Dr L A Scott and Associates

FAQs

We have included answers to Frequently Asked Questions below. (Click on the question in the list below in order to read the answer.) Should you have a question that is not answered below, please contact us and we will do our best to provide you with the information you need.

Do I need a referral? How do I make an appointment?
What are your hours?
Is there a waiting list?
What is your cancellation policy? Are there any exceptions?
Are your services covered by OHIP? Is financial assistance available?
What should I expect at my first appointment?
What is the difference between a Clinical Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?
What is meant by an Area of Competency for a Psychologist? What is required for a Psychologist to be licensed? What is the difference between a Psychologist and a Psychological Associate?
What is Paediatric Neuropsychology?
What is a paediatric neuropsychological assessment?
What is involved in a neuropsychological assessment?
Is there anything special that I should bring to the various appointments?
What is FASD?
What does an FASD Assessment involve?

Do I need a referral? How do I make an appointment?

No, you do not need to obtain a medical referral to be seen by our service providers. To make an appointment, please call our office at 519-414-9444.  Please note that some extended health benefits providers do require that you obtain a referral from your family doctor in order to be reimbursed for psychological services. If you plan to submit your expenses for our services to your extended healthcare benefits provider, we recommend that you contact your extended healthcare benefits provider directly in order to determine what their requirements are prior to setting up your appointment with our office.

What are your hours?

Patients/Clients are seen in our office by appointment only.  Dr. Sunseth sees patients (by appointment) in our office on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays only.

Is there a waiting list?

Generally new clients can be seen for their first appointment within two weeks. The timing of subsequent appointments will depend on the individual client and the specific services that are required.

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What is your cancellation policy? Are there any exceptions?

We appreciate your understanding and respectfully ask that you provide us with a minimum of 24 hours notice in order to cancel an appointment. When we do not receive sufficient notice it is unlikely we will be able to book another client in your time slot. In many cases our associates travel to our office specifically for appointments with clients, and with short notice they travel to the office, then have to make additional trip(s) for rescheduled appointment(s). When you miss an appointment or cancel/reschedule with short notice, this represents lost time and a loss of income for the service provider.  For the first instance that your appointment is missed or canceled with less than 24 hours notice you will be charged half the regular fee for the appointment.  For all additional missed appointments or last minute cancellations, you will be charged the full rate.
We do understand that emergencies happen. In cases of emergency or severe illness, no charges will apply.  Please speak directly to your provider in order to clarify fees that may apply to a missed session.

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Are your services covered by OHIP? Is financial assistance available?

No, the services of Psychologists, Occupational Therapists and Speech Language Pathologists are not covered by OHIP.
Many extended health benefit plans do offer some yearly coverage for these services.  Extended health benefits providers offer different levels of coverage and coverage also varies from provider to provider.  We recommend that you consult directly with your extended health benefits provider to learn about your extended health benefits plan coverage.
For FASD Assessments and neuropsychological assessments, in some cases (based on the diagnosis the child receives), the family may qualify for the Child Disability Tax Credit, a tax free benefit offered by the Federal Government for families who care for a child under the age of 18 who qualifies for the disability amount. For more details click here.
In cases where the child is adopted, the agency that oversaw the adoption may offer an adoption subsidy to assist the adoptive family with the cost of the child’s assessment. The subsidy may be offered even if a great deal of time has passed since the adoption took place. The family must contact the adoption agency to request an adoption subsidy agreement.

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What should I expect at my first appointment?

We try to collect as much of the basic information we require from you when you make your first appointment, so there are no forms for you to fill out when you arrive at our office. We do ask that you do your best to be punctual. Your appointment is booked for a one hour time slot. During this intake appointment you will discuss your reasons for seeking our services directly with the service provider. You will discuss the detailed background related to the issue(s) that brought you to make the appointment, and you will be asked to provide family history and any other details that will help the service provider to understand your situation better. If you have reports from medical, psychological or other professional assessments related to your situation, please bring those with you to the intake appointment for the service provider to review. The service provider will ask you for your written consent to proceed with your treatment or assessment. The service provider will provide some detail as to what to expect in the next session(s). Your time with the service provider will last approximately 50 minutes. The remaining 10 minutes is allotted for the service provider to record notes about the session for your file.

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What is the difference between a Clinical Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?
Psychiatrists and Clinical Psychologists are both mental health specialists with expertise in assessing and treating mental health issues. There are important differences between the type of training they receive, and in the focus and treatment approaches they can provide.A Psychiatrist is a Medical Doctor (MD) who has completed specialty training and a residency in psychiatric medicine in addition to successfully completing medical school. Their training includes the assessment, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental illness. Psychiatrists can prescribe medications to treat mental illness. Some Psychiatrists do psychotherapy with their patients.

A Clinical Psychologist has a doctoral degree (PhD) in psychology and has completed a residency in clinical psychology or, counseling psychology. Clinical Psychologists are trained in the assessment, treatment and prevention of behavioural and mental conditions. They diagnose psychological and psychiatric disorders and dysfunctions as well as psychotic, neurotic and personality disorders and dysfunctions. A Clinical Psychologist is uniquely trained to use psychological tests to help with assessment and diagnosis. Clinical Psychologists use a variety of approaches directed toward the maintenance and enhancement of physical, intellectual, emotional, social and interpersonal functioning.

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What is meant by an Area of Competency for a Psychologist? What is required for a Psychologist to be licensed? What is the difference between a Psychologist and a Psychological Associate?

In Ontario, Psychologists are licensed generally and not in specific specialty areas, they are required to declare their areas of competency to the regulatory body and required to practice within the bounds of their competence. It is important that, for example, a Psychologist practicing neuropsychology (assessing and treating problems in thinking or brain function that might occur after an accident or stroke, for example) has been trained in the area of neuropsychology. A Psychologist working with children should have been trained in the area of child psychology and so on. Typically, the Psychologist will have received this training while in graduate school where they will have chosen the courses and training experiences to prepare for working within their particular specialty area.
 To qualify for professional registration with the College of Psychologists of Ontario to practise psychology, the requirements include the successful completion of graduate education and training in professional psychology, supervised professional experience and examinations. A member of the College is required to practise in accordance with applicable legislation, regulations, standards of conduct, professional guidelines and professional codes of ethics.
 In the province of Ontario, only members of the College of Psychologists of Ontario with appropriate qualifications may use the title ‘Psychologist’ or use the terms ‘psychology’ or ‘psychological’ in any description of services offered or provided. Only Psychologists may identify themselves with the designation C.Psych. after their names. In Ontario Psychological Associates are also licensed by the College of Psychologists of Ontario after having completed graduate level training in relevant areas, 6000 hours of supervised practise across areas of competence, then the final level of specific supervision in their declared area(s) of competence and then the successful completion of the required examinations. They may then identify themselves with the designation of C.Psych.Assoc. after their names. Because they are not Medical Doctors, Psychologists and Psychological Associates do not prescribe medication.

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What is Paediatric Neuropsychology?

Neuropsychology is one area of competence in professional psychology that applies principles of assessment and intervention based upon the scientific study of human behavior as it relates to normal and abnormal functioning of the central nervous system. Neuropsychology is dedicated to enhancing the understanding of brain‐behavior relationships and the application of such knowledge to human problems.
Specialized knowledge and training in the applied science of brain‐behavior relationships is foundational to neuropsychology. In addition to foundational and functional competencies in professional psychology, neuropsychologists have specialized knowledge of functional neuroanatomy, principles of neuroscience, brain development, neurological disorders and etiologies, neurodiagnostic techniques, normal and abnormal brain functioning, and neuropsychological and behavioral manifestations of neurological disorders. Preparation in neuropsychology begins at the doctoral level and specialized education and training is completed at the postdoctoral level.
Paediatric Neuropsychology focuses on children from birth to 18 years of age and applies principles of assessment and intervention based upon the scientific study of developmental theory and behavior as it relates to the normal and abnormal functioning of the developing central nervous system. Pediatric Neuropsychologists demonstrate competence in the application of these principles to settings where children live, work, learn and play.
Neuropsychologists are skilled in clinical assessment and treatment of brain disorders. Essential skills include specialized neuropsychological assessment techniques, specialized intervention techniques, research design and analysis in neuropsychology, professional issues and ethics, culturally competent approaches in neuropsychology, and understanding of implications of neuropsychological conditions for behavior and adjustment. Competence in Neuropsychology requires the ability to integrate neuropsychological findings with neurologic and other medical data, psychosocial and other behavioral data, and knowledge in the neurosciences, and interpret these findings with an appreciation of social, cultural and ethical issues.

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What is a paediatric neuropsychological assessment?

A neuropsychological assessment obtains a current “picture” of the many thinking and learning parts of the child’s brain, including the development of:

  • cognition (intellectual)
  • different types of memory
  • attentional control
  • executive
  • problem-solving
  • behaviour
  • many other areas

A neuropsychological assessment can:
a) Assist in the diagnosis of disorders as they relate to the development of the brain (e.g. Autism Spectrum Disorder, FASD, etc.), by describing a child’s particular pattern of strengths and weaknesses, which in turn assists with the understanding of the impact of other already diagnosed or suspected neurological conditions (e.g., seizures, encephalitis, head/brain injury/trauma (concussion), or interventions (e.g. neurosurgery).
b) Monitor neurodevelopmental changes over time so as to assist others to better understand the child’s behaviour
c) Help the family, school staff and community better understand the child’s strengths and weaknesses in neurodevelopment such as cognition, behaviour, social, problem-solving, and/or emotional domains.

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What is involved in a neuropsychological assessment?

Although the total testing time will vary somewhat from child to child, and with the particular purpose of the assessment the process breaks down into 3 parts: Intake, Assessment and Feedback.

Intake: refers to the first appointment where the family is interviewed by the Neuropsychologist in order to gather reasons for seeking an assessment at this time, as well as specific information about any concerns in cognition, motor, academic, executive, behavioural areas and academic progress. It is possible that as a result of this appointment you may be asked to follow up on recommendations before the assessment phase begins. This may include for example a Sleep Study or Speech/Language Assessment.

Assessment: The child/teen works over a series of appointments one on one with a Psychometrist through a battery of tests designed to measure cognitive development, problem-solving, attention, different types of memory, language, spatial ability, sensory functioning, and motor development. Each appointment is designed to last from 60 to 90min so as to not tire out the child/teen. The number of appointments will vary depending upon the age of the child/teen, the reason for assessment and the child/teen’s individual tolerance.

Feedback: Feedback sessions are scheduled once testing is completed and all the results are available. The first Feedback is for the Family (Family Feedback: FFB) in which the Neuropsychologist reviews the results with the parent/family/guardian. The parent is encouraged to include other family members/friends/support persons as a lot of information is reviewed at this time. Other Team members are sometimes present at this appointment to review the results of other assessments. The second Feedback session is then scheduled by the parent at the child/teen’s school (School Feedback: SFB). At this session the Neuropsychologist reviews, in the presence of the parent/family, the assessment results for school staff.

After all of the above steps are completed and all information has been gathered then the report is prepared and mailed to the parent/guardian.

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Is there anything special that I should bring to the various appointments?

Intake: Please bring medical reports from physicians, hospital, clinics, and tests. Educational documentation (e.g. IEP and reports cards). Previous psychoeducational, psychological or neuropsychological assessment reports. Reports from services or therapists involved (e.g. Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Speech and Language pathology, Behaviour Therapy, etc.)

Assessment: Please bring along all Assistive Aids (e.g. glasses or hearing aid) the child/teen usually uses. It is often helpful to bring nutritious snacks and a drink to provide the child during breaks.

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What is FASD?

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term that is used to describe the range of effects that can present in a person whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. These effects may be physical, mental and/or behavioural and may also include learning disabilities. FASD is not a diagnosis.

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What does an FASD Assessment involve?

The Canadian Diagnostic Guidelines for FASD are about to be revised in the very near future. Currently there are currently three diagnoses that fall under FASD:

  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
  • partial FAS (pFAS)
  • Alcohol-Related Neurological Disorder (ARND)

A multidisciplinary core team is required to complete a diagnosis. This team is comprised of:

  • Physician specifically trained in FASD diagnosis
  • Psychologist
  • Occupational therapist
  • Speech-language pathologist

Additional personnel are often involved in the diagnostic process including (but not limited to): family/guardians, teachers, childcare workers, nurses, geneticists, probation officers, psychiatrists and family physicians.
Dr Scott offers a wealth of experience in coordinating diagnosis for children under FASD, and the team at Dr. L.A. Scott & Associates offers the highly trained and experienced multidisciplinary team approach that is required under the current Canadian Diagnostic guidelines.

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