Scheduling Your Appointment

Request for Services

If you wish to obtain information about our services or are interested in scheduling an assessment, counseling, or consultation, please complete the Request for Services form. Even if you are unsure if you want to pursue services at the ACC or have a quick question, it is important to complete the Request for Services form. Because the ACC provides psychological services, a medical record must be initiated prior to a psychologist talking to or meeting with a potential client. The intake form is our means of initiating a medical record, and it includes important information, such as contact information, that may be needed in case of an emergency or if a person’s safety is in question. It also allows our staff to properly document encounters with clients in accordance with medical and psychological record keeping laws. If you would like to review our assessment record-keeping policy, it is available here.

Once you have submitted the Request for Services Form, you will receive an automated email within a few minutes confirming receipt of the form and noting that your child has been placed on the appropriate waiting list for services.

What Days/Times Does The Clinic Take Appointments

Assessment are schedule during weekday mornings, typically between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Most assessments take place over the course of two mornings. Therapy appointments and consultations are scheduled between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

How Long Do I Have To Wait For An Appointment

If you have completed the Request for Services form and received an auto-generated response from the clinic, then your child is on our waitlist for services. The wait time for assessment services depends, in part, on the type of assessment you are requesting and the referral question. Additionally, wait times vary depending on the time of the year and availability of clinic staff. Assessments are scheduled in batches approximately every 2 months, so you can anticipate being contacted to schedule your child’s evaluation 4 to 8 weeks prior to your child being evaluated. You may also elect to be on the cancellation list, indicating that you would be willing to be seen on short notice if there is an unexpected cancellation.

The current estimated wait times for ACC services are as follows:

  • Twice-exceptional evaluations: approximately one year (Please note that the wait time for diagnostic evaluations of Autism Spectrum Disorder is often longer than the wait time for other diagnostic referral questions)
  • Educational evaluations: approximately 2 to 4 months
  • Consultations: approximately 1 to 2 months
  • Counseling: Due to our extensive waitlist for therapy services, we are not accepting new clients on our waitlist this time.

If your child needs services before they can be seen at the ACC, upon request, the ACC staff can provide names and contact information for some local providers. However, if you are seeking services outside of the Iowa City area, we may not be able to provide referral options due to lack of familiarity with providers in your area. Parents seeking additional options may try speaking with their child’s primary care provider or school personnel about options in their area.

Preparing For Your Appointment

Before Your Appointment

Previous Evaluations

If your child has had any prior evaluations, we ask that you provide the ACC with a copy of the report from that evaluation. Please note that many assessment measures cannot be repeated within a short period of time, and re-evaluation typically should not occur in less than one year. If your child has been evaluated within the last year, it is critical that those results be made available to the ACC to avoid re-administering measures in a manner that would lead to invalid and unusable results. If your child has recently participated in an evaluation and was referred to the ACC for additional testing, please explain this on the Request for Services Form. ACC staff will then review the prior findings, and if it is determined that additional assessment is warranted, an appropriate assessment plan will be developed and communicated to the family. In addition to prior evaluations, we also request a brief summary of current therapy services, as well as relevant school records (e.g., IEP or 504 Plans, standardized test scores, recent grade reports). You will receive an email requesting this information prior to your child’s first appointment.

Although both the ACC and University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) are part of the University of Iowa, they are completely separate clinics and do not share a medical record system. If your child was previously evaluated at UIHC, please request to have the report sent to our clinic. Likewise, the results of an evaluation at ACC will not be shared with any UIHC providers unless a parent or legal guardian requests the information be shared and signs a Release of Information form.

Once your appointment has been scheduled, please complete the following forms and return them to us prior to your appointment. Forms can be returned via email (bbc-clinic@uiowa.edu), fax (319-335-5151), or US Mail (Attn: Nancy Whetstine; Belin-Blank Center; 500 Blank Honors Center; Iowa City, Iowa, 52242).

Please return all required forms (HIPAA, Background Form, Service Agreement, Insurance Authorization) at least one week prior to your child’s appointment. This will allow the clinician time to become familiar with your child and your concerns in order to effectively prepare for the evaluation.

Preparing Your Child

It is natural for children and adolescents to experience some anxiety about the idea of visiting a new place and participating in an evaluation. We do initially have parents accompany their child to the assessment room, at which time we talk with the parent and child together in order to ease that transition. We recommend not emphasizing to the child that they are being “tested,” but rather letting them know that they are going to be doing some activities to help us understand how they think and learn best. Many children and adolescents find several of the activities to be enjoyable, such as putting blocks together or looking for patterns in pictures. The goal is not for the client to correctly answer every question, but rather for the examiner to better understand how a child approaches and thinks about different types of problems. They are simply asked to try their best. Additionally, the ACC is a warm, supportive, and friendly environment. Clients will have opportunities to take breaks, and they are always welcome to ask questions if they are uncertain about anything.

