Frequently Asked Questions about Learning
Evaluations with Dr. Hungelmann
Q: When should I consider having my child or teen seen for a learning evaluation?
A: There are many times in which a comprehensive learning assessment can be helpful. Please refer to my website’s homepage at www.arboretumpsych.com and click on “When is Learning Assessment Helpful?” for more information.
Q: What does a comprehensive learning assessment entail?
A: A learning assessment includes a 1-hour parent intake appointment to gather a thorough history and clarify goals for the evaluation. I also have you bring in copies of all records including report cards, prior assessments, and school-wide standardized test results. This information allows me to customize your child’s learning evaluation and provide meaningful recommendations. I will also provide you with parent and teacher forms so that I may gather information about your child across different settings. With your written consent, I can also talk with teachers, tutors, therapists, or other providers who know your child.
A learning assessment may also involve a school observation. This is an optional part of the evaluation but can help me make even more meaningful and practical recommendations. When I conduct a school observation, I like to do so before I work with your child (but after the parent intake). This allows for a more natural observation since your child will not yet know me. School observations tend to be especially useful when you have concerns about your child’s attention, social, or behavioral issues. I rarely observe students in middle or high school because adolescents tend to be more sensitive to the presence of an observer.
For the testing, I typically work with your child for two separate 2.5 hour sessions. On occasion, I will need your child to return for a third, briefer assessment appointment. During these appointments, I work hard to develop rapport and ensure that your child is comfortable and at ease. I integrate high levels of warmth, humor, and do all to make the experience positive for your child. I am accustomed to working with a broad range of children, including children who can be slower to warm up, resistant, impulsive, or those who mentally fatigue easily.
Once I finish working with your child I take two to three weeks to score and review test data, interpret the evaluation results, and formulate recommendations. We then meet for one hour to review the findings. A formal and detailed evaluation report will be later sent to you. This detailed document is customized for your child and is a document that you can share with others in your child’s life including teachers, tutors, therapists, and physicians. I strive to write each report with an approximate three-year trajectory in mind, meaning that in most cases you should be able to use and draw from this report for approximately three years before considering whether or not a re-evaluation is warranted. Of course, there may be times in which a re-evaluation is considered sooner in order to identify progress, changes, and additional areas in need of intervention.
I am also happy to meet with your child or teen for a 30-minute “download” of their evaluation results and recommendations at a level that is consistent with their development and understanding. For younger children, I typically have parents in the room when we meet. For older children and teens, I meet individually to provide a summary and allow them to ask questions. I then have a parent attend for the last few minutes so that we can do one more overview of the information. These child or teen feedback meetings are an optional part of the evaluation process.
Finally, in some cases parents and/or schools would like me to come and attend a school meeting to discuss the evaluation findings and recommendations in order to determine how to best implement interventions in school. I am happy to do this at parental request and this is charged at my hourly clinical assessment rate. In most cases, however, your child’s learning evaluation report is so detailed and specific that schools decide that they have enough information to go forward without my attendance at a meeting.
Q: My goal for an evaluation is to help determine if my teen is eligible for test accommodations on the SAT and/or ACT. Do you do this kind of testing?
A: Yes, I have many years of experience in conducting these kinds of evaluations and am familiar with the various tests that the SAT and ACT require for documentation. I am also familiar with the kind of documentation required in order to meet requirements to apply for accommodations. Examples of college entrance exam accommodations are extended time, a smaller test environment, and the use of a spellcheck and a laptop for the essay portion of the exam. It is important to know that going through a private evaluation process in order to gain documentation for SAT and ACT accommodations does not ensure that your teen will have a learning profile that warrants accommodations. Furthermore, even if it is my professional opinion that your teen should receive test accommodations and I provide a very strong case for this, it is ultimately up to the accommodations committees of the SAT and ACT to determine if these accommodations will be granted.
Q: What is the cost for a comprehensive learning evaluation? And, will my insurance pay for any of it?
A: The fee for a comprehensive learning evaluation is charged at an hourly rate of $300 which typically results in a total fee of $3000 to $4000. An initial payment of $2000 is due at the time of the parent intake meeting. The remaining balance is due at the final feedback meeting. At the time of the final meeting, I can provide you with an insurance receipt that documents any diagnostic codes, services provided, and fees paid so that you can submit the claim for reimbursement processing with your insurance.
I always encourage families to inquire with their insurance ahead of time about their out-of-network benefits so that they know what to expect upon submitting a claim for reimbursement. Whether or not your insurance reimburses is up to you to find out and it is also up to you to submit the claim. I do not contract with insurance nor do I make any single case insurance agreements. In cases in which an evaluation is conducted in order to help identify a learning, attention, processing, or other cognitive or developmental issue I am typically able to provide you with an insurance claim form. Also, please note that in cases of assessments solely for the purpose of documentation of cognitive and/or academic skill level in order to facilitate educational planning, to meet a school entrance requirement, or to appeal advanced learning testing, insurance does not provide coverage and thus there is not an insurance claim form provided.
If you have additional questions, please contact Dr. Hungelmann at email@example.com or 206.729.2829 ext. 7.