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Your Visit | Overview

Our evaluation

On the day of evaluation, you and your child will meet with experts from all relevant specialties in one organized visit. After the visit, our specialists will work together to develop a diagnostic summary and intervention plan that is useful to parents, educators, and other professionals. It will include specific recommendations that teachers can use in the classroom.

The evaluation will assess your child’s mental health and academic functioning and provide basic neuropsychological testing, which measures thinking skills such as memory, problem solving, and attention. Because the evaluation looks at all areas of your child’s development, we will look at possible medical, neurological, or psychological reasons for your child's problems.

This information helps our specialists determine how problems in one area of development may affect other areas. The evaluation can also help parents and schools set priorities, since children often have needs in many areas. It may also help to identify areas that could cause problems for your child in the future and to develop strategies for preventing problems before they become serious concerns.

What happens during an evaluation?

The evaluation takes a little more than half a day. While your child visits each specialist on the Boston Children's team, you will meet with program staff to review your child's history and discuss current concerns.

During the evaluation, your child will meet with the following specialists:

  • The neurology specialist will evaluate your child’s strength, reflexes, coordination, and fine and gross motor skills. This information is used to determine if there are signs of a learning disorder or signs that suggest neurological (brain) impairment. Your child will also be evaluated for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • The neuropsychologist will give your child a few cognitive (thinking) tests to evaluate your child's overall learning profile.
  • The speech-language pathologist and written language specialist will work together to assess your child’s understanding and use of language, reading, and writing, as well as the relationship between spoken and written language.
  • The mathematics specialist will assess your child’s performance on arithmetic, geometric, and logical tasks to measure overall mathematics achievement and learning style.
  • The psychologist will interview both you and your child to determine if emotional issues may be affecting your child’s academic and social performance.

After your visit, your child’s team will meet to put together a complete picture of your child and develop an appropriate intervention plan. The lead clinician leads the team meeting and will write a report that summarizes the background, observations, and diagnostic formulation, as well as the team’s recommendations. This report is in addition to the individual reports created by each specialist, which provide specific test scores and more specific recommendations.

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