Psychological/ Neuropsych Testing &
Psychiatric Medication Evaluations
To be added to the waitlist, use the Contact Us form below
Estimated current Wait times (Neuropsych Evals):
Private Insurances: 5 months
Medicaid: 10 months
Private Pay: 2 months
EXPRESS Pay: 2 weeks
ADOS only testing (ages <4): 3-4 months
Medication Evaluations with Dr. Zaluski: 1 month
**PLEASE NOTE: Big River Psychology does not have an onsite receptionist/waiting room.
Please do not show up to the clinic without an appointment. If contacting via phone, kindly leave a voicemail as Dr. Nixon is often with patients during daytime hours.
We will contact you within 2 weeks of receiving your referral.
Once you are near the top of the waitlist, you will be called and sent an invite to complete documentation through the Electronic Health Portal(Charm).
Thank you for your patience.
We are excited to work with you and your child!
Big River Psychology is a children’s mental health clinic specializing in neuropsychological and psychological testing, Autism evaluations, individual therapy, and consultation services.
Dr. Heather Zaluski is a child psychiatrist offering Psychiatric Medication Evaluations.
Dr. Nixon and Dr. Zaluski provide evidenced based interventions to help you learn more about your child’s strengths, weaknesses, and treatment needs.
Neuropsychological and psychological testing is an evaluation by a licensed psychologist which helps patients and/or families understand the relationship between brain functions, emotions, and behaviors. These types of testing can assist in the diagnosis, symptom monitoring, and treatment of neurological, medical, and psychiatric conditions.
A psychologist will use a variety of assessment sources to answer the referral question/s including review of previous testing data, patient interviews, interviews with parents/providers, self-report questionnaires as well as various standardized psychological tests that assess a wide range of domains. A combination of neuropsychological tests and psychological tests can assess domains such as intelligence, memory, executive functioning, learning delays, language, visual motor integration, developmental delays, emotional functioning, and personality traits.
Neurodevelopmental Testing/Autism Evaluation
A neurodevelopmental evaluation may be beneficial in assessing for signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder or if a young child is not meeting specific developmental benchmarks. Many healthcare providers may cite the term “ADOS” testing which is often included in this type of evaluation, although other measures may be used to assess for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Additional diagnostic rule outs may include an intellectual delay and/or environmental factors that could be impacting a child’s development.
Individual Therapy/Parent Consultation
Dr. Nixon specializes in the treatment of anxiety-based disorders such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Phobias, and Panic Disorder. Dr. Nixon uses evidence based modalities such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Exposure with Response Prevention (ERP) to target symptoms of anxiety. Dr. Nixon also offers treatment of tic disorders using habit-reversal training.
Dr. Nixon provides consultation and parent training for those parents who are trying to help develop better strategies for their child diagnosed with ADHD and/or Autism. This service is focused on behavioral training for parents such as development of token economy systems, implementation of routines and expectations within the homes setting, and lifestyle changes to support your child and the family system.
Formal supervision/consultation services are offered on a case-by-case basis. Please use the Contact Us form at bigriverpsychology.com for a free initial consultation to discuss your supervision/consultation needs.
Trainings are also offered on a case-by-case basis. Dr. Nixon & Dr. Zaluski have offered trainings tailored to medical staff, mental health providers, organizations, and community members. Please use the Contact Us form at bigriverpsychology.com for a free initial consultation to discuss your training needs.
Psychiatric Medication Evaluation
A psychiatric medication evaluation consists of meeting with Dr. Zaluski, a Board Certified Child and Adolescent psychiatrist, over the course of 2 - 3 sessions(or more as needed), with the goal of determining the most accurate psychiatric diagnoses and creating a medication treatment plan. Components of the evaluation include gathering history, speaking with parents/ guardians, reviewing records from other clinicians, obtaining data from standardized measures, and meeting with the child for a thorough mental status exam. After the evaluation is complete, Dr. Zaluski will initiate medication management and conduct ongoing appointments with the patient until stabilization has been reached. At this point, it is expected that the patient will transfer back under the care of the primary care provider who will carry on the medication regimen. Your primary care provider will receive a detailed report, and Dr. Zaluski will collaborate directly with them to ensure that the child is getting the best possible treatment. This process allows Dr. Zaluski to evaluate and treat more patients across Montana.
