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FAQ about Psychological Testing

For what disorders does CAPS provide formal testing?

CAPS Testing Team provides formal testing for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Learning Disorders, and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The Testing Team also works occasionally with CAPS therapists around diagnosis of other psychological disorders. If you are interested in evaluation for another type of concern (e.g., Test Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder), please schedule a telephone triage appointment to be scheduled with a therapist. Your therapist can determine whether a referral to the Testing Team would be the best way of addressing your concerns.

What is Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurobiological condition that typically begins in childhood and often persists into adulthood. ADHD is often inherited, although it is sometimes acquired very early in life. It affects children, adolescents, and adults of all ages, males and females, people of all races and cultural backgrounds, and people with every level of intelligence and education. ADHD results from underactivity in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which controls executive functions, like planning, organization, and time management.

What are Learning Disorders?

Learning Disorders are a class of disorders that involve difficulty either with a specific subject matter (i.e., reading, writing, or math) or with processing, storing, or integrating information. Learning Disorders are not the same thing as intellectual disabilities (formerly known as mental retardation); individuals with Learning Disorders have average or above average intelligence, but their performance in specific areas is lower than would be expected.

What are Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)?

Autism Spectrum Disorders, including Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, are complex neurobiological disorders. ASD can impact verbal and nonverbal communication, social skills, sensory integration, and learning (often due to difficulty with sustained attention, except with particular subjects). ASD is not the same thing as intellectual disabilities (formerly known as mental retardation); individuals with ASD fall along the full continuum of intellectual ability and are often extremely intelligent.

Who provides the testing services at CAPS?

The CAPS Testing Team is primarily comprised of fully licensed, doctoral level psychologists with specialized training in psychological testing, ADHD, Learning Disorders, and ASD. Other members of the Testing Team may include new CAPS staff members who are not yet licensed and upper-level psychology doctoral students. These providers are supervised by licensed psychologists.

What does the testing process look like?

If you are interested in testing for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ASD), Learning Disorders, or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), you will start by completing a packet of paperwork that will provide us with information about the concerns that led you to seek testing. You will then be scheduled for your first appointment.

The first appointment completed by anyone interested in testing is called a Tier One Screening. During this 30-minute appointment the Testing Specialist will determine if testing would be appropriate and, if so, will help you get set up for the next stage of testing. After this appointment, you may be referred to a Tier Two Consultation appointment or a Tier Three Comprehensive Testing appointment, or you may be referred to another campus resource (e.g., therapy, academic advising, medical physician).

If you are interested in evaluation for ADHD or ASD, you may be referred to a 2-hour Tier Two Consultation appointment. Before that appointment you will be asked to provide information from an outside source. Examples of this information may include having your parents complete a questionnaire, bringing in childhood report cards, or having your roommate fill out a symptom checklist. You will be able to work together with the Testing Specialist to determine what is most feasible and helpful, given your circumstances. During the Tier Two Consultation appointment, you will complete a thorough interview, the outside information you provided will be reviewed with you, and you will complete some questionnaires and other testing. At the end of this appointment, the Testing Specialist may be able to determine whether or not you have ADHD or ASD. Sometimes this appointment will not be sufficient to determine whether you have ADHD or ASD; in these cases, students are referred for Tier Three Comprehensive Testing.

Tier Three Comprehensive Testing usually involves multiple appointments and will usually include most or all of the following: a thorough interview, completion of questionnaires, review of outside information (e.g., report cards, questionnaires completed by family members or close friends), standardized one-on-one testing, and computer-based testing. After you complete this process, you will be provided with in-depth feedback and recommendations.

How much does testing cost?

Due to the high cost of testing materials and the intensive time demands of testing services, CAPS does charge for testing services. These charges are much lower than those available in the community.

There is no charge for Tier One Screening appointments.

Currently, there is no charge for Tier Two Consultation appointments, although this may change in the near future.

Tier Three Comprehensive Testing costs $400-$550, depending on the specific needs of the student.

Students determined to be in high financial need by the Division of Financial Aid (DFA) will have their fees waived. Please ask your Testing Specialist about a fee waiver if you think you might qualify. CAPS also accepts insurance.

How do I get started with testing?

If you are interested in starting the testing process, come in to the CAPS front desk at 1120 PSYC and ask to schedule a Tier One Screening appointment. During the summer, you can come in any time between 8am-11am or 1pm-4pm. You will be required to complete a packet of paperwork (which takes 30-60 minutes) before you can schedule this appointment, so come in at a time that you are able to sit in the waiting room and complete the paperwork.