#703-938-5234 Ext. 4 info@lauriesmithpsych.com

FAQs

What are the benefits of having my child tested?

There are numerous benefits for having your child evaluated. The best decisions are made with the most amount of information. It is difficult for parents to effectively support their children if they do not know the reason for their learning difficulties. Early intervention is so important for preventing the gap from widening due to increased curriculum demands. If your child is struggling with an academic skill (i.e. reading, writing, spelling, math, comprehension, handwriting, etc.), your child’s progress will be limited. Moreover, the classroom instruction may not be a good match for your child’s learning style. When a child is not meeting academic expectations, their confidence, self-esteem, and motivation decreases. If your child is displaying difficulties at school, proceeding with a comprehensive evaluation provides you with the pertinent information you need for making the best possible decisions for your child.

Do you test for dyslexia? If so, at what age can a child be tested?

Yes, early intervention is critical for children who are dyslexic. Warning signals young children may display include difficulties learning the letters and sounds of the alphabet, speech delays, weak phonological awareness skills, and confusion with directionality (left/right). The earlier the child is diagnosed, the better the outcomes will be for them. Children as young as five years old can be tested for dyslexia through a variety of assessments that measure intellectual functioning, visual and auditory processing, memory, phonological processing, visual motor skills, and academic skills.

If testing determines that a child is dyslexic, it is critical that specialized, intensive, multisensory, research-based instruction be provided immediately. Research conducted by NIH indicates that at least one out of every five children in the United States is dyslexic. Children who are undiagnosed and do not receive the appropriate reading instruction are at an increased risk for underachievement and school drop-out. Further information about dyslexia can be obtained by visiting the International Dyslexia Association website.

Can I have my child evaluated by the school system?

Yes, testing can be completed through the public school system at no cost to the parents. However, before the school agrees to proceed with an evaluation, a student must display significant difficulties as displayed by low report card grades. Testing completed by the public school system usually takes a couple of months and may not cover all the areas included in an outside comprehensive evaluation. Parents are encouraged to contact the principal of your child’s school prior to scheduling an appointment with me should you wish to explore the possibility of testing through your child’s public school system.

How many hours of testing does an evaluation involve?

Testing for comprehensive psychoeducational evaluations generally takes approximately 6 – 8 hours. Depending upon the age of the child, testing can be conducted over multiple sessions. Evaluations for private school admission or talented and gifted programs can generally be completed in one testing session.

A parent intake appointment is held prior to the first testing session to obtain pertinent information (i.e. developmental history, educational history, etc.) regarding your child. After completion of the testing, a parent feedback session is held where assessment results are thoroughly reviewed, and a comprehensive written report is provided.

How can I prepare my child for testing?

Explain to your child that the visits will provide a thorough understanding of how he/she learns best based on various activities and tasks they will complete during the sessions. Avoid using words like “test” or “testing” because it can put pressure on a child and may imply that they will either “pass” or “fail.” The evaluation process explores your child’s strengths and weaknesses and does not involve any components where they can “fail.”

Children are asked to complete various activities including answering questions, looking at pictures, and solving problems. Many children usually enjoy the evaluation process since they like the individualized attention, and they understand that their participation helps parents and teachers obtain specific information regarding their learning style.

Please make sure your child has a good night’s rest the evening prior to the session, and that they have eaten appropriately the day of the evaluation. If your child wears glasses or a hearing aid, be sure he/she has them for the evaluation.

Can my child bring a snack to the testing session?

Yes, please have your child bring a healthy snack and water bottle to the testing session since breaks will be provided. Also, your child should have a sweater or sweatshirt since the office temperature can be cool.

Do you have a sick policy? My child isn’t feeling well and is scheduled to meet with you today for testing.

Yes, it is very important that your child feel well the day of testing. Assessment results will likely be compromised if your child is suffering from an illness that prevents them from fully focusing on the administered assessments. If your child has a fever, virus, or cold symptoms that will impact their performance, please contact me as soon as possible by either telephone or email so we can cancel their appointment and reschedule for another day.

When do I get the test results from my child’s evaluation?

A parent feedback session is held approximately two to three weeks after the last testing session. At the interpretive meeting, the test results are thoroughly discussed, specific recommendations are reviewed, and a comprehensive written report is provided to the parents.

What is the fee for an evaluation and for counseling?

Costs vary depending on the evaluation and services needed. Please contact me for specific information regarding fees for counseling and psychoeducational evaluations.

Do you accept insurance?

I do not participate with any insurance plans so clients pay me directly at the time of service. However, because I am a Licensed Psychologist, the majority of my clients receive some level of reimbursement for my services. You are encouraged to speak with your insurance company about your coverage prior to scheduling an appointment with me. Lastly, clients are provided with an invoice that contains diagnostic and procedure codes that you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement purposes.

How may I contact you?

My office telephone number is 703-938-5234, Ext. 4. If I am not available to answer the phone when you call, please leave a detailed message on my confidential voicemail including the date and time of your call. I will return your telephone call personally and will make every effort to do so within 24 hours.

If you prefer, you may email me your contact information. However, please keep in mind that email can have delivery delays or failures. Also, I cannot guarantee the security and privacy of the information you send me via email. I answer each email personally so if you do not hear back from me, I did not receive your email.

Emergencies: In the event of a clinical emergency, please CALL 911, or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

Where is your office located?

My office is located at 380 Maple Avenue WEST in Vienna, Virginia. From Route 66, take the Nutley Street Exit toward Vienna. Follow Nutley Street for approximately 1.5 miles. Turn right onto Maple Avenue WEST (it’s at a light). Drive a short block, and the office is on the right across the street from the AMPHORA restaurant. Ample parking is available in the back of the building. Please do not park in reserved parking spots. My office is located on the third floor in Suite 303 B.