The Day of Your Appointment

Getting Ready

In most cases, the child should take his/her prescribed medication prior to an assessment, unless the purpose of the evaluation is to determine whether the child meets criteria for ADHD. If the diagnostic question is ADHD, or if the parents would like a second opinion on their child’s ADHD diagnosis, the child should NOT take his/her ADHD medication. Any other medications (e.g., anxiety, depression) should be administered prior to testing. If you are unsure whether or not to have your child take his/her medication, it is recommended that you do not administer the medication, but do bring it with you to the appointment. Please indicate to the evaluator prior to starting the testing process that you would like assistance in determining whether to have your child to take his/her medication as prescribed.

Arriving

The closest campus parking options to the Blank Honors Center include the North Campus Parking Ramp, and the Iowa Memorial Union (IMU) Parking Ramp. If you park in either of these parking ramps we will provide you with a parking pass to cover the cost of parking both mornings of assessment testing.

The Assessment and Counseling Clinic is located on the 5th floor of the Blank Honors Center. The receptionist area is right off the elevators. Visitors to the University of Iowa (UI) Campus can enjoy free guest wireless service without having to obtain a guest ID. Guests can take advantage of this service by selecting the UI-Guest network when connecting to a wireless network. More information is available in the Assessment and Counseling Clinic waiting area.

Upon arriving for your child’s evaluation, the examiner will explain the consent forms, clarify the purpose of the evaluation, and discuss a general evaluation plan. Typically, tests are referred to as “activities” so as not to cause anxiety for the student. All ACC evaluations include a full assessment of intellectual ability, full assessment of academic achievement, and a screening of psychosocial functioning. Additional measures will be administered based on the referral question and patterns of performance observed during initial aspects of the evaluation. Should a parent wish to know more about the specific measures that will be used, that information is available upon request.

The Appointment

At the start of the assessment, the clinician will meet with you and your child to go over consent forms and review how they plan to proceed. At that time, they will provide information on when they need parents to be present, such as during the child’s break and the parent interview. If you plan on leaving the building, please make sure you provide your cell phone number to the receptionist before leaving. Please do not plan on leaving the building if you anticipate that your child may have difficulty transitioning to testing, may feel anxious, or may be more comfortable having you remain in the clinic area. Parents of young children are recommended to remain in the building for the duration of the evaluation.

Additionally, if parents bring siblings of the child being evaluated, we ask that that parents do not leave these children unattended. Our clinic is small, and the waiting area is right outside the testing rooms.  There may be other families here for services with another clinician at the same time. We have a play area next to the waiting area with some books, toys, and games that children are welcome to enjoy during their breaks.

A majority of the assessment protocols are individually administered verbally and using paper-and-pencil forms. ACC staff strictly adhere to standard administration practices as indicated by the developers of the assessment tools being administered. There are a few measures that involve computerized administration, and most of these are self-report, parent, or teacher rating scales. Very young children are administered questionnaires via a structured interview with the examiner rather than completing a computerized form.

The ACC staff are trained to carefully observe the behaviors of our clients and to implement strategies that allow them to best demonstrate their knowledge and abilities. At the same time, ACC staff are vigilant about following standard administration procedures in accordance with the psychology code of ethics. Some behavioral strategies commonly used at the ACC include providing a client with a visual schedule, providing frequent breaks, high density praise, positive reinforcement, encouraging the client to “provide their best guess” when they are unsure of the answer, and taking time to develop a relationship with the client in order to put them at ease. Despite these efforts, at times, the examiner may observe that a child’s performance seems to have been affected by anxiety, inattention, low effort, etc. The examiner will take this into consideration when interpreting the findings in the comprehensive assessment report.

Because the examiner scores and compiles aspects of the full evaluation after the evaluation has been completed, the examiner is typically not able to provide diagnostic impressions until the report has been written, nor can any specific scores be provided. However, in some instances, the examiner may observe certain patterns of behavior or performance, or may learn information during the interviews that can be shared with the parent as preliminary results at the conclusion of the testing period.

