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Children's Specialized Hospital Psychological Services
Frequently Asked Questions
The Family Advisory Council at Children’s Specialized Hospital is dedicated to collaborating with Hospital leadership and staff, empowering families to provide valuable input toward improving organizational policies and practices. The Council has created the information below to assist in preparing for your visit.

Q: What will happen during the first session?
A: Your first session is called a diagnostic interview. During this 45-minute session, the therapist will ask you questions regarding your concerns and will gather information about your child’s behavioral, social, medical, developmental, educational and family history. The therapist will complete notes using a computer, which are stored in an electronic medical record. You and your therapist will work in partnership to help your child. Together, you will develop a treatment plan, in which most goals can be addressed in 3 to 5 months.

Q: How long will the session take?
A: The session will take approximately 45 minutes.

Q: What is my role during the session?
A: The therapist is an expert in child behavior, but you are the expert regarding your child. The therapist will typically gather information from you and let you know if they need any other  help during the diagnostic interview.

Q: Can I talk to the therapist without my child present?

A: Certainly, just let your therapist know at the beginning of the session that you would like to speak to him/her alone. Please recognize that your child may also want to speak privately.

Q: How should I prepare my child for the session?
A: Let your child know that the therapist is someone with whom he or she can share information. Children should understand that we all need a counselor (“talking doctor”) to help us at times. It is helpful to think of your therapist as someone who can help your family to stay emotionally healthy. Think of therapy as a family resource.

Q: What do I need to bring?

A: Please bring:
  • A current photo ID (license)
  • Insurance card
  • Referral if needed
  • A current list of your child’s medications
  • School reports
  • Prior evaluations
  • Guardian papers (if joint, or sole custody)*
  • Many parents also find it helpful to bring a list of questions to ask the therapist
  • *The legal guardian must attend the first session

Q: Can I bring my other children?
A: If possible, it is recommended that siblings stay home so that the parent can give their full attention and participate during the visit. If you need to bring your other children with you, it is recommended to have another adult accompany you with activities to occupy the siblings during the session.

Q: If therapy is recommended, will my insurance pay for it?
A: Medical coverage may vary, but many health insurance plans cover our services. Please contact your insurance company to verify if your plan offers a benefit for mental health services. Our Patient Access Service department will call to obtain authorization for treatment.
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