How can a neuropsychological evaluation help my child?
A neuropsychological evaluation will provide a cognitive and psychological profile of your child's strengths and weaknesses across the domains of intelligence, academic achievement, learning and memory, attention, executive functioning, language abilities, motor functioning, social/emotional functioning, and adaptive skills. An evaluation will provide formal diagnoses, a baseline of functioning (e.g., before treatment with either medicine or surgery), information regarding effects of medication or treatment, and recommendations for your child. In order to ensure the most accurate conceptualization, review of collateral data (medical, testing, or school records) will likely be requested.
Who is best served by a neuropsychological evaluation?
An evaluation would best serve those individuals who may struggle to keep up with peers academically, socially, emotionally, developmentally, or functionally. Individuals diagnosed with a neurological disorder, brain injury, congenital disorder, genetic disorder, exposure to a toxic substance, or who have undergone treatment by a neurotoxin (e.g., chemotherapy) may all be served by a neuropsychological evaluation. Additionally, children who appear to have fallen behind academically due to an intellectual disability, learning disability, inattention, language delay, physical impairment or emotional disturbance would similarly benefit. Children of suspected superior intellectual capacity may be provided with formal data for admission to gifted programs/schools and resources to best fit their targeted needs. For those who feel their child will benefit from accommodations, the more documentation of difficulties as a young child available (e.g., a paper trail), the greater the chances are of receiving appropriate accommodations.
What does a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation provide above and beyond that of a school psychoeducational evaluation?
A psychoeducational assessment often provides information regarding intellectual functioning, academic achievement, and behavioral functioning. Some evaluations will also assess language, and adaptive functioning. Although this information is beneficial for educators, schools are unable to provide formal diagnoses, do not provide an underlying explanation for difficulties and do not typically cover specific skills related to executive functioning, attention, personality, and in depth phonological, language, memory and academic skills. Further, for child experiencing comorbid emotional disorders, a private neuropsychologist may explore issues on a deeper level than would be appropriate for a school professional.
Will my insurance company pay for the evaluation?
Insurance reimbursement is determined by your individual insurance company and plan. We are happy to assist you in submitting necessary billing information to your insurance companies. In many cases, you will receive a partial reimbursement. Neuropsychological evaluations are more often covered when there is a history of a medical, neurodevelopmental, genetic, congenital or neurological condition.
Am I able to be present in the room while my child is being evaluated?
For most cases, it is strongly recommended that parents do not remain in the room during formal testing. These assessments are standardized for 1:1 (examiner: examinee) testing environments. Research has shown that children often respond in a different manner when parents are present. Further, parents will be provided with questionnaires and informant report measures to complete while their child is being evaluated. Of course, if your child is unable to feel secure in the testing environment without a parent, we will accommodate accordingly. Additionally, for some social-emotional measures (e.g., ADOS) it may be beneficial to observe parent-child interactions.
What does a neuropsychological evaluation entail?
A typical evaluation, regardless of type, will include an initial consultation, neuropsychological assessment (i.e., testing sessions), and a feedback session to discuss results and answer questions as well as to provide recommendations to the family. A typical full evaluation may take up to eight hours (may be divided into two sessions). Evaluation involves standardized (normed) tests designed to understand how different areas of the brain function independently and as a network. These tests are primarily “paper and pencil” in addition to a limited number that are administered on a computer.
What is the age range seen in this practice?
Typical age range within a pediatric practice will range from 12 months through 26 years. Young adults over 21 with significant developmental, cognitive, or psychological/adaptive limitations often require updated evaluations to initiate or continue receiving services. Additionally, young adults may require an (updated) evaluation for difficulties with college, graduate school or graduate school entry exams.
How long is the turn around time for a physical report?
Typical report turn around time is around 2-3 weeks. If you require a report for a CSE meeting, court date, scheduled surgery, academic board, or college session, please let us know at time of initial meeting.
Are any medical technological devices (e.g., EEG, CT Scan, MRI, EKG) used during this evaluation?
No, these procedures are typically administered by neurologists or other medical professionals trained in the administration and interpretation of such neuroimaging. Neuropsychology seeks to provide answers to questions that are unable to be discovered using solely with medical technology or data.