What to Expect at the Testing Visit
Will I be with my child?
Children under 3 years typically remain with their parents, in the same room, for the assessment. Those older than 4 typically separate, completing the testing in a nearby room with the evaluator. We are always flexible to meet the needs of your family.
What do parents do during the testing?
Parents may be asked to complete questionnaires during the visit. We have tablets for you to use for this purpose, or you can use your own device. If you prefer to use your own device, we recommend a tablet or laptop (rather than a mobile phone), given the length of the questionnaires.
Can I do my own work when I am not needed during the testing?
Yes, please bring your own device. You will have a private room and we have reliable wireless service.
Must both parents attend the visit?
It depends. If you are completing the medical history with Dr. Schonwald, then yes. We strongly prefer to complete the medical history with all parents participating. If the medical history is being completed at the same time as your child's testing visit occurs, then we hope both parents are available. If the medical history was completed with Dr. Schonwald before the date of your child's testing, then only one parent must attend the testing visit.
Can I leave Touchstone while my child is completing testing?
No, we ask you to remain in our office throughout the period of testing.
Can my child have a snack during the testing visit?
Yes! Please bring snacks and a drink.
Are bathrooms available?
Yes! Bathrooms are available on our floor.
How long will the testing visit last?
Children under 2 may complete their testing in 90 minutes, or may need several breaks and take longer. Children aged 3-6 years may require 2-3 hours to complete testing. Children over 6 years of age may take longer than 3 hours. Each child is different, and we ask you to clear your schedule for the whole morning.
What exactly will my child be doing during the testing?
For younger children, testing will look and feel like playing word games, completing puzzles, and answering questions. Testing older children also includes assessment of reading, writing, and math.
COVID-19 Protocols for In-person Visits
What COVID precautions are in place?
For the safety of everyone, we comply with Massachusetts Department of Public Health regulations; our clinicians
Use hand sanitizer regularly
Work mostly 6 feet from children
Remain behind a plexiglass shield
Daily symptom checks are conducted for all staff and patients. We also minimize the number of families in the office at a given time. We rotate room use, so that no room is used on two consecutive days. All rooms, materials, and surfaces are sanitized after each use. Each testing room has its own HEPA filter. We have masks and hand sanitizer available for your family during the visit as well.
Will my child be required to wear a mask?
Children under 2 years of age should not wear a mask. Children over 2 years of age who are able to tolerate wearing a mask should be encouraged to keep their mask on if possible. Many of our patients have sensory sensitivities, high degrees of distractibility, and difficulty understanding the concept of mask - wearing. We understand this, and will work with you to have the safest evaluation possible.
Please note: During some of our assessments, clinicians have to see your child's facial expression fully, and your child has to see the clinician's face. Masks are removed for that portion of the assessment. If you are uncomfortable with this, please let us know before the visit so we can find a solution.
Will the evaluator touch my child?
No, but your child might touch the evaluator! Evaluations are performed in a standardized manner. Clinicians will remain 6 feet from older children and no contact should occur. However, assessments of younger children include a great deal of play. Your child may touch the evaluator. Clinicians attest to COVID symptoms and exposures just as families do, our goal is to keep everyone healthy.
Forms Required for Your Visit
I understand I have to complete certain forms before my child's visit. Where can I find those forms to complete?
When your appointment is scheduled, you will be registered for our medical record (Athena.) You will receive an email invitation from Athena to register for the patient portal with a username and password. Once you have entered your secure portal account, you can find all of the forms.
If you are on a mobile phone, you must first check-in to your appointment (within 10 days of the appointment date) to complete the forms.
If you are using a desktop or laptop, all forms are available in your patient portal at all times.
How do I check-in to my appointment and complete the forms on my mobile phone?
1. Within 10 days of the visit, log into the Patient Portal from our website www.touchstoneMA.com.
2. You will see "Appointments." Click on the + sign.
3. On the next screen, click on “Upcoming Appointments."
4. The date and type of appointment will show, with a blue oval button to the right that says, "Check-In Available." Click it.
5. The next screen starts with the appointment information and then “Appointment Instructions.” Scroll down to see "Check In" and "Get Directions." Choose “Check In.” You are now asked to confirm your “Patient Information” and Continue.
6. Finally! We get to screen that says, “Office Forms.” Click “download” to see the first form (Assignment of Benefits/Release of Billing Information), and then enter your name to sign it.
7. Please do the same for the second form, Notice of Privacy Practices.
8. For those coming into the office for testing, a third form will also be requested, Consent for Testing.
What forms must I complete before the visit?
For all visits, we require the following (ideally completed through the patient portal):
If your visit will be in-person, at our office, please complete this form:
If you prefer not to use the patient portal for these forms, you may download each, sign, and return to admin@touchstoneMA.com. PDF versions are available by clicking on each of the form names above.
A COVID-19 Symptom Checklist, also required before in-person visits, is not in the patient portal (Athena). We will send a link to your email within 48 hours of your in-person appointment, and ask you to complete our online form attesting to your health just prior to the visit. You can also find the link here.
If a mental health provider is working with your child or family outside of our office, we would appreciate the opportunity to communicate with that person, if that is comfortable to you. For that communication, we ask for an additional specific consent form. Please print, sign, and return to admin@touchstoneMA.com.
Sending Your Child’s Reports Before the Visit
Why should I send previous reports before the visit?
Clinicians at Touchstone will always have a fresh approach to your child's presentation. However, reviewing evaluations completed in the past helps us understand the path leading up to our visit together. For medical consults, Dr. Schonwald requires copies of previous evaluations to inform her clinical visit if possible. Previous reports are not required for neuropsychological or academic testing, but are requested.
What previous evaluations should I send?
Please send the most recent versions of the following reports, if applicable:
Early Intervention Eligibility Evaluation
Early Intervention Family Service Plan (IFSP)
Section 504 Plan
Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
School testing (completed every 3 years, required to determine IEP eligibility)
Speech and Language Evaluation
Occupational Therapy Evaluation
Physical Therapy Evaluation
Functional Behavioral Assessment
Independent Neuropsychological Testing
Independent Speech and Language Evaluation
Independent Occupational Therapy Evaluation
Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician
Where do I send my reports?
Can I upload my reports into the Touchstone medical record, through the Athena Patient portal?
Not yet, unfortunately. But we think that functionality will be added soon!