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Evaluations in the Psychiatry Assessment Center (PAC) 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. We also provide educational liaison services for children, including school-based referrals for evaluations and school consultations.

What Should I Expect?

You may be referred by your doctor for neuropsychological testing if you 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.

A neuropsychological evaluation consists of a 20- to 30-minute interview with a neuropsychologist or clinical fellow, the patient and, with the patient's permission, their family members or significant others. The testing will consist of written or one-on-one verbal tests and may include some tasks on a computer. The evaluation involves listening, writing, drawing or using a computer. There are no invasive procedures, no pain, no needles or electrodes.

Appointments are typically scheduled in the morning. Depending upon the patient’s age and referral questions you should expect the evaluation to last between three and five hours.

Prior to the appointment, please eat as normal. If applicable, bring or wear your eyeglasses, hearing aids and take your medications as normal. During the testing, you will be allowed to take short breaks as needed. In addition, because the testing will require mental effort, you may feel fatigued when it is over and should take this into consideration when scheduling any other appointments or activities before or after your evaluation.

Questions may be addressed to your referring doctor or to our center.

Our Specialties

The list below is a sample of the types of disorders for which the Psychology Assessment Center receives referrals.

* Pediatric and adult patients

Neurological/Medical Disorders
  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Primary progressive aphasia
  • Mild cognitive impairment vs. Normal aging
  • Stroke*
  • Cognitive and language sequelae (e.g., aphasia)
  • Epilepsy*
  • Hematologic/Oncologic diagnoses*
  • Brain tumor
  • Leukemia
  • Movement disorders
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Dystonia*
  • Multiple Sclerosis*
  • Traumatic brain injury*
  • Tourette’s syndrome*
  • Leukodystrophies*
Psychiatric Disorders
  • Mood disorders*
  • Anxiety disorders*
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder*
  • Substance use disorders
  • Oppositional defiant disorder/Conduct disorder
Developmental Disorders
  • Autism spectrum disorder*
  • Attention deficit disorder*
  • Learning disabilities*
  • Language disorders*
  • Intellectual impairment*
  • Prenatal substance exposure
Genetic Disorders
  • Tuberous sclerosis*
  • Down syndrome*
  • Angelman’s syndrome

Additional Assessment Options

Additional testing is available through the Psychological Evaluation and Research Laboratory (PEaRL), which conducts clinical assessments and research, and MUNDOS: Multicultural Neuropsychology Program, which provides culturally and linguistically appropriate neuropsychological evaluations and interventions to Latino adults and elderly people.

Patient Referrals

Medical specialists or primary care physicians make referrals for neuropsychological and psychological evaluation. We do NOT accept self-referrals. All patients are referred back to their specialists for treatment.

If you would like to use your health insurance to cover the cost of the evaluation, you should call your insurance company to ask if neuropsychological testing is a covered benefit under your specific health plan. Some insurance plans will require the testing psychologist to submit clinical information together with the referring specialist for review before authorizing the evaluations. 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.

If you have been referred for the purpose of diagnosing learning disabilities, be aware that 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. In such cases, 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 617-643-6145.