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Center for Children with Special Needs

Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

Why am I going to the CCSN?
Everyone has things that they are good at and things that they need to work on. You might be visiting the CCSN because school is really hard for you, you have a hard time paying attention or sitting still, or it is difficult for you to control your feelings.

Here at the CCSN, we can work with you, your parents, and your school to figure out why you are having a hard time and what we can do to help you!

What is a visit like?
A visit to the CCSN is different from the regular doctor visit you might be used to. You won’t get any shots here! The people that you will work with at the CCSN know all about why kids have some trouble in school or at home and know how to help. These people are called specialists because they are specially trained in a certain subject.

When you come to the CCSN, you and your parents will each spend some time with the specialist you are seeing. The specialist will usually talk with your parents first so that he or she can learn about you and your family. But, the specialist especially wants to hear what you have to say! Don’t worry - your parents will be waiting right outside in the waiting room while you have your meeting with the specialist.

When you are talking to the specialist, it is important that you try to give as much information as possible about how you feel, and answer any questions that the specialist asks the best you can. Some of the questions might be hard to answer, but do your best. Remember, the more you tell the specialist, the easier it will be for him or her to help you.

If you have something important to tell the specialist, or questions to ask, you might even want to make a list of them before coming to the CCSN and bring it with you to your appointment. That way, you won’t forget to talk about them with the specialist. You should never be afraid to talk to your specialist. Each specialist, by law, has to keep what you tell them private, so none of your friends can ever find out what you talk about with your specialist.

What else?
You might also do some activities with the specialist to find out what kinds of things you are really good at and what things need some more work. These exercises can be fun, but are sometimes hard. If you don’t know an answer, give it your best shot. If you cooperate and do your best during your meeting, you might even get a prize when you are finished!

So, what’s next?
After your meeting, our specialists will take some time to figure out how to help you. By talking to your parents, and with your school, the specialist can help make changes that will help you to get better at whatever you are having trouble with. For example, you might be having a hard time in school because you need to learn in a different way than some of the other kids. Your specialist can talk to your school to help them teach you in a different way that will help you to learn.

Where are you located?
We are located on the second floor of The Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center.

Can I leave my child while he/she is being evaluated?
A parent interview is part of each evaluation and it is expected that you remain available even while your child is working individually with a clinician.

I can’t stay for the entire evaluation, can I leave my child with someone else (babysitter, grandparents, etc)?

Does my child get a break during the evaluation?
In general, only during a neuropsychological evaluation.

Can I observe the evaluation?
Yes, if you and the clinician feel that your child will not be adversely affected by your presence. Some children are more inhibited/shy when parents are watching them during an evaluation.


What is a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician?
A developmental-behavioral pediatrician is a pediatrician who has received specialized training in the developmental and behavioral problems of children and adolescents. All of the developmental-behavioral pediatricians at the CCSN are certified by the American Board of Pediatrics as highly qualified specialists.

A developmental-behavioral pediatrician is a pediatrician who has received specialized training in the developmental and behavioral problems of children and adolescents. All of the developmental-behavioral pediatricians at the CCSN are certified by the American Board of Pediatrics as highly qualified specialists.

What Types of Evaluations are Available?
Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics
Neuropsychological/intelligence (IQ)
Educational (dyslexia, learning disabilities)
Social-Emotional Assessments
Occupational Therapy
Physical therapy

Does the CCSN provide psychiatric evaluations or therapy?
Many of the children we serve have mental health problems, but a child whose primary problems stem from severe psychiatric, emotional or mood dysfunctions would be better cared for at a mental health clinic. We cannot provide crisis intervention.

We are able to provide a limited amount of psychotherapy/counseling for patients and their families whose primary issues involve developmental delays or disorders.

Can multiple evaluations be done on the same day?
A few evaluations involve a single appointment, but other assessments require several appointments. Sometimes a combined evaluation involving two or more clinicians is scheduled for very young children.

Is the IQ/Cognitive testing included in the neuropsychological evaluation?

What is a Cognitive/IQ Evaluation?
IQ/Cognitive evaluation is intelligence testing only. Intelligence testing evaluates a child’s reasoning and problem solving strengths and weaknesses.

Is projective testing included in the neuropsychological evaluation?
Projective testing (personality or social-emotional testing) is a separate

Is the educational evaluation included in the neuropsychological testing?
At the CCSN, the neuropsychological testing does not include educational evaluation. The educational functioning of your child is covered in depth by the Educational Specialists.

What can I expect from an educational evaluation?
You will receive a report that describes your child’s approach to educational tasks and description of his/her performance in specific skills. Recommendations for remedial intervention, learning strategies and programming and placement will be included.

What can I expect from a speech-language evaluation?
You will receive a report detailing how your child performs on various measures of speech and language skills. Recommendations for appropriate program placement and recommendations for therapy will also be included.

After an evaluation, what services do you provide?
Our pediatricians continue to provide follow-up monitoring and management in conjunction with the child’s primary care physician at parents’ request. When medications are prescribed for children/adolescents, their progress is monitored regularly. Often, if the child is doing well, the primary care physician can take over the regular monitoring and routine refills of medication. We always continue to be available in case any problems arise in the future.

Appointments / Insurance

How do I know what evaluations my child needs?
Once we receive the completed Intake Packet Online Forms from the parent/guardian and the child’s school, it is reviewed and the types of evaluation your child needs are determined.

Once intake questionnaires are received, how long does the review process take?
The review process takes about 2-4 weeks.

What types of insurance do you accept and does insurance cover these evaluations?
We accept most types of health insurance but, insurance policies vary regarding what evaluations they will cover. Learn more about insurance and payment. Parents should check with their particular insurance plan regarding coverage.