Waitlists for Psychoeducational & Learning Disability Evaluations

Are you on a waitlist for a psychoeducational and/or learning disability evaluation? Has waiting affected your ability to access additional services for you or your child like academic accommodations?

Due to the increased demand for evaluation services, many people run into the dreaded waitlist issue sooner or later, and it is no less frustrating to encounter more than one–or two–or three. By the sixth time, frustration and fear sets in.  People wonder if and when they or their child will get tested, receive their diagnosis, and/or get access to services to improve functioning and help progress in their treatment goals. 

There is also the issue of having to sit on a waitlist anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. Not to mention having to wait an additional 6-8 weeks to complete your evaluation and receive the report with diagnosis and recommendations.  This is a much needed time that you or your child may miss out on services. In the meantime, you or your child may experience ongoing learning difficulties, poor grades, and decreased academic performance, which can lead to failing classes, repeating grade levels, and increased emotional and behavioral problems. 

For children, parents may have to devote more time to completing homework to keep them from falling behind and also find creative ways to motivate them for something they may actively avoid. For adults, this might mean increased anxiety about school and learning new things, more procrastination and finishing things at the last minute, and giving up evening and/or weekend free time to get things done.

Common Reasons for Waitlists

There are several reasons why it is challenging to get scheduled:

  1. Limited professionals trained in Learning Disabilities and psychoeducational evaluations. Overall, there are a small number of testing psychologists. There is an even smaller number of psychologists trained in understanding learning disabilities, the nuances of their presentations, and how this shows up in testing results.
  2. Limited appointment availability within 30 days. This is the crux of the problem with wait lists, as many providers are unable to schedule clients within 30 days of initial contact.
  3. Lack of clinician responses to client phone calls and email inquiries. For every 5 clinicians you reach out to, you might get 1 response. That means there is a 20% chance that clients will go unanswered in their initial inquiry.
  4. Lack of online scheduling and appointment transparency. Most practices require clients to email or call them for their availability and to schedule an appointment. When the response rates are low as mentioned above, this decreases the likelihood that clients are being scheduled.
  5. Insurance and out of network costs. Psychology practices who accept insurance often have long waitlists, as they are inundated with requests for testing. While practices that are out of network may not have waitlists, clients incur the upfront costs of testing and can seek reimbursement later.

When parents are in desperate need of an evaluation and the soonest opening is in 6 months versus 2 years, it makes sense that they would secure their spot on the waitlist, especially if it will get them one step closer to getting their child diagnosed and connected with services.  However, there is no need to wait that long!

Evaluations at Magnolia Wellness & Psychology

At Magnolia Wellness & Psychology, not only is there no waitlist, but you also have access to our schedule so that you can see when the next appointment is available and you can schedule your appointment online right then and there! We have trained professionals devoted to inclusive psychoeducational evaluations for learning disabilities who will complete your evaluation in 30 days and provide you with streamlined recommendations to prepare you for what happens next. 

Parents meet with their psychologist virtually for an initial intake appointment to gather additional details to help us understand your child, their needs, and your concerns.  This also helps us walk you through the testing process, set expectations, and tailor the assessment experience to each individual.  Following this, we meet with your child in-person for 2-3 hours to administer their assessments. In a few weeks, parents meet with us again virtually to receive a detailed explanation of their results, their final report, and all supplemental documents including support letters, referral resources, and a superbill for insurance reimbursement. 

Our process was designed to reduce the barriers to getting scheduled, provide testing results in a reasonable time frame, and increase your access to support throughout your life. We even offer a complimentary 5-year evaluation follow up!  So, go ahead and get off the waitlist and schedule your initial appointment with Magnolia Wellness & Psychology.

Practical Tips While On A Waitlist

In support of our goal to be an active resource for clients,  here are four tips and steps you can take while waiting for your psychoeducational evaluation:

  1. Learn What You Can About Learning Disabilities & Psychoeducational Evaluations. More than likely, if you were referred for or sought out a psychoeducational evaluation independently, you've done a bit of research on the signs, symptoms, and characteristics of learning disabilities. It can be very helpful to research beyond the basic symptoms and learn more about the “subtle” presentations as well along with the breadth of support services available in your community for children and adults. Look more into what is included in a psychoeducational evaluation, the types of areas often assessed, and what you as a consumer will get at the end. Magnolia Wellness offers this information freely and other places should as well.
  2. Gather Your Child's Information & Prepare For the Appointment. A thorough evaluation will include a collection of information through a variety of sources including your initial interview, reviewing documents, and consulting with ongoing service providers. As such, it is important for parents to help make this process as seamless as possible by gathering copies of previous evaluation reports, notes from their counselor, speech therapist, occupational therapist, etc., and input from their teachers. School work samples and report cards are also extremely helpful!
  3. Understand Your Insurance Benefits & Reimbursement Process. Regardless of whether or not your testing provider is in-network with your insurance provider, it is important as a consumer to understand your mental and behavioral health benefits and what your insurance plan may or may not cover. Some services like educational testing are not covered by insurance plans. Some insurances like Medicaid, Amerigroup, Peachstate, etc. may have stipulations on how many hours they will pay for. It's important to be as informed as possible before your appointment so that you're not blindsided later.

    Magnolia Wellness is considered an out-of-network provider, which means we do not accept or directly bill commercial insurances, Medicaid, Managed Care Companies, or Medicare for our services. However, we do provide a superbill for clients to submit for out of network reimbursement. This also makes it even more important for clients to know their benefits, to understand what their insurance plans cover for out of network providers.

  4. Get Started on Other Supports and Services. Parents can enroll their child in certain services without a diagnosis. These services include individual and group counseling, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and educational support like tutoring. Public school districts may offer an educational evaluation at no cost to the parents. However, these evaluations only cover educational concerns and special education eligibility. They do not provide a diagnosis for learning disabilities and may only offer recommendations for additional testing for ADHD or Autism. That aside, you can get other services scheduled and in place ahead of your evaluation appointment. Magnolia Wellness offers a vetted list of providers in all of these areas following your evaluation so that you have a starting place for continuation of care!

Though the waitlist is inevitable due to high demand, it doesn’t have to be a barrier. Schedule your initial appointment today with Magnolia Wellness & Psychology and get your results in 30 days!