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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 Disorder (ASD), and while completing this testing we also consider how various other lifestyle and psychological factors may be impacting your current concerns. The Testing Team also occasionally works with CAPS therapists and psychiatrists around diagnosis of other psychological disorders. If you are interested in evaluation for another type of concern (e.g., Test Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder), please attend a CAPS walk-in appointment and ask to be scheduled for an intake with a therapist. Your therapist can then 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 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. ADHD is most commonly diagnosed in childhood but is sometimes diagnosed in adulthood.

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. Learning disorders are most commonly diagnosed in childhood but are sometimes diagnosed in adulthood.

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a complex neurobiological disorder with a variety of levels of symptom severity. Prior to the release of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-5 (DSM-5) this single disorder was broken up into several different diagnoses, including Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. However, with the implementation of DSM-5 all of these previous disorders have been collapsed into one diagnosis called Autism Spectrum Disorder. 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. ASD is most commonly diagnosed in childhood but is sometimes diagnosed in adulthood.

Who provides the testing services at CAPS?

The CAPS Testing Team is comprised of fully licensed, doctoral level psychologists with specialized training in psychological testing. Other members of the Testing Team may also 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, you will start by completing a packet of paperwork and computer-based forms 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. Prior to scheduling any additional appointments, you will also be asked to provide information from outside sources. Examples of this information may include having your parents complete a questionnaire, bringing in childhood report cards, and/or having a 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.

Once you return this information, it will be reviewed by the CAPS Testing Team to determine whether testing is the most appropriate next step to answer the questions you have about your current concerns. If it is determined that testing is warranted, the Testing Team will make a recommendation for the type and amount of testing that is needed. This can look different for different students based on their specific concerns, needs, and circumstances. There are two overall ways that you may experience this testing, but there is flexibility within each option.

First, you may be referred for a Tier Two Consultation, which will involve a thorough interview, review of the outside information you provided, and completion of some questionnaires and other related testing. At the end of this process, the Testing Specialist may be able to determine the most appropriate diagnoses and/or additional factors that help explain your current concerns. However, there will also be some cases where follow-up testing may be needed to help clarify additional questions that arise during the consultation.

Tier Three Comprehensive Testing is our other primary process of assessment at CAPS. This testing usually involves multiple appointments and will typically 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.

Further, there are also occasions when the Testing Team may determine that additional testing is not the next best step for you. In these instances, you will meet with a Testing Specialist to discuss recommendations for your next steps. These recommendations may include referrals to therapy or other campus or community resources. Additionally, there may also be times when the Testing Team needs more information from you or recommends that you take further actions prior to pursuing testing. If this occurs, a Testing Specialist will discuss this with you as well.

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 fees are much lower than those available in the community. The information below is accurate as of June 1, 2015. The fees are subject to change in the future; if the fees change, this website will be corrected as quickly as possible, and you will be notified of this change during your Tier One appointment. If fees change after your Tier One, this will not impact you—we will honor the fees that were effective at the time of your Tier One.

There is no charge for Tier One Screening appointments.

Tier Two Consultation appointments cost $0-$50, depending on the specific needs of the student.

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

CAPS accepts insurance for testing and most other services. CAPS is an “out-of-network” provider for all insurance companies except Purdue’s Student Resource Insurance (SRI). Some SRI plans cover testing; others do not. It is your responsibility to determine whether your insurance covers testing PRIOR TO THE START DATE of testing.

Some insurance policies require pre-authorization for testing services. It is your responsibility to determine if pre-authorization is required for CAPS testing. Please call your insurance company for guidance and clarification about coverage for “psychological testing” and “testing for developmental disorders such as ADHD or learning disorders.” If pre-authorization is required, you must notify CAPS in order for us to help with the pre-authorization process with your insurance company. You will be required to provide insurance policy information and sign a release of information form in order for us to communicate with your insurance company about the request. If you wish to submit your own insurance claim, you may do so. It is your responsibility to cover any charges not covered or reimbursed by your insurance.

If your insurance does not cover testing and you have very limited financial resources, you can apply to the Division of Financial Aid (DFA), who will make a determination whether you qualify as a student in high financial need. If you wish for the DFA to make this determination, please ask your Testing Specialist about a fee waiver.

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 and other academic breaks, you can come in any time between 8am-11am or 1pm-4pm, and during the fall and spring semesters, you can come in any time between 8am and 4pm. You will be required to complete a packet of paperwork and computer-based forms in the waiting room (which take 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.