rest of the testing is completed on a separate day. Many children struggle to attend or give maximum effort beyond this amount of time. This ensures that we are achieving the best and most accurate results. Your child will also be given frequent breaks to rest and relax between tests.
Fees and Insurance
Do you accept insurance?
Yes, Dr. Wells is an in-network with Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna and Magellan. The status of insurance participation may change periodically, please call contact Dr. Wells for the most current information.
It is recommended that you contact your insurance company directly or plan administrator to inquire about your coverage including copays, co-insurance, deductibles, pre-authorizations or limits, or exclusions which may apply to mental health or behavioral health services.
Please note that most insurance companies will not cover testing for educational testing that explores a specific learning disorder such as dyslexia. Insurance also does not cover the cost of school observations, phone interviews, or attendance at IEP meetings. If you do choose to use your insurance, please keep in mind that Dr. Wells must provide insurance with a diagnosis for your child.
When calling your insurance provider regarding your benefits and coverage, you may want to ask the following questions:
If you are going out-of-network, Dr. Wells will provide you with an invoice to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.
Do I have mental or behavioral health insurance benefits? Are those benefits with the main insurance (e.g., BCBS) or outsourced to another insurance provider?
What is my deductible and has it been met?
- Does my insurance exclude specific types of testing (such as educational testing) or diagnoses?
What forms of payment do you accept?
You may pay by a major credit or debit card, check or direct bill pay made payable to Wells Psychological and Education Services or Dr. Brandi Wells. In many cases, a HSA (Health Savings Accounts) and FSA (flexible spending accounts) cards may be used for payment.
How much are your services?
Fees for services vary according to the type of service you are requesting. Service fees and payment options will be discussed and agreed upon prior to any service. Please contact Dr. Wells for a rough estimate of the cost.
What if you are out of my insurance's network?
If I am an Out-of-Network Provider, then that means I do not “accept your insurance.” In these cases, the services provided may be covered in full or in part by your health insurance or employee benefit plan as an Out-of-Network provider. We will provide you with a superbill which is a statement that you may use to file claims with your insurance.
I will provide you with an invoice (superbill), which is a statement that you can submit to your insurance carrier to file a claim in efforts for a reimbursement. In some cases and if allowed by your plan administrator, you may be able to use funds from a Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), or Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs) to pay for services. It is recommended that you contact your insurance company or plan administrator to inquire about your coverage.
Do you offer payment arrangement?
For psychological evaluations, the fee can be broken into multiple payments. Generally, half of the cost of the evaluation is due at the time of the parent intake appointment and the remaining cost at the time of the feedback session.
What is your cancellation or missed appointment policy?
When we schedule an appointment, we have both reserved that time for the session. In the event that you are unable to keep an appointment, you must notify me at least 24 hours in advance of the scheduled appointment time. If such advance notice is not received, you will be assessed a missed appointment / late cancellation fee of $150 for consultation or intake appointments. Since testing appointments are typically booked in multi-hour sessions, the missed appointment/late cancellation for an assessment/testing appointment is $300.
What happens if there is a parenting plan or custody arrangement in place?
If the child’s parents are separated, divorced, or legal guardianship exists, a complete copy of the Custody Order/Parenting Plan as it relates to the child including the custody arrangement and healthcare responsibilities of each party must be provided. In some cases, it may be required for both parents to consent to the child receiving psychological services.
Independent Educational Evaluation
How much does an IEE cost?
If you have requested an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) through your school district, you must inform the school district that you have selected Dr. Brandi Wells as the evaluator. The district will then contact me to obtain information and send a purchase order for the evaluation.
What is an IEE?
Has your child been evaluated through your current school district? Was your child found not eligible for special education services, and you disagreed with those results? Or is your child on an IEP, but he or she is not making the progress you would expect, receiving failing grades, or receiving continued behavioral referrals or suspensions? If you find yourself answering yes to the questions above, you may be eligible for an IEE that is paid for by your child’s school district.
An IEE is a private evaluation that provides a parent or guardian the opportunity to obtain their own evaluation of their child when they disagree with the school district’s results/recommended educational program. This is a right of all parents or guardians whose child has been tested through the schools and provided in IDEA (special education law).
How do I request an IEE?
If you would like to request an IEE, write a letter to your special education director indicating that you disagree with your child’s testing results and are requesting an IEE at public expense. If the school district denies a parent an IEE, then the district must initiate due process with the parent to defend why the school’s evaluation was appropriate.
Who can complete the IEE?
If the IEE is approved by the school district, the school district will provide you with a list of qualified professionals in the area who complete IEEs. You do not have to choose someone from this list, you may choose any qualified professional. Due to my specialty training in school psychology, my credentialing in school psychology and my license to practice psychology independently, I am a qualified professional who can complete an IEE.
What testing is included in an IEE?
At WPES, IEEs can include some or all of the following components depending on your concerns and the school's concerns:
A diagnostic interview with the parent or caregiver that includes developmental history and current concerns
Testing of intelligence, academics, executive functioning, phonological processing, social perception, and/or language
- Social, emotional, and behavioral questionnaires completed by parents and caregivers, teachers and/or other service providers
Interviews with teachers and other service providers
A comprehensive written report with results; summary; diagnostic impression; recommendations for eligibility for school services (IEP or 504 eligibility); recommendations to aid the IEP team in developing a plan
Attendance at an IEP meeting to review the results and recommendations