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Psychology FAQs

What is the purpose of Psychological Evaluation or Developmental Assessment?

  • Your child’s psychiatric provider or developmental pediatrician orders a psychological evaluation or developmental assessment to better understand your child’s difficulties and to provide comprehensive, targeted interventions in the face of complex clinical questions. 
  • The purpose of this evaluation is to increase our understanding of your child’s strengths and challenge areas. Information regarding their diagnosis, if one is necessary, and the severity of symptom presentation will help guide you, your child’s medical providers, and your child’s educators regarding medical and educational planning. 
  • Full psychological testing services include intellectual, neuropsychological screening, developmental, and social emotional assessment. It allows the opportunity to gather and integrate relevant developmental history and skill-based assessments to provide insight into diagnostic questions, determine antecedents to current challenges, and provide information to guide your child’s treatment.  
  • Dr. Bradshaw is CENTRA’s Autism and Developmental Services’ dually licensed Clinical Psychologist/School Psychologist. Dr. Bradshaw is highly trained in the use of current Gold Standard assessment tools to identify Autism Spectrum Disorder. These assessments include various rating scales specific to Autism Spectrum as well as the ADOS-2, the ADI-R and MIGDAS. Dr. Bradshaw also works with graduate level students in Psychology who may assist in assessment under Dr. Bradshaw’s direction/supervision.

How often are appointments and how long do they last?

  • Appointments are made by internal referral only after assessment by Centra psychiatric provider or developmental pediatrician. 
  • At the time of referral, your child will be placed on a waiting list for either a developmental or psychological assessment with Dr. Bradshaw and her team. The wait list for an evaluation may take several months. You will be contacted about 2-3 weeks before the next available testing slot is available.  
  • Assessments will take place over the period of 2-3 appointments that vary in length from approximately one hour to up to 4 hours per session depending on the child’s age and specific needs. 

What kinds of things are done in a session?

  • Dr. Bradshaw and her team will complete a clinical interview to identify current needs and concerns as well as gain understanding of current diagnostic presentation.  
  • The first appointment lasts approximately 1 hour.  
  • After initial appointment, we work with your insurance company to obtain any pre authorization permissions for the assessment.  
  • Your child will complete the assessment in a one-to-one setting. Guardian should be available in the waiting room for the duration of the assessment and take part as needed. 
  • Parents will be provided standardized rating scales, which will provide valuable insights into concerns.  
  • Other adults with an active role in the child’s life and development (like teachers, health care providers, or other caretakers) may also be requested to be contacted as part of the clinical interview.
  • The second appointment can take up to 4 hours depending on your child’s age and specific individual needs.  
  • You will meet with a team member to discuss the overall results of the assessments. At that time, you will be given a written copy of the report with supporting data/testing results as well as treatment recommendations.  

What is my role as parent/guardian in treatment?

  • Please feel free to bring paperwork from your child’s school or other providers that have information regarding areas of concern or functioning. Please share any previous formal evaluations (genetic, psychological, speech, OT, educational, or etc) which have been completed at the first appointment.  
  • Parents are encouraged to bring snacks and tasks to do while they wait in the waiting room.  
  • Siblings or other young children should not attend any of the three appointments.
  • Dr. Bradshaw and her team are always excited to have a conversation regarding your child’s areas of strength as well as opportunities to increase skills and reduce challenge areas.