INITIAL CONSULTATION – An initial consultation is undertaken with the parent-only or with an adult client. This consultation involves discussing the reasons for referral, the client’s background history, and to help determine the most appropriate assessment for the client. Consultation appointments are scheduled between 3:30 pm and 5:30 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.

DOCTORS REFERRALS – Referrals are typically not needed because assessments are not covered by Medicare.

TESTING TIMES – The practice has two starting times for assessment sessions, 8:00 am or 11:30 am. Depending on the type of evaluation, each testing session will last between 1-hour to 2.5-hours. Please try not to arrive too early or late, as other clients and families may be scheduled at specific times.

FEEDBACK CONSULTATION – Except in the case of adult clients, the feedback consultation is for parents only and provides an opportunity to discuss the results of the assessment and recommendations outlined in the report. Feedback consultations are scheduled between 3:30 pm and 5:30 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.

PRACTICE LOCATION AND PARKING – The practice is located in Yarralumla, Suite 4, 25 Bentham St (up the flight of stairs and 2nd door on the left). Parking is available on the street.

CANCELLATION (RESCHEDULING) FEE – Because assessments are very difficult to re-arrange at the last moment (less than 48-hours before the set appointment), if a cancellation (rescheduling) of an appointment is needed, a cancellation fee of $400 will apply. If your child is ill, it is better that they stay at home and the appointment is rescheduled (in advance, where possible). Exceptions will be made at the discretion of the practice when a circumstance is unavoidable.

2 x CANCELLATION – If a cancellation (rescheduling) is made twice, the practice may decide not to offer any further services.

PAYMENT – Consultation and assessment fees must be paid upfront on the day or consultation or on the testing day, via credit card or cash or via direct bank transfer. Cheques are no longer accepted. If an organisation is paying for an assessment, an invoice is sent out once the organisation is in receipt of the report. For NDIS participants, post-payment arrangements will be discussed.

PAYMENT PLAN – The practice is open to negotiating a payment plan in exceptional hardship circumstances. At the time of the assessment, 25% of the total fee must be paid upfront. Additional payments can then be made via direct bank transfer. To note. Reports will not be released until the final payment is made. Full payment must be made within 2-months of the first testing date.

MEDICARE – Cognitive, neurodevelopmental and neuropsychological are not covered by Medicare.

PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE – Rebates from private health insurers may be available but it depends on your level of cover, as well as the specific rules of your insurer. The practice will not advise on this matter and it is best that you contact your insurer to discuss the rebates for an Initial Consultation (Item No. 100) and Follow-up Consultations (Item No. 200). Note. Some insurers will not provide any rebate until all Medicare Mental Health Plan sessions (10-sessions) have been completed.

NDIS – The practice has chosen to be a private provider rather than an NDIS provider. Assessment services can be accessed and funded if the NDIS participant is private or planner managed. A very brief quote for proposal of services will be provided.

ORGANISATIONS – Sometimes schools, NGOs, and government organisations pay the fees for an assessment, such referrals are discussed with the organisations directly, with consent from the client or legal guardian of the client.

PREFERRED MODE OF COMMUNICATION – Following the initial consultation session, the preferred mode of communication is via email and because the Psychologist is often undertaking assessments and cannot be disrupted.

ENCRYPTED EMAILS – The practice uses an encrypted email service when sending personal data and electronic versions of reports. When you are sent the email, you will be requested to create a password to receive and open the email. After 7-days, the email is automatically destroyed and so it is important to download any documents to your desktop straight away. Should you wish to email the practice documents securely, there are many free encrypting programs that work with Gmail and other email hosting platforms.

STORAGE OF CLIENT DATA – To store all client data, the practice uses Mastercare, a cloud-based client management program, which meets legal privacy requirements; the program is recommended for use by the Australian Psychological Society. For child clients, information is stored for 7-years or until the child is 21-years of age and for adults, it is stored for 7-years; after the said period, the information is safely destroyed.

GENERAL FORMS – Once a booking is made, forms will be emailed to the client, guardian, or organisation. These are to be completed as instructed and emailed back to the practice prior to the testing session.

CONSENT FORMS – Consent forms will be provided to parents, adult clients, and organisations. The General Consent Form is provided for review and will be explained at the initial consultation session. It outlines details relating to privacy and exceptions surrounding privacy, as well as the collection and safe storage of personal information. For preschool and school-age assessments involving a classroom teacher, a Parent Authorisation Consent Form must be signed and provided to the practice and the school. This form grants the teacher/school permission to provide information about your child and to complete any forms or online questionnaires.

ONLINE QUESTIONNAIRES – For some assessments, online questionnaires will be used, such as parent, teacher, and client rating scales. Links to access these questionnaires and instructions will be sent via email. Parents will also be sent an email to forward to the classroom teacher and or to a treating clinician.

PAPERLESS OFFICE – The practice makes every attempt to run a paperless office, thus please email all documentation or provide it on a memory stick on the day of the evaluation.

DOCUMENTATION RECEIVAL – The Referral Form and other documentation must be received prior to the first testing session via email. Delays in providing all documentation may mean delays in receiving the report.

