Who Conducts the Evaluation?
Evaluating a child’s overall developmental and behavioral functioning may take multiple sessions to ensure the appropriate and accurate diagnosis is given. Diagnoses will only be given when clinically appropriate. Mitchell’s Place currently offers two types of evaluations:
Types of Evaluations:
- Comprehensive evaluation (entails the psychological evaluation PLUS speech and occupational therapy evaluations)
- Psychological evaluation
Evaluations are typically sought to assess and address the following concerns:
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Disruptive Behavior Disorders (e.g., oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder)
Specific Learning Disorders (including Dyslexia)
Giftedness testing (for school services)
- Initial Contact/Preliminary Paperwork – When you contact Mitchell’s Place about an evaluation, you will likely be placed on the waitlist until an appointment is available. Once you are contacted for an appointment, you will receive preliminary paperwork to complete prior to the first appointment. This paperwork will include questions about your child’s developmental history, current concerns, and reason for the evaluation. If you are unsure of whether you would prefer a comprehensive or psychological evaluation, the clinician will review this paperwork and make a recommendation.
- Step 1: Diagnostic Interview – Approximate Time: 1-1.5 hours
This first meeting is a very important step in the evaluation process. The evaluator will meet with the child’s primary caregivers to obtain information about the child’s school, medical, and developmental history, and learn about any social, emotional, or behavioral concerns. This will provide a better understanding of the nature of the concerns and assist the evaluator in deciding which tests should be administered.
Evaluation Process Continued:
- Step 2: Testing Session(s) – Approximate Time: 2-4 hour – During the evaluation sessions, your child may be scheduled for several successive appointments over several days or weeks. Specific testing will be determined based on information gathered during the diagnostic interview, the referral reason, and the child’s age and developmental level. This will also likely include the rating scales and questionnaires that need to be completed by caregivers and teachers and returned to the clinician.
- Step 3: Scoring and Report Preparation – Approximate Time: 2 to 4 hours – After testing is completed, the clinician will score the assessments, interpret the results, and write the report. This typically also involves reviewing and summarizing relevant school, medical, and psychological records. Findings from testing, observations, and information gathered are synthesized to form the case conceptualization and diagnostic impressions. Once this is complete, the clinician will collect practical, evidence-based recommendations for resources and services that will be helpful to the family.
- Step 4: Feedback Session – Approximate Time: 1 hour – Once the process is completed, your evaluation team will meet with you to review the results of the assessment. Your child may or may not receive a diagnosis—the purpose of this session is to discuss your child’s overall functioning, provide intervention and treatment recommendations, and offer the opportunity for the family to ask questions. Regardless of the evaluation’s results, the clinician will help you understand these results and what steps to take to help your child.