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Contact us for further information or to check on the status of your referral:
Our evaluations provide in-depth information regarding cognitive, behavioral and social-emotional functioning in order to establish diagnosis and inform treatment planning.
The Psychology Assessment Center receives referrals from a wide range of medical specialties, including neurology, psychiatry, primary care, pediatrics, and oncology. An individual may be referred by their doctor for neuropsychological testing if they are experiencing problems in thinking, such as memory difficulties or trouble concentrating. Results of the evaluation can help clarify what your strengths and weaknesses are when it comes to thinking and processing information. This may help your doctor understand your diagnosis more clearly or may help with treatment.
The Center also provides educational liaison services for children, including school based referrals for evaluations and school consultations.
The Psychology Assessment Center offers a number of opportunities for professional training:
The Psychology Assessment Center (PAC) provides assessments for a wide variety of disorders. The list below is a sample of the types of disorders for which the Psychology Assessment Center accepts referrals.
* Pediatric and adult patients
Medical specialists or primary care physicians make referrals for neuropsychological and/or psychological testing (evaluation). We do NOT accept ‘self-referrals’. All patients are referred back to their specialists for treatment.
Patients who want to utilize their health insurance to cover the cost of the evaluation, should call their insurance company to ask if neuropsychological testing (Current Procedural Terminology code 96118 and CPT 96119) and/or psychological testing (CPT code 96101) is a covered benefit under their specific health plan. Some insurance plans will require the testing psychologist, together with the referring specialist, to submit clinical information for review before authorizing the evaluation(s). Other insurance plans may not require authorization, but could deny coverage if the completed evaluation does not support the medical necessity requirement per your health insurance’s guidelines.
Patients referred for the purpose of diagnosing learning disabilities should be aware most insurance companies will not cover intellectual, academic, cognitive or neuropsychological testing. For school age children, local Special Education Departments may cover the cost of an independent educational evaluation if your family qualifies. A letter must be submitted by the parent or guardian indicating the school system’s approval to cover the cost before the appointment process can proceed.
Questions concerning the above may be directed to our intake coordinator at 617-724-0313.
Janet C. Sherman, PhDClinical Director, Chief of NeuropsychologyNeuropsychology Fellowship DirectorAssistant Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School Interests: Neuropsychological assessment, language acquisition, aphasia, dementia (Alzheimer's disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Frontotemproal Dementia, Primary Progressive Aphasia), cerebellar disorders
Mark A. Blais, PsyDAdult Internship Track CoordinatorAssociate Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical SchoolInterests: Adult psychological assessment consultations, comprehensive psychological and neuropsychological evaluations of adults with psychiatric disorders; assessment of normal and abnormal personality and its impact on life success
Molly Colvin, PhD, ABPP Instructor in Psychology, Harvard Medical SchoolInterests: Neuropsychological assessment of children and adolescents with medical diagnoses and developmental conditions, including autism-spectrum disorders, movement disorders, epilepsy, head injury, stroke, ADHD, and learning disabilities; neuropsychological assessment of adults with neuropsychiatric conditions and focal neurological conditions, including degenerative diseases
Sigurros Davidsdottir, PhDInstructor in Psychology, Harvard Medical SchoolInterests: Neuropsychological assessment of adults and older adults, neurodegenerative conditions including memory and movement disorders
Britt Carlson Emerton, PhDInstructor in Psychology, Harvard Medical SchoolInterests: Neuropsychological assessment of children, adolescents and adults, epilepsy and other neurological diagnoses including neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative conditions
Julie A. Grieco, PsyDInstructor in Psychology, Harvard Medical SchoolInterests: Neuropsychological assessment, psychological/behavioral consultation, pediatric and adult populations, genetic disorders (Down syndrome), neurodevelopmental disorders (autism spectrum, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, learning disorders), medical populations (oncology, epilepsy, head injury), and psychological disorders (mood disorders, anxiety, post traumatic stress)
Catherine Leveroni, PhD, ABPPNeuropsychology Internship Track CoordinatorAssistant Professor in Psychology, Harvard Medical SchoolInterests: Neuropsychological assessment of adults, epilepsy, memory, functional neuroimaging
Amy Morgan, PhD, ABPPInstructor in Psychology, Harvard Medical SchoolInterests: Neuropsychological assessment of pediatric patients with medical conditions including epilepsy, stroke, leukodystrophies and head injury and with neurodevelopmental disorders and learning disabilities.
