So, you finally were able to get an evaluation, and the results just don’t fit. You do not see the child those clinicians were describing. This just cannot be.
First, if you have a trusted counselor, school psychologist or even teacher at your child’s school, you should share and discuss the report with that person. Ask for their honest opinion as to whether they share some of the concerns from the evaluation your child participated in. These professionals do see and read a lot of reports, especially your school psychologist. They can advise whether more testing may be needed or if they do think the data provided could be helpful. A good school psychologist will tell you if something is missing or seems off base in your evaluation.
(Caveat here that they are not right every time. We once had a parent totally identify with our evaluation and diagnosis, and the school said “I don’t see it.” One year later, the school psychologist emailed us directly and said, “oh, now I do see it.” In that case, the parent pursued treatment, and school came along.)
What you can do
If you decide based on your impressions and those of a trusted professional (like a school confidant) that this evaluation is misrepresenting your child, there are a couple of things you can do.
First, don’t share it. This is your information and you are under no obligation to share it with anyone (unless your insurance provided the evaluation and then they do get the diagnostic codes when they pay the bill).
Second, reach out to your insurance provider and tell them you are unsatisfied. Request a second opinion.
The insurance provider will tell you whether they will cover such a service. Sometimes they may, other times they may tell you evaluations are covered annually, or every 2 years, or every 6 months.
If you are counting on insurance to pay, you will want to know that up front. If you can pay for a private evaluation without using insurance, there can certainly be fewer hoops to jump through and more privacy, as your insurance would not automatically get the results of an evaluation you paid for out-of-pocket. You would have to share the results.
In our work…
In our work, we have often been called upon to make a second opinion. In some cases, we strongly disagree with the findings of the original report, and at other times we agree but find the explanation and examples to be confusing and misleading.
A family sometimes shares that they had previous testing but did not agree with it and don’t want to share that previous information. With these cases, we move forward as if this was an initial evaluation, after being sure we aren’t repeating tests that have administration re-evaluation timelines. To do that, we simply ask for the list of measures administered previously and the date of administration. We build our battery being sure not to repeat anything that should not be repeated.
An evaluation is just the first step
We believe it is important for a family to feel comfortable with the evaluation their child receives and for a family to understand their own child’s profile. At CLEAR, we focus more on strength and symptom areas, and we spend less time talking about standard score data (we put that info in the report).
The most important part of an assessment is the treatment that follows.
We want families to understand “what to do next.” We want families to feel secure in the journey they are continuing for their child. At CLEAR, we focus on just that. Contact us today!