The initial phase of an evaluation requires information gathering. Dr. Raizner meets parents for a clinical interview, during which parents are asked to share a child’s developmental history from pregnancy through current behaviors and concerns. Parents are requested to bring copies of relevant medical reports, previous evaluations (e.g., speech and language, occupational therapy), recent report cards, work samples and/or progress notes that reflect a child’s academic and behavior history. Dr. Raizner begins to formulate the testing plan based upon parents’ expressed concerns. At the end of the clinical interview, parents are typically given behavior observation forms to take home and complete. Parents are also given behavior rating scales for their child’s teacher to complete.
The second phase of the process is test administration. Testing is typically conducted by Dr. Raizner and/or a master’s level examiner trained in specialized test administration. Comprehensive batteries for school-aged children typically require a school-length day.
Parents are not usually in the testing room with the child. However, parents of very young children are sometimes requested to accompany their child. Testing sessions typically begin in the morning. A brief break is offered mid-morning. Parents are encouraged to provide snacks and a beverage for the child during this period. Children will resume testing after the mid-morning break and work until lunchtime. During the lunch break parents are encouraged to take their child out of the office for approximately 45 minutes. Testing typically resumes after lunch, depending upon the type of battery administered and age of the child.
At the end of the testing session, testing protocols are scored, interpreted, and a report is written. Parents should expect the report completion to take approximately 3-4 weeks after all parent and teacher behavior rating scales are returned to the office. Upon report completion, a feedback session is scheduled with parents to review test results, diagnostic impressions, and recommendations for supportive services. The appointment is for parents only. If an additional feedback session with the child is desired, it is to be scheduled at a separate time. The completed report is typically given to parents at the conclusion of the feedback meeting. Reports are not given to additional parties unless parents provide written consent following rules of confidentiality as specified in the patient intake packet. Reports are NOT written for children. Content is written with an adult, parent and professional audience in mind. Parents may discuss appropriate ways to verbally share relevant parts of the report with their child during the feedback session.
How to Prepare for the Testing Day:
DO tell your child that he/she will not go to school as typically planned. Instead, he/she will spend the day at the office similar to the way he/she spends the day at school. Explain that he/she will be asked to complete puzzles, look at pictures, answer questions and complete schoolwork. Inform your child that he/she will sit at a desk with Dr. Raizner or another examiner and have periodic breaks for snacks (provided by parent), stretching, relaxation, and restroom use. Parents are encouraged to assist the child in getting a good night’s sleep the night before the testing day.
DO NOT tell a young child that he/she is coming to the office to play. This sets up unrealistic expectations and ultimately disappointment on the behalf of the child. DO NOT worry your child with the “importance” of the testing or use the words “testing” and “graded”. Instead, explain to your child that he/she is meeting with a professional to do “work” and “activities”. Encourage your child to do the best job he/she can. If asked, you may also want to explain to your child that Dr. Raizner will use the information from the day to help parents and teachers improve his/her experiences at school or otherwise.
Feed your child a healthy breakfast and administer medications as prescribed by your physician, unless otherwise instructed by your physician.
What TO bring:
~ Sweater or long-sleeved sweatshirt, water, and a healthy snack.
What NOT to bring:
~ Toys, electronic devices