Philip K. Axtell, Ph.D., HSP, NCSP
East Tennessee Psychological Testing (formerly Family Psychology Group) is recognized as a leading provider of child and adult assessments in Knoxville, TN and the surrounding areas. We specialize in testing for ADHD, Autism/Asperger’s, and learning disabilities, plus, we also offer behavioral assessments, intelligence testing, academic evaluations, and documentation for standardized testing.
Our comprehensive child evaluations typically require about four sessions in order to properly address your child’s specific issues thoroughly. Both you and your child participate in the first intake session which offers you an opportunity to voice your concerns and review the completed forms so that we can determine which assessments will best suit your child’s needs. During the initial appointment, we will also discuss your child’s developmental, medical history, and any family history of mental health issues. If there is any information that you would prefer not discuss in front of your child, please let me know in advance so that we can set time aside to talk about these concerns privately. Intakes typically last about 60 to 90 minutes, and the duration depends on the urgency of your concerns and the severity of your child’s difficulties.
There may be additional interview sessions if needed before testing is started. Many insurance companies (Blue Cross Blue Shield and Aetna) require me to preauthorize any testing prior to scheduling the testing session(s). Once I have the approval from your insurance company I’ll call to schedule the testing sessions. I personally administer all of the evaluations with you or your child. If your child is under 3 years old or severely handicapped, we may request that you accompany your child. It is important to know that we do not provide childcare in our office. If you have other children that are not part of the evaluation you will need to find childcare for these other children. We cannot have unsupervised children in the waiting area. In addition, my office is too small to accommodate more than three people at a time. Since I am focusing on your one child at a time, having the child’s siblings can be very distracting to the assessment process.
After all of the necessary evaluations have been completed, we will schedule the last appointment to review the results of the assessments with you. It is not necessary for your child to accompany you to the final appointment if your child is very young. If your child is a teen (15 or older, depending on the child) it may be important for him or her to also attend the follow-up visit. Children at this age level will often understand the assessment results and hearing the results may give them insight into the difficulties they are starting acknowledge. Often we can explain the testing results in a way that older children can understand. I will explore and discuss the results and address any of your concerns. You will be provided a comprehensive report that explains the results, determines a diagnosis, and includes any proposed recommendations. We provide these suggestions in an effort to present specific strategies to you and your family that are most beneficial for your child. It may be helpful for you to share the results of your child’s evaluation with his/her school, primary care provider, and other professionals involved with their care to incorporate these findings in ways that would be the most advantageous to your child’s needs.
This means a child who is 16 years or older has the same rights to confidentiality as an adult. This also means that it is their choice whether they choose to participate in the assessment process or not--even over a parent’s objection. In addition, your teenager will have to give us their consent to release a copy of the assessment report to you. The only exception to the right of confidentiality in individuals over the age of 16 is in cases where the child is deemed not mentally competent to give their own consent.
The professionals at East Tennessee Psychological Testing are not only knowledgeable about the rules and regulations involved with providing assessments for children, but we are also passionate about helping your family determine which targeted approaches are best suited to provide your child opportunities to prosper. Contact us today and let us guide you through the process of discovering the issues that are hindering your child from achieving their full potential. We will make certain that you are provided with the building blocks necessary to help your child overcome their struggles and become filled with a sense of accomplishment.
Philip K. Axtell, Ph.D., HSP, NCSP
Licensed Psychologist (HSP)
Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP)