Psychological and Educational Free and Low Cost Testing
If you suspect your homeschool child has a special learning need, you can request a FREE comprehensive evaluation through your local public school. The guaranteed free testing falls under the Federal law – IDEA – that governs special education services in public schools. While homeschool families will most likely not be able to obtain special education services, if their child is found to have a disability, they at least can obtain a copy of all the test reports.
Families who do not wish to access free testing through their public school can opt for private testing within their community. A full comprehensive evaluation conducted by a team of trained psychologists and educational diagnosticians can costs up to $4,000.
The cost of private testing can be out of reach for many families. Luckily, there are some free and low-cost community-based resource options available.
- A number of universities host on-campus clinics, which train graduate students and PhD candidates in conducting different types of testing. While the evaluator may be a graduate student, they work under the supervision of a more experienced, licensed professional. College clinics charge a fee for their testing, usually in the range of $500 (or less). The type of test report you receive will vary, but will unlikely be long.
- Research hospitals often recruit children to participate in studies. Each study will have a unique focus, but generally includes a series of psycho-educational tests. Sometimes the studies will also include an MRI of each child’s brain. Research studies will pay the family for the child to participate. Parents usually receive a copy of test results, but no written report that explains the findings. Parents may share those results with a 3rd party evaluator for help in understanding their child’s strengths and weaknesses. Such consults usually cost less than $500.
University Based, Low Cost Testing
Towson Reading Clinic: Offers reading evaluations and semester-long tutoring services for a small flat fee.
Loyola University Clinical Centers: Baltimore’s Loyola University offers Literacy, Audiology, Speech-language therapy, and Psychology clinics for low-cost evaluations and services.
University of Maryland, College Park Psychology Clinic: Offers year-round, sliding-fee scale services for children, adolescents, and adults, including therapy; IQ testing; and assessments for ADHD and learning disabilities.
George Mason University’s Cognitive Assessment Program: Offers a variety of IQ testing options at their Fairfax Virginia campus. Fee reduction conditions apply.
Research Setting, Free Testing
Kennedy Krieger Research Trials: Located next to the Johns Hopkins Hospital complex in Baltimore, Kennedy Krieger conducts numerous studies every year. Check for ongoing recruitment calls for all ages. They need participants who meet specific diagnoses, such as ADHD, concussion, autism, as well as healthy volunteers.
National Institute of Mental Health: NIMH in Bethesda conducts numerous child and adult studies throughout the year, ranging from anxiety to chromosonal disorders. Health volunteers are needed, also.
Last modified on September 18, 2019