Go to our schedule an appointment for a step-by-step guide to starting the process.
Consultation appointments can serve multiple purposes, including the first step in our assessment process. This is an opportunity for you to ask questions and get oriented to the different services that we recommend and are available. The clinician will review all paperwork you have submitted and ask questions to get a clear idea of your concerns in order to make recommendations on next steps, which could include assessment, treatment, or other interventions.
Assessment fees range depending on the presenting concern, type(s) of evaluation, and any other professional services necessary. Click here for our Professional Service Fees.
Most insurance companies offer reimbursement for psychological and neuropsychological services, depending on your benefits, whether we are in-network, and deductible. Educational and academic services are not billable for insurance reimbursement. Currently, our speech language therapist is not in network with insurance companies. We can provide you with a superbill if you are seeking reimbursement directly through your insurance company.
We urge all our clients to be effective consumers and ask questions about fees and insurance coverage for our services. Evaluation services are time and labor intensive, and thus costly to provide. We will work to give you basic information on your insurance coverage, but we also strongly encourage you to contact your carrier directly and inquire about coverage.
If you have a health insurance policy, it will often provide some coverage for medical/mental health treatment. We will fill out forms and provide you with whatever assistance we can in helping you receive the benefits to which you are entitled; however, you (not your insurance company) are responsible for full payment of our fees. It is important for you as a consumer to know your insurance coverage for medical and mental health services. If you have questions about the coverage, call your plan administrator. We will provide you with whatever information we can based on our experience.
You should also be aware that most insurance companies require you to authorize us to provide them with a clinical diagnosis. Sometimes, we have to provide additional clinical information such as treatment plans or summaries, or copies of the entire record (in rare cases). This information will become part of the insurance company files and will probably be stored in a computer. Though all insurance companies claim to keep such information confidential, we have no control over what they do with it once it is in their hands. In some cases, they may share the information with a national medical information databank. We will provide you with a copy of any report we submit if you request it.
It is important to remember that you always have the right to pay for services yourself to avoid the problems described above unless prohibited by contract.
We are IN-NETWORK with the following insurance providers:
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Fallon Community Health Plan (Commercial and MassHealth)
Point32 (previously Harvard Pilgrim)
Mass General Brigham
Optum (Commercial and MassHealth)
Tufts Public Plans (MassHealth)
UMR Behavioral Health/Optum
Cigna Wellfleet (UMass only; no other Cigna plans) We are out of network for this plan but will bill them directly.
We also accept Out-Of-Network benefits and can provide you with a superbill.
Important Note: In-network does not mean that all costs will be covered. Individual plans vary greatly from person to person. If you have a commercial plan (not MassHealth/Medicaid), we encourage you to call the number on the back of your card and ask if deductibles, co-insurance, or copays apply for outpatient psychological and neuropsychological testing. Pre-authorization is required for many plans, and some plans will tell you there is a full benefit but have strict authorization limits that do not cover comprehensive testing. If you are uninsured, your plan is not listed here or we do not accept your plan, please call our office prior to filling out paperwork.
If your insurance plan is not in our list of accepted insurance plans, services will likely not be covered. Even if MassHealth is a secondary insurance plan, they will not cover services at Learning Solutions if your primary insurance is not accepted. We do not accept:
Commonwealth Care Alliance
Health New England
Medicare (this is NOT the same as MassHealth or Medicaid, which we do accept)
Tufts Health Navigator, and other Tufts commercial plans US Family Health Insurance
Some plans that we do not accept (particularly, Cigna) may have good out-of-network benefits. This means that they will reimburse the client (you) after the client pays for services themselves. In such cases, the out-of-pocket costs listed above will be due on the date of service; receipts will be provided, for the client to obtain reimbursement from their insurance company directly.
If your health care or mental health care provider has referred you for an evaluation, we find it very helpful to have a letter that explains their reasons for the referral. This helps us coordinate care more effectively. MassHealth plans managed by the Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership (MBHP) require a referral letter before authorizing psychological testing services. It is best if Learning Solutions has this letter by at least three weeks prior to the client’s evaluation date (so we can obtain a prior authorization from your insurance company, to provide coverage for the testing). If providers have questions about referral letters, they can be directed to call our office at (413) 584-0265.
