One of our primary services is to provide consultations and screenings for students who are having difficulties with academic performance, learning, or concentration, and who may be concerned that they have Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or a Specific Learning Disorder (SLD), and may be also interested in determining whether they qualify for educational accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
During a consultation we will answer students' questions about assessment and/or about educational accommodations. This may take the form of an email correspondence or a phone conversation, or we can schedule a time to meet with the student in person. This is a free service.
The service may be appropriate for students who are having difficulties with academic performance, learning, or concentration, and who may be interested in a professional assessment.
The purpose of a psychoeducational screening is to screen for a variety of conditions and to determine whether more in-depth assessment is warranted. Often, our screenings are sufficient to identify the factors that are contributing to the problem, and to make helpful recommendations. However, screenings are not sufficient to assess for eligibility for disability accommodations, which requires a full assessment. For this reason, some students may want to skip our screening and be referred to a professional who can provide them with this service.
If it appears likely that ADHD and/or SLD are present, further assessment will be needed. If you are fairly certain that you have ADHD and/or SLD, you may be best served by investigating all of your options for obtaining an assessment, including checking with the Regents Center and with your insurance. If you are unsure of the nature of your difficulties and want a professional opinion before committing to a full assessment, our screenings may be the way to go.
If you choose to do a screening, you will complete a set of questionnaires and meet with a member of our assessment team for an interview and a feedback session. You may also be asked to obtain any educational and testing records that may be available, such as old report cards and transcripts, and standardized test result records. Such standardized tests include the IOWA Basis Skills Tests, the Stanford Achievement Tests, the Georgia Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests, and the SAT or ACT. The total time commitment is about 2-3 hours, and there is no charge.
To schedule a screening, please stop by CARE and complete the initial paperwork for an appointment.
After a student has completed a psychoeducational screening, in some cases we may be able to complete a full psychoeducational assessment. If the student meets criteria for educational accommodations and wishes to obtain them, the report can be provided to the Georgia Tech Office of Disability Services.
Psychoeducational assessment is a specialized service, typically offered by psychologists, that is intended to develop a full understanding of the nature of difficulties with academic performance, learning, or concentration and provide detailed recommendations for clinical or educational services and accommodations (if warranted).
There can be many possible causes for these types of difficulties, including SLD, ADHD, psychiatric disorders, substance use, medical conditions, brain injury, problems with motivation, and/or stress. For this reason, a psychoeducational assessment must comprehensively evaluate all aspects of a person's functioning and life history. These assessments typically consist of interviews with the client and significant others (e.g., a parent or close friend), a series of questionnaires and tests, and a review of records such as previous tests (e.g., the SAT), transcripts, and report cards. It is common for these assessments to require 6 to 8 hours, including interviewing and testing, and to result in a lengthy report (often 8-16 pages).
What are educational accommodations?
The Americans with Disabilities Act provides for appropriate educational accommodations for students who meet the criteria for several conditions, including Specific Learning Disorders, ADHD, and psychiatric disorders. In order to qualify for accommodations, a student must provide adequate documentation from a professional psychoeducational assessment. For more information, see the University System of Georgia Academic Affairs Handbook, specifically, Section 3.11; Section 3 Appendices D and E; and Section 4.1.5 of the Board of Regents Policy Manual.
The Georgia Tech Office of Disability Services determines the adequacy of a students' documentation of a disability and ensures that students receive appropriate accommodations. If you are interested in applying for educational accommodations, it is recommended that you contact them for further guidance.
Where can I obtain an assessment?
There are at least three possible sources for obtaining an assessment in the Atlanta area:
- The Regents Center for Learning Disorders: Designated by the University System of Georgia as the primary provider of assessment for Georgia Tech students and is staffed by psychologists who specialize in assessment. The university system subsidizes part of the cost of the assessment, and as of 1/1/22 the cost to students was $500. To access the services offered by the Regents Center, students must first obtain a referral and an assessment packet from the Georgia Tech Office of Disability Services.
- The Emory University Psychological Center: As of 1/1/22, the cost for an assessment at Emory was $850, and is not typically covered by insurance.
- For a psychologist in private practice: Typically charge over $1,000 for a psychoeducational assessment, and this may or may not be covered by health insurance.
I am feeling a sense of urgency regarding getting an assessment for the purposes of applying for educational accommodations, what should I do?
First, read the university guidelines regarding the documentation and accommodation of disabilities in the University System of Georgia Academic Affairs Handbook. You can also find much of this information on the Office of Disability Services website. Second, contact the Office of Disability Services for further guidance. Third, explore all your options for assessment, including the Regents Center and psychologists in private practice, to find the service that is most expedient.
If you think you may have ADHD and/or SLD, a screening at our center may only delay you. Our screening can only estimate the likelihood of ADHD and/or SLD but cannot establish a diagnosis. Also, our screening report will not be accepted by Office of Disability Services as adequate documentation of a disability due to ADHD and/or SLD. However, our screening process is often sufficient to diagnose a variety of other disorders (e.g., mood or anxiety disorders), and in these cases, we may be able to produce a report that provides adequate documentation for accommodations due to impairment from these disorders.
If I choose to pursue an assessment with a psychologist in private practice, what should I ask?
Ask them: "What is your training and experience in conducting psychoeducational assessments?"; "Are you familiar with the criteria for providing documentation for accommodations contained in University System of Georgia Academic Affairs Handbook?"; and “Will my insurance cover the cost of the assessment and do you file or do I file for coverage?”
For clients with career-related issues, we offer career interest assessment and counseling. To discuss your career assessment needs, please schedule an initial consultation. Students with career-related issues should also be aware of services offered by Georgia Tech Career Services.
Interactive Substance Use Self-Assessments: Alcohol eCHECKUP TO GO & Marijuana eCHECKUP TO GO