What To Expect
There are three main parts to an evaluation:
- The clinical interview
- One or more testing sessions
- The “feedback” session
Each evaluation begins with an interview to review your child’s history and current concerns. In most cases, both the child and parent(s) are in the room for the interview; however, for very impaired children, or to discuss sensitive information without the child present, parents should bring an adult relative or caregiver who can stay with the child during that portion of the interview. Depending on the case, the interview may be conducted on a date prior to testing or on the same visit as testing.
In most cases, children perform better in one-on-one situations, so parents are typically asked to remain in the reception area. Because testing typically takes up a good part of the day and you will be expected to remain on-site for children under age fourteen, you may want to bring materials for work or personal entertainment.
Testing times vary but usually last from three to six hours. While I try to complete as much as possible in a single day, young children, those with behavioral issues, and those who fatigue easily or become inattentive are likely to require two or more sessions. I make this determination based not on convenience, but instead on your child’s needs, and what will provide the most accurate information about them, their abilities, and areas of challenge.
Feedback Session and Report
For clinical cases, parents are provided with a comprehensive written report that gives clear details of the assessment process and results, as well as thoughtful, practical, relevant accommodations and remedial recommendations. On forensic cases, the report is provided only to the party who requested the evaluation.
In addition to the report, I always sit down with parents (and older children) to interactively discuss all findings and ensure that the family has a clear understanding of the assessment and all relevant issues. There are often a lot of interacting components that may be confusing if not carefully reviewed. This session also provides an opportunity to have all questions answered and ensure that the evaluation results may assist in making informed decisions.
Please note that I try my best to see everyone promptly, so please arrive on-time to minimize the wait for other families.
Preparing for the Appointments
What to bring to the interview session
Copies of pertinent medical and educational records (e.g., current IEP/504 plan, report cards, recent psychoeducational testing report).
What to bring to testing sessions
- Glasses, hearing aid, or other important assistive devices.
- A light jacket because at times it may be cold in the testing area.
- Something to drink and a “non-messy” snack.
(We will take breaks as needed during testing. In the event of behavioral difficulties, snacks may also be used to reinforce completion of work.)
How to prepare your child
Most children are less nervous about procedures when they have a mental image of what will occur. Let them know they will be asked to respond to questions, many of which may be on a computer tablet, while others may be verbal or written. They may also work on some puzzles and other measures of how well they can think and process information. Most kids are very relieved to find out it will not involve any needles or shots! Unless they are very pessimistic about school, you can tell them it will be like a fun school day, during which they will work one-on-one with the teacher. They may also feel better knowing there are no passing or failing scores. However, it is most important that they try to do their best, even on items that seem very difficult.
For children with medical or developmental issues, your explanation may depend on how much they already know about those issues or related symptoms. It is often helpful to provide a rationale based on how the assessment process is likely to help them. For example, if memory has been problematic, you can tell them we will measure how well they remember things so we can figure out how to make their memory better.
Because sleep is vital for optimal functioning, please make sure your child gets a good night’s rest the day before the evaluation. On the day of the appointment they should have a light, nutritious breakfast and wear comfortable clothing. Please bring a light jacket or sweater, as our rooms tend to be on the cooler side.
Frequently Asked Questions
Although Dr. Korman’s early training encompassed the full age span (including geriatric patients), he completed a pediatric-focused fellowship and has since focused his expertise on younger age groups. Currently, he is one of only a handful of Florida neuropsychologists who are board-certified specialists in the assessment of children. His work at Nicklaus spans from toddlers up to age twenty-two; exceptions are sometimes made for young adults up to their late 20’s who are having continued concerns stemming from developmental issues. Forensic evaluations include young adults up to their mid-30’s.
Dr. Korman will work directly with you and your child to complete the clinical interview, and he performs the majority of testing himself. Because Nicklaus is a teaching hospital, some testing may be completed by a doctoral or post-doctoral trainee with specialized skill in the administration of neuropsychological measures and they would be directly supervised by Dr. Korman.
Dr. Korman personally completes all procedures on evaluations pertaining to legal issues or referred by the justice system.
Clinical assessments are performed at the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital main campus in Miami. Directions are here.
Forensic testing locations are specified on a case-by-case basis.
We accept cash, checks, and credit cards. The Nicklaus Department of Psychology is in-network with many insurance and managed-care companies. Whether your child’s particular services are covered will depend on your insurance carrier. We typically file for insurance pre-authorization to determine likely coverage and remaining family responsibility. Forensic services and psychoeducational evaluations are not reimbursed by medical or mental health insurance.
While we will make every effort to see you as soon as possible, our service does get very busy and there may be a wait list at times. If Dr. Korman’s availability is limited, you may be able to see another clinician shortly after your initial contact.
Forensic cases are often started right away, but depend on schedule availability.
The initial intake session is scheduled for one hour, during which time we will discuss your child’s history, your concerns, and outline a general plan to move forward. Because this is a lot of information, we ask that parents arrive fifteen minutes prior to the start of the session to complete any necessary paperwork, so that we may meet at the appointed time.
According to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital policy, for children 13 and under, one parent or guardian must remain on the campus for the duration of testing. We have a comfortable reception area with guest wi-fi, television, and cell-phone chargers. More information on preparation for the appointment is available here.