Frequently Asked Questions | Overview
At Boston Children’s Hospital, we consider you and your child integral parts of the care team — not simply recipients of care. We specialize in family centered treatment, which means that from your first visit to our Neuropsychology Program, you’ll work with a team of professionals who are committed to meeting your child’s neurological, psychological, and developmental needs while providing emotional support and educational information for your family.
Your child’s appointment: frequently asked questions
Patients are referred to our Neuropsychology Program through many sources — both within and outside Boston Children’s — including neurologists, oncologists, neurosurgeons, psychiatrists, psychologists, and other clinicians.
Most of our patients do have referrals before seeking treatment, but you may also contact us at 617-355-8434 if you would like to make an appointment directly.
It is important to call and check with your insurance provider before you schedule an appointment with us. Some insurers will not cover neuropsychological assessments if a child has already undergone a similar assessment in the past 12 months, or if a school-based evaluation of learning, function, and special needs has been administered. Please be sure to call the number on the back of your subscriber identification card to inquire about coverage for neuropsychological assessments. If you have questions for our staff or require additional assistance, please call us at 617-355-8434.
Your child’s age and individual circumstances may determine which information (and the amount of information) you choose to share before the initial appointment. Guidelines for a beneficial conversation might include:
- explaining that the doctor you will be meeting is going to ask some questions and give some assignments to help figure out what sort of a “thinker” and “learner” your child is
- visiting the Boston Children’s website and taking a “virtual tour” of the hospital with your child
- reassuring your child that you will be there throughout the appointment
- encouraging your child to speak freely about feelings and worries, and to ask any questions that come to mind, both before and during the appointment
A member of the Neuropsychology Program staff will go over everything you’ll need on the day of your visit. A good checklist of take-along items should include:
- the name of the doctor you will be seeing
- the name and floor of the Boston Children’s building you will be visiting
- the name and telephone number of your referring physician, if applicable
- your insurance card(s) (please be sure to call your insurance provider prior to your appointment, to make sure that your plan will cover a neuropsychological assessment for your child)
- co-payment for your insurance, if applicable
- information from your child’s referral
- all relevant medical and personal records
- all relevant school records, including:
- psychological evaluation reports
- speech/language, physical therapy, or occupational therapy reports
- psychoeducational records
- individualized education plans
- 504 plans (plans listing modifications and accommodations for your child under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act)
- a list of your child’s medications
- a list of questions you have for the doctor and staff (if appropriate for your child’s age and maturity, you may want to have him or her come up with questions that he or she is curious about)
- your child’s and your Social Security numbers (for insurance purposes)
- any forms mailed to you by the Boston Children’s Neuropsychology Program
- books, games, snacks, formula, diapers, a change of baby clothes, or other necessities
Neuropsychology assessments may be conducted in one session (usually lasting one to three hours) on a single day, or may be scheduled over the course of two days, with typically a week between sessions.
Usually, the assessment will involve taking a detailed medical, academic, and family history of your child and a series of tests that measure his:
- ability to learn and retain information
- language and communication skills
- visual and auditory (hearing) perception
- organizational, decision-making, behavioral, and emotional control
You and your child will be able — and encouraged — to ask questions throughout the assessment.
Please call 617-355-3397 with questions about billing.
If you need to reschedule an appointment, please call 617-355-8434. (Please provide at least 24 hours advance notice whenever possible.)
The Hale Family Center for Families is dedicated to helping families find the information and resources they need to better understand their child’s particular condition and take part in their care. All patients, families and health professionals are welcome to use the center’s services at no extra cost. The center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Please call 617-355-6279 for more information.
Making sure your insurance covers a neuropsychological assessment
Sometimes, insurance companies may not cover neuropsychological assessments at Boston Children’s — even if they will cover other neurological care and mental health treatment.
Your behavioral health plan may not cover a neuropsychological assessment for your child if:
- your child has received a school evaluation to identify, screen for or test special needs or learning disabilities
- your child has undergone a similar neuropsychological assessment within the past 12 months, unless his or her condition requires close monitoring over time
To ensure that your insurance company will cover your child’s care in our Neuropsychology Program, please contact your plan representative using the phone number on the back of your subscriber identification card. You may also call us with other questions at 617-355-8434.
What else you need to know
Read through our guide for new patients and their families.