After Your Appointment

Receiving Your Report

Although this may vary depending on the referral concerns and complexity of the case, approximately one month after an evaluation has been completed, the family will be provided with a comprehensive evaluation report and the opportunity to discuss the findings with the psychologist who conducted the evaluation. The report is not provided to anyone other than the family unless the family specifically requests and completes a Release of Information allowing the report to be sent elsewhere. Families are welcome and encouraged to share the findings of the evaluation with relevant school personnel and/or treatment providers (e.g., the student’s primary medical provider, therapist, etc.). If school personnel have questions regarding the evaluation report, we are happy to respond to those questions, but a Release of Information must be signed by a parent allowing us to communicate with the school.

How To Use The Report

Although schools typically take into consideration the results and recommendations of our evaluations, decisions regarding eligibility for school-based services and accommodations, such as an IEP or 504 Plan, are ultimately made by the school team. When a student is being considered for special education services through an IEP, parents are an integral part of the educational planning process.

Accommodations for school-based exams such as the Iowa Assessments are typically provided if a student has been determined to be eligible for testing accommodations through a 504 Plan or an IEP. For college entrance exams (e.g., SAT or ACT), decisions regarding accommodations are determined by the testing company on an individual basis. The results and recommendations of an evaluation from the Assessment and Counseling Clinic may be taken into consideration, but we cannot guarantee that testing accommodations will be provided solely on our recommendation.

School districts determine eligibility for gifted and talented services based on their own inclusion criteria. Results obtained from non-school evaluations, such as those provided by the ACC, may be taken into consideration when decisions about special services or educational placement are being made, but eligibility is ultimately determined by the school.

Our Recommendations

Following the evaluation, you will receive a comprehensive report that includes individualized recommendations for meeting your child’s learning and psychosocial needs. Recommendations often include strategies for nurturing talents, accommodating and intervening with areas of concern, and connecting with community resources. Please understand that we cannot make specific recommendations about which school would be a good fit for a particular child, and this is due, in part, to us serving clients from around the state and country. Therefore, we do not have sufficient knowledge of all schools to provide this type of recommendation. However, we will provide you with information about the types of supports, services, opportunities, and environments that are likely to be a good fit for your child, and you are encouraged to consider that information when meeting with staff at the schools you are considering for your child.

Fees & Insurance

Determining Fees

Assessment fees are determined by a variety of factors, including the type of services provided, the individuals involved in conducting the evaluation, and the total amount of time spent. Importantly, consultation and assessment fees include time spent reviewing prior records, conducting the evaluation or consultation, interpreting the findings and developing a conceptualization, writing a comprehensive integrative report, and providing feedback to families about the results and conclusions of the evaluation. The comprehensive reports integrate information provided during the clinical interview, prior medical and educational records, and current test results; the report ends with a clinical conceptualization that may include psychological diagnoses, as well as recommendations for meeting the client’s needs.

Insurance Coverage

The Belin-Blank Center psychologists are in-network providers for Wellmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield (BC/BS) insurance. If you wish for us to submit to your BC/BS insurance plan on your behalf, please make sure that you bring your most recent BC/BS insurance card with you to the first appointment so that we can make a copy for our records. For families who have an insurance carrier other than BC/BS, upon request, we can provide the proper documentation for you to submit the expense for reimbursement on your own as an out-of-network service. Families are strongly encouraged to check their coverage with their insurance provider prior to receiving clinic services.

Paying Privately

Clients have the option of paying privately for services. For therapy and consultations, payment is due at the time of service. For evaluations, all private-pay clients will be required to pay a down payment upon arrival on the first day of testing (costs vary depending on the type of assessment). The remaining balance will be due immediately following the completion of the evaluation on the second day of testing.

Payment by check should be made out to the Belin-Blank Center Assessment and Counseling Clinic. You may also make a payment by credit card (Visa, MasterCard and Discover). In order to make a payment by credit card, please contact the Assessment and Counseling Clinic by calling 319-335-2395. We are unable to accept payment online.

Payment plans are available; if you are interested in developing a payment plan, please discuss this with our clinic secretary, Nancy Whetstine, at the time of scheduling.

Financial Aid

Families who qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch are eligible to apply for financial aid for psychological assessment services. A select number of financial aid awards will be provided each year depending on availability of funding. The financial aid request form should be completed in conjunction with the Request for Services form; however, the financial aid request form will be closed once all slots have been filled each year. All financial aid slots have been filled for the 2019-2020 year.

Contact Us

Connect Email
Please complete the request form prior to sending an email to the ACC.
bbc-clinic@uiowa.edu
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Request Services

Clinic Home

Return to the Assessment & Counseling Clinic home page.

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Request Services

If you are interested in scheduling assessment, counseling, or consultation services, or you would like more information about clinic services, please complete the Request for Services. Within the form, you can specify the services of interest to you or any questions you may have about the Assessment and Counseling Clinic.

Request for Services