Evaluation & Consultation

North Central Evaluation and Consultation Services are now being provided through a collective evaluations process using a local transdisciplinary team. The composition of a team will vary according to the unique needs of you and your child, and according to your specific questions/issues prompting the request for the evaluation and/or consultation. Our typical team for a formal evaluation may include a psychologist, a behavior specialist, a speech therapist, an occupational therapist, and a physical therapist. (You may additionally request professionals who currently work with your child to sit in on the process. This, however, is not covered in the costs of the evaluation and would be between the professional(s) and family to decide how those additional costs would be covered.) A consultation may include formal, standardized assessment, or play-based activities to look at strategies to assist with questions you might have regarding behavior. Again, the composition of the team will actually depend upon the reason for the referral and the questions you have.

We typically see preschool children with significant delays of unknown causes, individuals with challenging behaviors to identify contributing factors, as well as the supports necessary to change behavior, or individuals who have complex disabilities or needs, for whom previous strategies have been unsuccessful. Often families will be seeking answers to “what’s wrong” and “what can we do?”  We screen and complete diagnostic testing for autism spectrum disorders.

Individuals of all ages are welcome, however, those between the ages of birth to six years and nineteen years and over who do not have other means of payment fall under our contract with the Developmental Disabilities Program and can be seen at no cost to the family. (Children between 6 and 19 will need to have payment arrangements made prior to the evaluation. Payment options include Medicaid, Chips, other private insurance, private pay or third party payers such as a school district through the IEP, trusts, etc. These children will be scheduled secondary to children fitting state contract criteria.)

Getting an evaluation or consultation is a four-step process.
A.  The first step in the process is
1. completing a referral packet including consent of evaluation and releases and
2. contacting your physician if he/she is not aware you’ve requested the services so
information can be shared with him/her and a prescription can be obtained. We will
need to have the prescription before we can schedule your
evaluation.
B.  Once the initial referral information has been returned to the QLC office in Great Falls
1. a review panel looks at the information to determine the referral is appropriate as is
or if additional information is needed,
2. a decision is made about what team members need to be involved, as well as
3. what additional steps (such as a visit with your family doctor, an audiological
evaluation, additional developmental or specific behavioral information, etc) are needed,
and
4. releases are sent to the professionals you’ve indicated to collect information relevant
to the concerns.
C.  After the review panel meets you’ll be
1. sent a second packet with checklists or parent report evaluations, and
2. asked to submit the prescription for “Northcentral Evaluation and Consultation Services”
from your doctor.
This information must be returned before we can schedule your evaluation.
D.  And in the final step you will be called to schedule your appointment in the next available
opening.