Our billing office will be glad to assist you if you need to make financial arrangements for an existing balance or upcoming expense. For payment arrangements or questions, please contact our office at (413) 584-0265, and we will direct you to the appropriate person.
Due to the nature of and specialization of our services, cancellations must be made at least 3 business days prior to appointments. Scheduled appointments of one-hour or less are subject to a $50 late cancellation fee or $100 no-show fee, unless otherwise specified in our contract with the insurance company. Testing appointments of two-hours or more are subject to a $150 late cancellation fee or $500 no-show fee, unless otherwise specified in our contract with the insurance company.
Summary meetings are not subject to a late cancellation or no-show fee. However, if you wish to reschedule a summary meeting after a no-show or same-day cancellation, there is a $50 rescheduling fee.
As independent evaluators, we can provide you with recommendations that can help in building your child's IEP or 504 Plans. Learning Solutions can also offer you guidance on how to effectively collaborate with your child’s school around our findings. However, we do not directly write IEP goals or independently determine accommodations. Instead, our evaluation may be used to support the need for certain goals or accommodations.
For an additional fee, Learning Solutions can attend a IEP or 504 meeting with you. We can also offer you guidance and outside resources to answer your questions about the IEP and 504 Process.
We strive to establish a collaborative approach to working with schools, with the mindset that everyone has children's best interests at the forefront of their decision-making.
For Speech and Language and Educational evaluations, please take your prescription medication as you normally do. For Neuropsychological evaluations, our recommendations vary depending on age, the medication, and what tests will be administered. Please call our office for guidance.
An assessment of how your child produces sounds (articulation) is only one small part of a speech and language evaluation at our clinic. A comprehensive assessment will formally evaluate multiple aspects of your child’s communication skills (including vocabulary, grammar, receptive and expressive language, and auditory language processing). We will also assess your child’s abilities to use these language skills to carry out complex tasks, (such as reasoning, problem-solving, social pragmatic communication, and storytelling). A speech and language evaluation can identify or rule out the presence of a language-based learning disability. It can also reveal specific areas of weakness that may impact your child’s ability to use language effectively, both in academic settings and in social situations. Language weaknesses in many of these areas often go unnoticed, or are mistaken for other conditions, particularly among children who may be well-liked, well-behaved, or otherwise "well-spoken."
A social pragmatic language evaluation assesses the skills needed to comprehend, navigate, and participate in social interactions. These include direct skills such as reading nonverbal cues (including facial expressions), engaging in conversations appropriately (including topic maintenance and turn-taking), taking the perspectives of others, and understanding non-literal, abstract, and figurative uses of language.
Language skills that are adjacent to and correlated with social communication are also assessed. These include metalinguistic skills such as inferential reasoning, problem-solving, predicting, and using context to make reasoned judgments and decisions, as well as to make educated guesses. Academically, metalinguistic abilities are needed to understand the different steps required to carry out assignments, formulate hypotheses, complete higher-level reading comprehension tasks, and interpret word story problems in math.
Individuals who struggle with social communication but whose deficits do not rise to the level of an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may meet the diagnostic criteria for a Social Pragmatic Communication Disorder. A social pragmatic language evaluation can provide targeted recommendations and interventions for individuals who struggle with any aspects of social communication or higher-level reasoning and problem-solving.
For children, parents or caretakers will be asked to complete additional standardized behavioral measures typically via an online link that is emailed before or after the psychological portion of testing is complete. There may be additional measures to complete in person while you wait for your child. Additionally, teachers will also be sent standardized behavioral measures to complete regarding observations of the child at school.
Receiving a range of observational information from people who know the client best is an important part of a comprehensive assessment in order to have a full understanding of the child beyond the day(s) of testing. Without this data, an evaluation is limited and considered incomplete. Clinicians may also speak with a counselor or medical provider involved with your child and/or other pertinent people.