ASSESSMENT DOCUMENTATION – The practice encourages parents or adult clients to collate information relevant for the assessment, such as past medical reports from doctors and health specialists, as well as any reports from allied health or educational professionals, including Psychologists, Speech Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Audiologists, Optometrists, and Learning Support Teacher or Academic Tutor etc. Past reports from professionals are invaluable, as they help the Psychologist to gain an understanding of the client’s background history and past and present presentation. Depending on the type of assessment conducted, other information, such as pre/school reports, individual learning plan and NAPLAN reports, are also very informative. For evaluations involving written expression, it is recommended that you gather at least 3 pieces of recent academic writing that the student has attempted independently. Collecting other academic work relevant to specific assessments is also good to provide for analysis. If the client is an adult, college or university transcripts and a CV may be helpful to review.

DISCUSSING THE ASSESSMENT WITH A CHILD CLIENT – It is important that your child is informed ahead of time about the evaluation. It should be discussed that the assessment will help parents and teachers to gain a greater understanding of the child’s issues and the recommendations will benefit the child in their school, home, and or social environments. For cognitive, learning, and neuropsychological assessments, you might tell the child that they will first undertake “brain puzzles,” which will be lots of fun! This will then be followed by things more like school, such as reading and spelling. When discussing the evaluation, please tell the child they will be doing an assortment of “tasks” and “activities” (do not say “tests”). During the testing session, the child will be informed that the puzzles start at a very easy level and then get progressively harder but are reassured that they are not meant to get everything right; the most important thing is that they just try their very best on the day. For adolescents, it is best if they feel positive and are engaged in the evaluation process.

DISABILITY SUPPORTS – Please let the practice know if your child requires special considerations for testing (i.e. lighting, vision enlargement, hearing enhancement, mobility, and seating etc.). To note. The practice entrance has a flight of stairs and no lift.

UPDATED VISION AND HEARING CHECKS – If the client has not had a vision or hearing check in the last 3 or so years, it would be good to have this done prior to the evaluation, so that the results can be included in the report.

MEDICATION – If a child is taking prescribed medication, such as a psychostimulant, they should take their medication as usual.

READING GLASSES – If a child usually wears reading glasses, please ensure that they have them for the testing session.

PREPARING FOR AN ASSESSMENT – It is important for the client to have a good night sleep (go to bed early). On the day of the evaluation, the client should not consume sugar, chocolate, or coffee.

PACK HEALTHY SNACKS – As assessments typically includes many “mini-mental breaks”, it is advisable to pack several healthy (sugar-less) snacks and a water bottle. For client’s attending the 11:30 am session, they should eat a snack prior to testing and also have lunch packed.

‘SHOW AND TELL’ – For young clients, the first 10 minutes of the initial testing session is focused on building positive rapport and making the child feel very comfortable and relaxed. The child is encouraged to bring along a ‘show and tell’ item from home to show the Psychologist. This can be a toy, game, book, or hobby related item.

START OF TESTING – When the child feels comfortable and begins testing, the parent can usually then return to work.

END OF TESTING – The parent will receive a text message 20-minutes before the testing is complete and should return to the office to pick up their child. To note. Children are often mentally tired at the end of an evaluation and thus, they may need something sweet or lunch straight after the assessment. Some children may be too tired to return to school.

ANXIOUS OR UNCOOPERATIVE CHILD – If the young child is considerably anxious or oppositional in their behaviour, it is best that the parent remain in the waiting room for the entire testing session. An additional testing session may be needed (fees apply).

REPORTS – Every evaluation comes with a detailed report, with diagnosis (if appropriate). The completed report is emailed electronically via encrypted email. It is provided prior to the feedback consultation (but not in all circumstances), so that parents or adult clients have time to read through the report and note down any questions that they would like to ask at the feedback consultation. The approximate time taken to receive the reports will depend on the type of assessment undertaken. All reports are provided to the parent or adult client, who can then distribute it to schools, doctors, or other service providers.

REPORT VERSIONS – Depending on the type of evaluation, reports sometimes come in a full version and an abridged version. The full version contains personal information about the client’s personal developmental history, while the abridged version excludes this type of information and is suitable to give to schools and allied health or educational providers. The reports will be provided in hard copy (paper) and electronic copy (sent via encrypted email).

ANXIOUS PARENT – Some parents are understandably anxious about the results of an assessment. It is important to discuss any apprehension you may have about your child undertaking an assessment, so that the assessing Psychologist can support you whatever the outcome may be. Discussions might include what results the parent feels comfortable about sharing with the school. The practice is more than happy to support parents in this type of decision making.

EXPECTATION OF RESPECT – The practice ensures that every client is treated in a respectful manner and offers a safe and secure environment.

FOLLOW-UP CONSULTATIONS – Many parents find it useful to have follow-up consultations at 6 and 12-months to review the interventions and strategies that the child has undertaken since the assessment (additional consultation fees will apply).

UPDATED ASSESSMENTS – Updated assessments are often required for clients. Depending on the age of the child and presenting problem. A recommendation for when the next evaluation should be undertaken will be advised in the client’s report.