Frequently asked questions

The Child Mind Institute is an independent nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders by giving the them help they need to thrive. We’ve become the leading independent nonprofit in children’s mental health by providing gold-standard evidence-based care, delivering educational resources to millions of families worldwide each year, training educators in underserved communities, and developing tomorrow’s breakthrough treatments.

The Child Mind Institute Healthy Brain Network (HBN) will provide the scientific community with a large online database of health information that can be used to improve the diagnosis of psychiatric disorders from an objective biological perspective. To this end, the database will bring together brain imaging, genetics, and biological samples with standardized psychiatric, behavioral, cognitive, and lifestyle information. This work will form the foundation for future efforts and will allow for possible long-term follow-up to help predict risk and outcomes. Learn more about our scientific approach and aims.

One of the biggest hurdles in identifying and treating psychiatric or learning disorders in children and adolescents is that it can be difficult for a clinician to get a clear idea of what is going on with a child. And assessing response to treatment is problematic. The field of child psychiatry would benefit tremendously from biological diagnostic tests and measures of treatment response, similar to ones used in other branches of medicine.

Children ages 5-21 and their parent or legal guardian. Participation requires visits to one of our locations in New York City, so families within the New York City metropolitan area, tri-state area around New York City, or within several hours drive are the best fit for the program.

Along with his or her legal guardian, each participant has 3-4 evaluation appointments. Some may be done via video or phone conference, while others may require a visit to an evaluation center. With two locations in the NYC area, both accessible via public transportation, there’s an option for everyone. See our locations list to find one that work for you.

This study consists of an evaluation of your child’s physical and mental health, as well as learning strengths and weaknesses. You will complete an initial screening questionnaire to rule out anything that might disqualify your child from participating. After your child has been cleared to participate, we will schedule an appointment for your child to take a brief fitness test, and complete questionnaires about emotions and behaviors, a computerized neuropsychological test, an IQ and achievement test, and an EEG.

At least one parent is expected to be present at each visit with the participating child. This parent is an active participant in the evaluation process via questionnaires and interviews throughout the duration of the study. You will be asked to provide informed consent for your child to participate. You also will complete some questionnaires about family health history and your child, provide information about your child’s behaviors and complete a diagnostic interview with a clinician.

Although each individual is different, we expect that the evaluation process will take approximately 12-15 hours to complete. It is completed in 3-4 visits to one of our locations.

Families receive a report detailing their child’s results. This may be used to inform treatment and classroom instruction (504 plan/IEP). In addition to the report, families also receive $100 ($75 for you and $25 for your child), and participants who complete the EEG scan receive an additional $25.

About a month after completing the evaluation, you will receive your child’s detailed feedback report. The report will include the results of your child’s evaluation and provide advice and treatment recommendations, if applicable. You also will receive a referral for treatment or services in your community if necessary.

All personal health information, including all test results, will be kept completely confidential and stored securely. All information collected during the study will be separated from participants’ identifying information such as name, birth date, and address. Data that are shared with research scientists are anonymous and will have none of your child’s identifying information included.

Typically, the first step to enrolling your child in the program is to complete the online eligibility screener to see if they are a good fit for our evaluation. But right now, our entire team is focused on enrolling and evaluating the families on our waitlist. When we have helped those families get started, we will screen more families. If you complete our short contact form now, we will send you a link to the online form when we are ready to screen your family.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter