What does neuropsychological testing measure?

A full neuropsychological evaluation measures distinct aspects of brain functioning, including reasoning skills, processing speed, working memory, language development, visual processing skills, memory, attention, concentration, executive functioning skills, and emotional/behavioral functioning.


What does an evaluation entail?

A formal clinical interview is conducted with parents and/or legal guardians and caregivers for approximately 90 minutes.  Testing with the child/adolescent usually entails a combination of paper and pencil tasks, computerized games, and questionnaires.  The duration of the testing session varies, but it usually lasts for several hours.  A lunch break and smaller rest breaks are provided as needed.


How soon are results available?

Typically results are available within two weeks of the completion of the evaluation, which includes gathering information from all sources, including teachers, school psychologists, other mental health professionals and/or medical records.  To expedite this process, it is recommended that you collect as many of these records as you can prior to your first appointment.  A feedback session will be scheduled during which the results of the evaluation will be explained, and  parents will be provided with a comprehensive report for their records.


What is the cost of a neuropsychological evaluation?

The cost of an evaluation will vary depending on the referral question and amount of testing that needs to be completed. A typical pediatric neuropsychological evaluation involves 6-8 hours of face-to-face testing with the child, a 90 minute clinical interview with the child's parents, administration of questionnaires to parents, caregivers when appropriate, and teacher(s), correspondence with health professionals and school administrators, test scoring and preparation of an integrative report, and the feedback session.  An estimate will be provided to you after your initial consultation.  Charges are billed hourly using medical CPT codes and a superbill will be provided to parents to facilitate the reimbursement process.


Will my insurance cover the cost of the evaluation?

Dr. Fernandez is currently considered an out-of-network provider with most insurance companies.  We will gladly provide you with an itemized bill (i.e., superbill) that lists all administered services and corresponding medical CPT codes, making it possible for you to obtain reimbursement from your insurance company for your services.  Individualized Educational Evaluations (IEEs) are not typically covered by insurance companies unless there is a clear indication of medical necessity.  There is no guarantee that insurance companies will approve your claim.


Does the center provide PEERS® groups?

The center provides one-on-one social skills training following a modified version of the manualized approach typically used with PEERS® groups.  The group-based program is available at the UCLA Semel Institute where it was originally developed by Dr. Elizabeth Laugeson, Director of the UCLA PEERS® Clinic, and where Dr. Fernandez facilitates the social coach group for the young adult program.  For more information about the UCLA program and how to enroll your adolescent or please visit:  https://www.semel.ucla.edu/peers.


Do you offer any social skills programs for children in elementary school or younger?

The Children's Friendship Program offers social skills programs for children in grades 2-6 as well as parenting programs for parents with children ages 2-12. Please visit their website for more information: https://www.semel.ucla.edu/socialskills.


Does my child need to have autism to participate in social skills training?

PEERS® is not only effective for individuals on the autism spectrum.  The program has been found to be effective for people with a variety of diagnoses, including but not limited to ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, Social Phobias, Bipolar Disorder, and OCD.


Why is it so important for my young adult to have a social coach?

Parent participation is crucial for teen participation in the PEERS® program, but even young adults benefit from the participation of a parent or other social coach, such as a supportive sibling, close relative, or life-coach.  Social coaches help with homework completion, facilitate opportunities for peer interaction, and give guidance on interpersonal problems.  A young adult's success in the program can hinge on the involvement of a supportive coach.


Where can I find a PEERS® Certified Provider in my area?

The UCLA PEERS® Clinic trains mental health professionals and educators around the world in how to implement the PEERS® intervention. For a list of PEERS® certified providers in your area, please visit: https://www.semel.ucla.edu/peers/certified-providers.