About Our Program
As a part of Keystone’s Department of Mental Health, outpatient assessment provides evaluations of individuals ranging in age from infancy to young adulthood. All services apply professional expertise to understanding development and function and emphasize targeted treatment recommendations to families, schools and other professionals in order to maximize each child’s potential.
Our Professional Team
All staff psychologists involved in assessment are licensed by the Florida Department of Health. Additionally, psychology associates, doctoral students in psychology and post-doctoral psychology residents work under the supervision of licensed psychologists in accordance with state regulations.
At Keystone, each assessment is individualized for the needs of a particular child. The clinician takes time reviewing background information and referral questions to determine the best test battery for each child. We strongly believe that meeting the child over several occasions will give us a better understanding of a child’s behavioral, emotional, social, academic and cognitive functioning. Assessments typically include a thorough review of a child’s developmental, medical, educational and family history; clinical interview with the caregiver(s); direct observation of the child; and, formal psychometric testing. Diagnosis of specific psychiatric disorders or developmental delays will be made when clinically appropriate.
There are a number of reasons parents and schools request an evaluation for a child. Our comprehensive evaluations will be helpful in answering questions regarding your child’s overall developmental profile and learning styles (including strengths and weaknesses), as well as emotional and behavioral functioning. Testing is done for many reasons. Common referral reasons are:
To provide diagnostic clarification regarding
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Autism spectrum disorders (autism, Asperger’s and PDD-NOS)
- Disruptive behavior problems (oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, etc.)
- Mood disorders (depression, anxiety, bipolar)
- Socials skills/functioning
- Early childhood and developmental concerns
To provide information for school related concerns and planning such as:
- Learning disabilities (i.e., reading disorder, disorder of written expression, etc.)
- Adaptive skills
- Intellectual functioning
- Language and language-related functioning
- Study skills, organization and executive functioning
- Learning, memory and visual motor deficits
- Testing anxiety
- Testing accommodations
- IEP development/support
- Motivational difficulties
- Retention decisions
- Academic strengths and weaknesses
Upon completion of the testing, extensive time is spent interpreting the results and explaining them in a manner that is understandable to the reader, to provide practical and useful recommendations. The written report will serve as a guideline for treatment to help your child succeed within a variety of settings.
As a parent, you may be unsure whether or not your child needs an evaluation. If this is the case, an initial parent interview can be scheduled to gather a complete history and assess the needs of your child. At this time, you will have the opportunity to discuss your concerns with a clinician who will work with you to determine whether an assessment is right for your child and you. Below is a breakdown of what the evaluation entails.
Step 1: Parent Interview and History – First meeting
Approximate Time: 1 hour
This first meeting is a very important step in the evaluation process. The evaluator will meet with you, the parent, to obtain information about the child’s school, medical and developmental history and to 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.
Step 2: Evaluation Sessions – Two to four meetings
Approximate Time: 4-8 hours
During the evaluation sessions, many areas will be measured depending on the referral reason, information gathered in the parent interview and the age of your child. Below are the different areas that may be measured and time frame needed:
- Intellectual testing: 1-2 hours
- Academic achievement: 1-2 hours
- Neuropsychological testing – Screener (if appropriate): 1-2 hours
- Visual motor integration: .5 hour
- Psychological and emotional testing – Screener: 1 hour
- Questionnaires and behavior rating scales: 1 hour
- Tests of adaptive behavior: .5 hour
- Assessment of autism spectrum disorders (if appropriate): 1-2 hours
- Direct observations (in clinic): 1-3 hours
- Direct observations (home and school)- **additional fees apply (IF NEEDED): 1-3 hours
Step 3: Scoring, Interpretation and Written Report
Approximate Time: 5 hours
The questionnaires and tests are scored, analyzed and interpreted. Medical, psychological and school records are also reviewed. Findings from the testing, observations and information gathered are all considered when the overall interpretations and conclusions are made. A written detailed report is completed.
Step 4: Feedback Session with Parents/Caregivers
Approximate Time: 1 hour
An appointment will be made to review the results of the testing. Feedback occurs four weeks after the testing has been completed. This time frame allows the clinician to interpret the data and write a detailed report. During the feedback meeting, the written report is presented and reviewed with the family. The child’s strengths and weaknesses are discussed, and intervention/treatment recommendations are provided to serve as a guide to help the child succeed academically, socially, emotionally and behaviorally. The parent will have the opportunity to ask questions and gain a clear understanding of the findings from the assessment.
Following the feedback session, some families request that we attend a school meeting to help explain the testing results to the child’s school and professionals who are working with the child. We will assist in developing educational plans and accessing services that your child needs. This is considered an additional service and additional fees apply.