Understanding the Psychological Assessment Process

Why have an assessment?

A psychological assessment is helpful in identifying an individual’s strengths and weaknesses and typically result in recommendations for both academic and behavioural intervention. By detecting problems, an assessment can be used to assist in future educational and vocational planning, to identify needs for special services, and to help you access resources in your community. Highlighting strengths allows a holistic view of each individual and helps provide important information in the way of compensatory strategies

How long will the assessment take?

The breakdown of the number of hours involved in an assessment varies depending on the individual and the presenting concerns. Typically an assessment involves an initial interview, test administration, test scoring and interpretation, writing of the report, and feedback with the results of the assessment, which takes approximately 17-22 hours.

How much will an assessment cost?

A psychoeducational assessment typically costs between $2,500-$3,300 and a comprehensive between $3,000 and $3,500 and are based on an hourly rate of $200. Some extended health plans provide coverage for psychological assessments. Since the time for each assessment varies depending on the individual’s needs and pacing, we prefer not to charge a flat fee and instead base the cost on actual time spent.  Fees for psychological services not covered by benefits can be claimed as medical expenses on your personal income tax return. Psychological services are not covered by OHIP.

How should I prepare my child for an assessment?

It is important to talk to children about what will happen before any procedure. Children feel less anxious when they know what to expect. You can let them know that we will takes breaks and a lunch. They are welcome to bring a toy or blanket to the assessment if it helps them feel more comfortable.

Be sure your child knows that there will be no physical exam, so no needles or medicine. For younger children, you may wish to emphasize the play aspect, focusing on the puzzles and games. For older children, it is often helpful to describe both games and school-type work, but there are no marks or grades given.

What information should I bring to the assessment?

It is very helpful to have the most recent report cards or university transcripts available for review. In addition, if the client had an Individual Education Plan at school, a copy of the most recent one should be brought. Any previous assessment reports, as well as any therapy reports (e.g., for physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy or psychotherapy) should also be brought to the assessment.

What can I expect after the assessment is completed?

We will meet with you for feedback to discuss the results. In most cases with younger children the feedback sessions involve parents only, but if your child is older, you may wish to include your child.

A written report will be completed, outlining the results of the assessment and the recommendations for intervention. You will receive a copy of this report. With your written permission, copies of the report can be sent to professionals involved with your child such as other physicians, therapists, or your child’s school.

We will remain available to you and your child for consultation should you have any concerns in the future.