The following are typical questions people ask regarding evaluations. If you have other questions, please feel free to contact us.
Even though issues may appear to be clear to you, kids are complicated! You are the expert when it comes to many aspects of your child. However, when it comes to academics, there are many interrelated factors that often require specialized training and experience to untangle. Our testing is specifically designed so that we can address each individual factor, and considering how they affect each other, put a curriculum together (if needed) that will provide the most overall improvement in the most efficient time period.
The purpose of testing is not just to determine the existence of a problem, but to pinpoint exactly what aspects of the problem need immediate improvement, so an efficient plan of action can be designed specifically for the unique pattern of strengths and weaknesses seen. Total Learning Centers prides itself on offering a total view of learning based on a combination of academic and emotional centers of learning. The evaluation is designed to describe strengths and weaknesses, and to identify specific educational and emotional needs. Another important purpose of testing is to accurately track improvement over time then most effectively modify plans and make needed mid-course corrections.
If the testing is recent, then the best plan of action would be to come in with the paperwork and results. Schedule a consultation with one of our experienced experts to review them and see if we can build a specialized program for your child with just that information. Some basic additional testing may still be needed to further clarify strengths and weaknesses.
Readiness for reading and math as well as intelligence testing can be completed at age three. Generally, testing should be completed when parents see that their child is behind or beyond peers. At that time individual strengths and weaknesses are evaluated to help strengthen weaknesses and support strength areas.
Testing should be completed when information about improvement or concern about lack of progress is requested. Students at Total Learning Centers have updated testing at the end of a program or yearly. Students who choose the Academic and Executive Functioning Evaluation (for a limited time) are offered FREE annual testing until the end of 11th grade.
One-on-one, in-depth, nationally recognized and standardized evaluation instruments are used. Included in each initial evaluation is a clinical interview to screen anxiety and other social-emotional issues.
TLC’s Certified School Psychologists are able to offer you additional evaluation options. Full intelligence (IQ) testing is available, as well as state-of-the-art computer technology to measure attention compared to others the same age, with and without Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Also, screening for anxiety and depression is available. As with academic testing, each of these evaluations is accompanied by a meeting to review results and discuss recommendations.
We encourage it! Copies of standardized test scores, report cards, previous evaluations, and the teacher’s written comments are very helpful in obtaining a complete picture of current performance and potential.
Usually insurance will not cover educational testing or interventions but many of our families have received reimbursement. We are not able to take insurance for our evaluation services but will give you paperwork that you can submit. In addition, there are several other possible options including tax deductions (both for evaluations and services) and using Flexible Spending Accounts. Of course, always check with your tax professional for accurate current information about your own policy and options.
Day of Testing
Please bring your child in about ten minutes ahead of schedule. This has several benefits including making certain payment, permissions, and all needed paperwork is filled out. It also helps your child begin to get used to the environment. Your child may bring a small healthy snack. Make certain your child has a good night’s sleep and a healthy non-sugar breakfast before testing. Leave your cell phone number with the Welcome Center in case your child finishes early. You are welcome to wait in the Welcome Center or leave the center during testing. If someone other than a parent is picking up the child, we must have written permission. Only students over 14 with written permission are permitted to walk to a store in the center to meet their ride.
Plan on 3 hours for the Academic and Executive Functioning Evaluation. If you are having a full evaluation for diagnostic or school purposes, plan on 6 hours for the Full Intellectual, Academic and Executive Functioning Evaluation.
Our experienced testers have been helping make children feel very comfortable since opening in 1999. If your child needs a break or would like a snack, that is always allowed and even welcomed. We haven’t had too many children that haven’t been able to complete the testing in the time period allotted but if it happens, we can always reschedule the remaining testing for another time.
The Feedback Conference is scheduled as soon after the testing as possible, preferably in just one week.
Our evaluation results are purposely not finalized by our testers until the day of the meeting in order to have the most up-to-date information and recommendations available during the conference. An important part of the process is the parent input at the Feedback Conference where final recommendations are decided.
A TLC Success Team member will personally conduct the meeting after extensive discussion with the other members of the evaluation team. It is highly recommended you and another supportive individual attend if at all possible. Anyone else you invite is fine. In fact, the more people involved who can attend, the better! Especially if there is disagreement between parents about whether or not there is a learning issue, much less what can be done to help, it is HIGHLY recommended BOTH parents attend. There’s just too much information for one person to clearly convey later.
All information gathered as part of the evaluation process is integrated and summarized for you by a trained member of the Success Team, followed by a discussion of recommendations. Questions are encouraged throughout the process, so that by the end, you feel comfortable in your understanding of strengths, areas of concern, and options available to improve learning.
The less expensive Academic and Executive Functioning Evaluation meets the needs of many parents. However, if you need an official diagnosis and/or written report to share with other professionals (school, pediatrician, therapist, etc.) choose the Full Intelligence, Academic, and Executive Functioning Evaluation. We only share a copy of test results with your written approval.
Testing is confidential and will only be shared with the school and other professionals if permission is given (if the Full Intelligence, Academic, and Executive Functioning Evaluation was chosen).