Frequently Asked Questions
What are some of the reasons that clients are referred for a neuropsychological evaluation?
Clients, or their parents, typically seek a neuropsychological assessment when they are in need of a better understanding of what factors may be driving behavioral, emotional, or learning concerns. Often times, clients are referred to us by their other providers (e.g., pediatricians, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, tutors, etc.) in order to clarify a client’s precise profile of strengths and weaknesses, as well as to inform treatment and educational decision-making. Clients and their families might also present for a comprehensive evaluation with us to “connect the dots” between several highly focused areas of assessment, which allows for a more holistic understanding of the client and better prioritization of intervention services.
How do your evaluations differ from an assessment that might be performed at school?
School-based assessments are generally completed with the specific goal of determining whether a student’s performance falls below grade level in one (or several) areas of academic functioning. While these assessments can result in increased intervention within the school setting, they do not typically explore the underlying factors that contribute to the student’s learning or attention-based challenges. Without this more in-depth understanding, it is difficult to make appropriate, individualized recommendations for educational planning. At Illuminate Psychological Assessments, we do not believe in a “one size fits all” approach. As such, we utilize the breadth of information that we gather in our comprehensive process to inform the specific types of interventions and supports that would best target that student’s needs.
How do I explain the evaluation process to my child?
We like to tell our young clients that the goal of the evaluation process is to find out more information about how they learn best and understand how they solve problems in order to make things (e.g., school, homework, friendships, home life) easier for them. You can also explain to your child that they will be meeting with someone who will lead them through different hands-on activities, some of which will be easy and some of which will be more challenging. It’s also important to explain to your child that our office is a safe place to talk honestly about their thoughts and feelings.
What age range of clients do you work with?
We work with school-aged children (i.e., starting at age 5) through to young adults. As long as the young adult is still in school or considering returning to school, we are happy to work with them. Once the young adult has entered the workforce, we no longer consider them to be within our area of expertise.
Do you provide treatment for your clients after the evaluation is complete?
Since assessment work is our area of expertise, we do not provide ongoing therapeutic intervention to clients. However, we are happy to continue to consult with clients and their families to provide additional support and problem-solving strategies. We also frequently attend school meetings with parents after the evaluation to aid with the implementation of supports in the school setting. Finally, we work hard to provide referrals to excellent providers in your community who can assist with more direct intervention (e.g., psychotherapy, speech/language therapy, tutors/educational therapists, executive functioning coaching, medication management, etc.).
Fees & Payment
Do you accept insurance?
Due to the time intensive nature of our comprehensive evaluation process, we do not accept health insurance directly and are considered out-of-network providers.
However, you may be eligible for reimbursement through your insurance company. If this is of interest, it is recommended that you inquire about your out-of-network coverage. Specifically, find out what might be covered under the CPT code 96118 or 96119. Be sure to inquire if preauthorization and/or a physician referral is required and if any forms must be completed. Please be aware that reimbursement may ultimately be limited by diagnostic codes and that most health insurance companies do not cover testing completed for educational or academic purposes.
What is your fee policy?
There is a flat fee for the standard evaluation process (parent/caregiver intake interview, review of records, testing, scoring, data analysis, teacher/outside provider consultation, a verbal feedback session, a written report, and, if applicable, a classroom observation).
Services that fall outside of the standard evaluation process are billed at an hourly rate. Such services include school advocacy, attorney consultation, and any additional extensive consultation with Dr. Novak or Dr. Pontarelli following your receipt of the evaluation report.
We require a deposit of 25% of the total evaluation fee at the time of your initial intake appointment, with the remainder of the evaluation fee due at the time of your final feedback meeting. Evaluation reports will not be released to the client until payment is received in full.
What kind of payment do you accept?
Personal checks, debit cards, or credit cards (Mastercard, Visa, or Discover) are accepted. Please contact us directly for additional information regarding fees or insurance-related questions.
What is your cancellation policy?
We ask that families cancel or reschedule an appointment at least 24 hours in advance. You will be responsible for a late cancellation or no-show for scheduled appointments, which will be charged a fee of $150. This is necessary because a time commitment is made to you and is held exclusively for you. Of course, if your child wakes up sick the morning of his/her appointment, we will waive the cancellation fee and reschedule, to ensure that we get their best effort during each session.
Do I need to stay in the office during my child’s testing appointments?
As long as your child is comfortable without his/her caregiver in the office, you are welcome to drop them off for their testing session and return ten minutes before their scheduled end time. You are also welcome to stay in the waiting room for the duration of the appointment, where guest wifi is available.
What do I need to bring for my child’s testing appointments?
Just your child! And his/her eyeglasses, if applicable. We provide snacks and drinks for our clients during testing breaks. If they have specific food allergies or dietary preferences, feel free to bring additional snacks that they would enjoy.