You can access the portal account you created below to review forms, check appointments, and login to telehealth appointments
Dr. Hannah Nixon
Psy.D., M.P.-Medical Psychologist
Dr. Hannah Nixon is a licensed psychologist who specializes in the evaluation and treatment of neurodevelopment disorders in children and adolescents. She completed her undergraduate degree at Carroll College before pursuing a doctoral degree at Pacific University. Dr. Nixon then went on to complete a Master’s degree in psychopharmacological training at New Mexico State University which allows her to prescribe medications for psychiatric conditions in select states (not currently a Montana privilege for psychologists). This training allows greater knowledge in the assessment and treatment of psychiatric conditions and their interplay with physiological diagnoses. Dr. Nixon uses this training to assign recommendations and consult with your primary care provider to support your child’s well-being.
Dr. Nixon specializes in the assessment of a full spectrum of mental health disorders including ADHD, Autism, learning delays, developmental delays, anxiety, mood disorders, behavioral issues, and trauma-related disorders. She also offers treatment for anxiety-based disorder (OCD, Panic Disorder, Phobias) using CBT, DBT, Exposure with Response Prevention, as well as parent training. Dr. Nixon has extensive training working with children and their families in a variety of settings such as private practice, community-based services, and residential services.
In her free time, Dr. Nixon enjoys spending time with her family, cycling, hiking, travelling, watching basketball, and eating tacos.
Dr. Heather Zaluski
MD., MA-Child Psychiatrist
Dr. Heather Zaluski is a Board Certified Child Psychiatrist who specializes in the evaluation and treatment of complex mental health disorders in children and adolescents. Dr. Zaluski attended Medical School at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine and graduated with Honors in 2002. She completed her 5 year residency and fellowship program at University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and then moved to Montana with her family. Dr. Zaluski worked at Shodair Children’s Hospital for 15 years, worked in the Acute, Residential and Outpatient settings, and was the Medical Director from December 2019 - July 2022.
Currently, Dr. Zaluski is in private practice and her professional focus is on providing clinical consultations for complex cases. She also authors continuing education content, supervises psychiatric nurse practitioners, provides expert witness testimony, and collaborates with primary care providers.
In her free time, Dr. Zaluski enjoys travel, spending time with her husband and children, yoga, snorkeling and scuba diving, cooking, birding, rock hounding and quilting.
Meet the Team
Whitley Begger is a psychometrician at Big River Psychology. She graduated with a psychology degree from Dickinson State University in 2012. She worked in mental health for ten years before deciding to go back to graduate school. Whitley is currently working on her Master’s in Social Work degree through the University of North Dakota and plans on graduating in the spring of 2025.
In her free time, Whitley enjoys spending time with her family, reading, cooking, and getting outdoors.
Tyler Rapke serves as the administrative staff at Big River Psychology. She assists in coordinating intake appointments for patients, responding to calls, voicemail, and email, and managing the waiting list for both Dr. Nixon and Dr. Zaluski.
Tyler recently graduated with her undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of North Dakota. Tyler has plans to become a licensed psychologist in Montana. Her undergraduate research focused on the
experience of women who sought diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis. In addition to women’s health, Tyler is passionate about understanding childhood trauma and its potential long term health consequences.
In her free time, Tyler enjoys participating in the sport of CrossFit, hiking with her tiny
Australian Shepherd, backpacking, spending time with her friends and family, and getting lost in a good book.
Joy Akin, LCPC
Joy Akin is a professional counselor currently in private practice. She has worked for a variety of systems including CPS and has specialty in equine therapy services. Joy is currently attending Walden University. Joy works as a psychometrician and is earning her hours as part of her doctoral level internship. Joy will be completing her doctoral level internship in the winter of 2024 and has plans to become a licensed psychologist. Joy enjoys working with children and their families to answer questions about mental health diagnoses.
In her free time, Joy enjoys spending time outdoors, horseback riding, and spending time with her family & dog.
Medicaid & HMK+
Healthy Montana Kids
Please note "Private Pay" in your contact form. *Most Private Pay slots are less than a 3 month wait
Private Pay Testing Rates
Neuropsychological Evaluation: $2,500
IQ only/gifted testing: $800
Autism "ADOS" only testing (ages <5): $1,200
Medication Evaluation with Dr. Zaluski: $1,500
If rushed testing is needed, private pay patients can request express testing for an additional fee. Because Big River Psychology will not displace patients already on the waitlist, express cases may be requested to participate in evaluation services outside typical office hours or on weekends. You will be offered an intake within 3 weeks for EXPRESS testing/services. Please note "EXPRESS" in your contact form.
EXPRESS Neuropsych Evaluation: $3,500
EXPRESS Medication Evaluation: $2,500