Lauren E. Pollak, PhD, ABPPAssistant Professor in Psychology, Harvard Medical SchoolInterests: Neuropsychological assessment of adults, executive functions, movement disorders, dementias
Margaret Pulsifer, PhD Assistant Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical SchoolInterests: Pediatric neuropsychological assessment of patients with medical diagnoses, including brain tumor, leukemia, tuberous sclerosis complex, and Down syndrome, or with general developmental disorders, such as learning disabilities and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Yakeel T. Quiroz, PhDAssistant Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical SchoolDirector, Multicultural Neuropsychology Internship ElectiveCo-Director, Multicultural Neuropsychology Program (MUNDOS)Interests: Neuropsychological assessment of monolingual and bilingual Spanish speaking patients, memory disorders, early-onset dementias, Alzheimer's disease, multimodal neuroimaging
Kay Seligsohn, PhD Instructor in Psychology, Harvard Medical SchoolInterests: Pediatric neuropsychological and psychological assessments with developmental disabilities, including autistic spectrum disorders, adopted and foster children, and complex emotional and learning profiles
Michelle Stein, PhD Instructor in Psychology, Harvard Medical School Interests: Psychological and neuropsychological assessment of adults with psychiatric disorders. Assessment of interpersonal functioning & relationships
Gretchen Timmel, MEd Educational Liaison Massachusetts Licensed School Psychologist and certified teacherInterests: Educational consulting advocacy, school observations and team meetings, individual educational planning (IEP) review and consultation, accommodation testing, study skills, curriculum planning, parent consultations
Hayley Duncanson, PhDAlicia Janos, PhDChristina Kay, PhDDeepti Putcha, PhD
Edmarie Guzman-Velez, PhD
Lea Travers, PhD
Anne Burke, MASeth Pitman, MA
Jacqueline Helcer, MS, MA
Robyn Migliorini, MSKatherine Reiter, MS
Operations Manager:Roxie Billings - 617-726-2977Practice Manager:Vanessa Jillson - 617-724-0313Psychometricians:Sarah M. Mancuso - 617-643-4505Tahani Chaudhry - 617-724-2226Savannah Erwin - 617-726-8023Kathryn Solomon - 617-726-2624Patient Services Coordinators III:Rhina Sariles - 617-643-3997Diana Munera - 617-643-7257
Pediatric neuropsychological evaluations rely on a child-centered approach that analyzes your child’s individual strengths and weaknesses and how they affect his or her functioning on a daily basis.
Pediatric neuropsychological evaluations provide an integrated understanding of your child’s cognitive, academic, emotional and behavioral functioning and how these relate to your child’s brain structures and systems. During an evaluation, some abilities may be measured in more detail than others, depending on your child’s specific needs. Observing your child to understand his/her motivation, cooperation and behavior is also a very important part of the evaluation.
There are some similarities among children with certain disorders (for example, ADHD or dyslexia) and medical conditions (for example, brain tumor or epilepsy), but each child is different, so pediatric neuropsychologists are careful to determine your child’s unique characteristics and background in order to understand his or her profile and provide the most appropriate recommendations.
A the evaluation, you will receive a comprehensive report detailing how your child’s neuropsychological profile affects his/her functioning in all relevant domains (cognitive, academic, psychological, social, family). Detailed recommendations are provided to help you make use of the testing in your child’s daily activities and education.
Pediatric specialists at the PAC often work closely with your child’s physician when a specific medical condition and/or developmental disorder is an important factor in your child’s general neuropsychological functioning.
A typical neuropsychological evaluation of a school-age child may assess the following areas:
Different childhood disorders result in specific patterns of strengths and weaknesses. These profiles of abilities can help identify a child’s disorder and the brain areas that are involved. The neuropsychologist may work with your physician to combine results from medical tests, such as brain imaging or blood tests, to assist in diagnosing your child’s difficulty and describing his or her particular cognitive profile.
An evaluation typically lasts three to five hours depending on your child’s age and developmental level. Emerging skills can be assessed in very young children; the evaluation of infants and preschool children is usually shorter in duration because the child has not yet developed as many skills.
Education is considered such an important aspect of a child’s functioning that the PAC also provides the services of an educational specialist who can assist with recommendations tailored to your child’s specific school curriculum. We also offer additional education testing, direct consultation with your child’s school and the development of individual education services.
Children can be referred by a physician, teacher, school psychologist or other professional for a variety of issues:
A neuropsychological evaluation usually includes:
Parents may be asked to fill out questionnaires about their child’s development and behavior. Many neuropsychologists employ trained examiners, or technicians, to assist with the administration and scoring of tests, so your child may see more than one person during the evaluation. Parents are usually not in the room during testing, although they may be present with very young children. The time required depends on the child’s age and the concerns.
By comparing your child’s test scores to scores of children of similar ages, the neuropsychologist can create a profile of your child’s strengths and weaknesses. The results help those involved in your child’s care in a number of ways:
What you tell your child about this evaluation depends on how much he or she can understand. Be simple and brief and relate your explanation to a problem that your child knows about such as “trouble with spelling,” “problems following directions,” or “feeling upset.”
Reassure a worried child that testing involves no “shots.” Tell your child that you are trying to understand his or her problem to make things better. You may also tell the child that “nobody gets every question right,” and that the important thing is to “try your best.”
A neuropsychological evaluation usually consists of two parts:
During the interview, information that is important for the neuropsychologist to consider will be reviewed. You will be asked about your symptoms, medical history, medications, and other important factors.
Testing involves taking paper-and pencil or computerized tests and answering questions. The time required depends on the problem being assessed. In general, several hours are needed to assess the many skills involved in processing information. Some tests will be easy while others will be more complex.
The most important thing is try your best. Bring glasses or hearing aids if you use them. Try to rest and relax before your evaluation. You will probably find testing interesting, and the detailed information that is gathered will contribute to your care.
Test results can be used to plan treatments that use strengths to compensate for weaknesses. The results help to identify what target problems to work on and which strategies to use. For example, the results can help to plan and monitor rehabilitation or to follow the recovery of skills after a stroke or traumatic brain injury. Studies have shown how scores on specific tests relate to everyday functional skills, such as managing money, driving or readiness to return to work. Your results will help your doctors understand what problems you may have in everyday life and guide their treatment recommendations.
Gretchen Timmel, MEd has over 25 years of experience working with families and students. Her services help students obtain the educational services that they need and provide a bridge between the clinical data obtained from neuropsychological evaluations and school services.
Ms. Timmel is a school psychologist who has expertise in educational approaches that are most effective in teaching students with different learning styles including dyslexia, language based and non-verbal learning disabilities, children on the autism spectrum, as well as advanced and gifted learners.
Her expertise also includes knowledge about educational settings (public and private) and the services that they provide allowing her to help guide families in making educational decisions for their children.
Educational advocacy and consultation, which includes review of previous testing performed at Mass General or elsewhere and Independent Educational Plans (IEPs).
One Bowdoin Square, 7th FloorBoston, MA 02114Phone: 617-726-3647
Near Public Transit Accessible
Our Center is located three blocks from the main entrance of Mass General's main campus. If you are driving to our building, set your GPS device to 15 New Chardon Street for best results.
Due to the length of evaluations and the cost of parking in nearby commercial garages, we recommend parking in one of the the hospital garages. A free campus shuttle van may be requested at the Yawkey Lobby Information Desk, which will be bring you to 25 New Chardon Street. Shuttles run from 8 am to 4 pm.
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