Q: What can I expect with a psychological assessment?
A: During the actual testing process, your child will meet with Dr. Heather individually to engage in various tasks, including manipulating blocks, recognizing visual patterns, and looking at pictures. The testing typically takes between 2-6 hours, depending on the amount of testing that needs to be completed and the age of your child. In general, testing for young children takes less time than testing for older children and adolescents. Most testing is completed with the examiner and the child. Parents may choose to wait in the lobby or when appropriate, may leave the office for a nearby location. Your child will be given frequent breaks to rest and relax between tests. For evaluations conducted across an entire day, breaks will be taken and a lunch break will be offered. There will be some limited snacks and drinks for you and your child, and we also recommend bringing preferred snacks. For younger children, parents are typically involved in the testing process and will be in the office with the examiner and their child for part of the evaluation.
Q: When will I receive the results?
A: Parents (and young adults being evaluated) will meet with Dr. Heather for a feedback session within the month following the test appointments(s). At the feedback session, we will provide a comprehensive summary of the testing, results, and treatment recommendations. A final report will be provided within 4 weeks of this appointment. At times, we are not able to thoroughly review all of the results and recommendations in an hour meeting. If this is the case, we will simply schedule another meeting to have more time to review recommendations or answer questions. For adolescents, an additional feedback session can be scheduled to review results. At this meeting, the focus is on providing positive feedback on the child’s performance and areas of strength rather than a discussion of weaknesses or diagnoses. This meeting is typically brief and takes around 30 minutes.
Q: How can I prepare my child for an assessment?
A: The idea of taking your child for psychological testing can be intimidating or even scary. Here are some tips to help prepare your child.
Stick with the routine.
Try to keep your regular schedule before the testing day. Make sure they eat a good breakfast and are well-rested. Have them take medications as prescribed unless an alternative plan was agreed upon with Dr. Heather.
Avoid the word “test.”
When speaking with your child, do your best to avoid using the word “test” as this is intimidating to some children and may skew test results. Rather, explain to them that Dr. Heather works with children and families to help understand how they think and learn, and ultimately, to offer suggestions on how to help in areas they may be experiencing difficulties. For younger children, referring to Dr. Heather as a “teacher” rather than “doctor” may be more appropriate.
Offer some insight.
Be sure to give your child some information about what’s happening. Remind them that Dr. Heather is who they will be seeing to increase their familiarity and comfort. Tell younger children that there will be toys and games for them to play with. School-aged children need to know they will be doing activities that could involve listening, talking, looking at pictures, building things, and drawing. Adolescents often benefit from knowing more about why they should want to participate. Often relating testing to areas they have complained about helps increase buy-in. For example, “I know that you have been really frustrated with math this year, and Dr. Heather wants to try and help figure out why.” Offering this information will help prepare your child for what to expect and can set a positive tone for the day.
Take a breath.
Trust Dr. Heather in that she will be able to meet your child where they are and get the information needed. If you are nervous, your child may sense it. Take a breath and know it will be okay.
Q: I am not sure psychological testing services are necessary, but I do have questions about my child. Can Dr. Soyer help?
A: Yes! A consultation is an excellent option when you are navigating some difficult scenarios with your child, but are not sure how to help. Within the consultation appointment, Dr. Soyer will address your concerns and identify the next steps to help you and your child.
Q: Are telehealth services available?
A: Yes! The intake appointment is generally conducted via telehealth. The feedback session and parts of the testing can also be conducted via telehealth per your preference. After scheduling the appointment, you will be given the link for Dr. Soyer’s virtual waiting room. It will work on a tablet, computer, or mobile device.
Q: Do you offer therapy services?
A: Unfortunately, Magnolia Connection does not offer therapy services at this time. However, Dr. Soyer is currently scouting clinicians to provide child and family therapy services starting this fall. Please check back!
Q: Dr. Soyer is listed as a provider with my insurance company. Will I be able to file an insurance claim for services?
A: While Dr. Soyer is an approved provider for several insurance plans; we are not accepting insurance payments at this time. Please refer to our Payments page for details.
Q: Will we have any additional contact with Dr. Soyer following the testing process?
A. Dr. Soyer will sometimes schedule follow-up visits with families after the feedback session to assist families with starting some interventions with their children at home or school. For instance, we might devise a behavior plan to be used at home or school or do some brief parent training. If additional treatment is recommended, Dr. Soyer will provide referrals. A follow-up evaluation is often recommended in 2-3 years to monitor progress and re-evaluate treatment goals.
Q. What is your COVID-19 mitigation policy?
A. Dr. Soyer and employees of Magnolia Connection, PC utilize health hygiene practices (including handwashing, not touching faces, covering coughs and sneezes, using masks and/or face shields, etc.). Dr. Soyer will cancel appointments when she experiences flu-like symptoms, symptoms associated with COVID-19, or fever of over 100 F. Dr. Soyer will wear masks and/or face shields in common spaces and when sharing office space with clients.
Clients are asked to utilize health hygiene practices (including handwashing, not touching faces, covering coughs and sneezes, using masks and/or face shields, etc.) at all times in the office. It is requested that clients wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before entering the office. Clients are asked to cancel their appointments if they or anyone in their home experiences flu-like symptoms, symptoms associated with COVID-19, or a fever of over 100 F. Clients will be asked to wear masks and/or face shields in common spaces and when sharing office spaces with Dr. Soyer.
Note: There is one assessment given in which it is important for the child and Dr. Soyer to be able to see one another’s faces. Dr. Soyer will discuss this with parents and the client prior to administration to determine the best plan for safely administering this assessment.