If you are completing neuropsychological testing or psychological/cognitive testing, you will come in for a 3-hour appointment. If you are doing academic testing or speech and language testing as well, you will have several appointment days. Your intake clinician and our office staff will explain your appointment schedule in detail.
On the day of testing, you will work with a psychologist or neuropsychologist on a variety of tasks that are designed to measure different cognitive abilities. You will be asked to work on paper-and-pencil measures and do tasks that are similar to games or puzzles. Some of the tasks are simple, and some are complex. There is no “passing” or “failing.” You will also talk with the psychologist or neuropsychologist and fill out standardized behavioral self-report measures to help the clinician better understand your experiences.
We may ask you to provide names and contact information for your therapist(s), psychiatrist, other providers, and friends and/or relatives who know you best. Receiving a range of observational information from people who know you best is an important and necessary part of a comprehensive assessment in order to understand you as a whole person aside from the day(s) of testing. Without this data, an evaluation is limited and considered incomplete.
We suggest avoiding using the word “testing.” Young children ages 6–12 can be reassured that they’re going to be playing “brain games” to learn how parents and teachers can help them use their brains best. For older children and adolescents, it can help to explain that everybody’s brain is unique, and that by knowing how your brain works, a person can learn tips and tricks to “work smarter, not harder.” The most important goal is for individuals to come away from an evaluation knowing their strengths. Below are some tips on talking with your child:
Starting the Conversation
- In a nutshell, the purpose of an assessment is to “learn about how you learn,” so that:
- Teachers know how to teach you
- Parents know how to support you
- You know how to advocate for yourself
Introducing the idea of an assessment to your child may sound something like:
- I’ve noticed you’re working really hard at ____ this year, but it still seems pretty tough, and I’m not sure why. I’ve been thinking that if we knew more about how you learn best, your teachers and I could do a better job teaching you. Last week, I/we met with a person who can help us find a way to make school easier for you and figure out what we can do differently.
Describing the Process
- When your child comes in, we will do different activities to help us better understand how they work with different types of information.We will do puzzles, play word games, chat about what they like to do, and try to figure out why hard things are hard.
- For young children, it may be important to let them know that Dr. _____ is a “different kind of doctor” who helps them learn about their brain.They are not sick and there is nothing wrong with them - also, no shots!
- Older children may need a reminder that this is a confidential process, focused on finding solutions.Their input is extremely important to figuring out what will be most helpful for them.
- Explaining the process may sound something like:
- You will be doing different activities to figure out how you learn best, where your strengths are, and why some things are hard right now. Some will be fun, some will be easy, and some will challenge you. Your job is just to do your best, and if something is tricky, you’ll work together to figure out why!
Getting Their Input
Helping your child to articulate their own assessment questions will not only help us help them, but will get them more invested in the process itself.
Kids may need a little time to mull it over and get their thoughts together, so don’t be afraid to ask a few times. This may sound something like:
- There are things I’d like to know to help me support you better, but I’m wondering what you’d like to know about how you learn, or why certain things are easy and others are hard? If you can’t think of anything right now, that’s ok. I’ll ask you again tomorrow and we can try to write down a list together.
Please bring this list with you on the day of the assessment or (even better) send it to our office ahead of time.
Testing results are more valid if children are seen separately from their parents. If you think your child will have difficulty separating, please share this during your intake appointment, or call our office and ask to speak to the psychologist assigned to do your child’s testing. Parents and caretakers will be in a nearby room, and together you can strategize with the clinician on how to help your child separate. While we strongly encourage both parents to participate in the intake appointment and summary meeting, it is only necessary for one parent to attend their child’s testing appointment. Parents will be able to see their child during breaks.
Parents or caregivers may be asked to complete standardized behavioral measures during the visit. If your child separates easily and you have filled out the necessary measures, then you are free to remain in the building or leave our offices. If you decide to leave, please check with our receptionist or the clinician on when you should return. Children are able to go about 1 – 1.5 hours at a time, with the longest stretch typically being the first half of testing. During their breaks, parents are expected to be available to supervise their children. We recommend bringing water and a healthy snack for your child to have during their breaks.
The direct portion of psychological testing can take anywhere from 2 to 5 hours, with 3 hours being the typical length. For young children, especially for those are not used to sitting and doing some paper and pencil work, we usually find it best to divide the testing session into two shorter periods on different days. Typically, at least one brief break will be taken half way through testing and several in-office breaks will be utilized as necessary. Our evaluators are skilled at determining when children need breaks and engaging them to get the information that is needed for the evaluation.
For adults, testing can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours, with 3 hours being the typical length. Some of your testing might be completed outside of the time in our office (e.g., completing standardized measures), often online. Typically, at least one brief break will be taken half way through testing.
If you are worried your child will resist coming in for an assessment, you are not alone! Here are some tips for setting it up for success.
Tip #1: Use your child’s words to describe the problem.
Many children resist testing because it feels like adults don’t get it. For this reason, it can be helpful to think about how your child is describing the problem.
For example, instead of “writing is hard,” they may say, “writing is boring” or “my teacher is unfair.” By using their language, you are assuring them that we will help them solve their problem, not just ours. This might sound like:
- I’ve noticed that you really don’t like your math teacher this year. I’m wondering if there’s a way we could make that class better for you.
- I’ve noticed that we are in a bad nagging cycle around homework. I know you don’t like it and I don’t like it either. I wonder if there’s a way we can break out of it.
- I’ve noticed you’re getting in trouble a lot this year and it doesn’t seem to make sense. I wonder if there’s a way we can figure it out together.
- I heard you say that you hate school, and I can totally see why! Let’s see if there’s a way to change that.
Tip #2: Talk over ice cream
Some children may be worried they’ve done something wrong, or that there is something wrong with them. For this reason, we recommend talking to your child in a place where it is obvious that there is nothing wrong and they are not in trouble. Having a bowl of ice cream, taking the dog for a walk, or playing catch are all good ways to have a conversation without it feeling too “serious”.
Tip #3: Let them know it’s not mandatory
If your child is having a really hard time, we will work together to figure it out. The first step is letting them know it’s not mandatory. Keep in mind that we can get a lot of information about what might help your child in other ways, and if your child is resisting, the actual tests we do are unlikely to be valid.
Besides, giving a child the choice often makes them more likely to participate because it:
- Shows them respect
- Establishes trust
- Gives them choice and control over the situation
- Gives space for the child to voice their concerns without a contingency
- Allows us as adults to figure out ways to address those concerns so they can be an active participant in the future
Please contact our office to speak with the clinician assigned to you, in order to see if a “non-committal” meeting with your child is possible. This is not always possible given time restrictions, but we will try our best. While 99% of the time we end up moving forward, if for some reason we are not able to at this time, we have established a relationship so that your child can come back when they are ready.
Once you have contacted our office, you could approach your child with something like the following:
It makes sense that you do not want to do the testing. I can imagine I would be skeptical as well! I will respect your decision if you decide you really do not want to do it. At the same time, I want to make sure you have all the information before you make your final decision. Would you be willing to meet with Dr. ______ once just to see what it’s all about?
While your child may not agree on the problem that brought you in as a parent, we can often find something the child does want to work on, and that gives us a way to move forward.
The clinician assigned to you or your child will take into account (1) background information including a review of any previous testing and/or records submitted, (2) collateral information obtained from interviews with pertinent people (e.g., involved professionals, school staff, close contacts, caretakers, etc.), (3) the quantitative results of testing, (4) clinical observations during the testing, and (5) standardized behavioral measures completed by the client, close contacts, parents/caregivers, and/or teachers.
Testing results are reviewed with the individual (for over 18), parents or caretakers and others that they may invite to the summary meeting. The testing report is released to the client themselves (if over 18) or the person(s) or agency that has custody of the child. Results are not sent elsewhere without your consent. Rather, clients, parents or caretakers are encouraged to share the final report with the child’s pediatrician or their own providers, school/university, and other involved professionals.
For adults, you will likely have at least one break during testing. Feel free to bring a drink and a snack. If you are on medication, please alert your intake clinician, and they will provide guidance around what medications you should take. Always take any medication that is related to physical health (e.g., blood pressure medication).