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Psychoeducational vs Neuropsychological evaluations?


rafiki
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I don't have an exhaustive answer for you. I can just say that when I first began seeking a full evaluation to uncover the roots of dd's dysgraphia, I went first to a well-regarded, independent (not school-related) learning specialist/psychologist. I sent her a letter and a handful of writing samples from dd. She called me back and said she'd never seen such a momentous gap between a child's IQ scores and the written stuff dd produced, and she didn't feel qualified to evaluate my dd.

 

She was the one who sent me to a neuropsychologist. The particular neuropsych we saw had a PhD and also taught at the university medical school.

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I had multiple psychoeducational evals done while in school, but it wasn't until Adult Rehab services sent me for a neuropsych eval that some specific quirks were identified. It was a bit late to do anything about them (I was 24), but it was very reassuring to know that it WASN'T just that I was an underachiever in certain areas.

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I've been pouring over lists and only see one who says they specialize in Neuropsychological Assessments. They don't accept any insurance and charge $2,700 per child (I have three).

 

I've googled each of the names, there is one that connects with me for some reason. She's a Ph.D. specializing in Learning. What questions should I ask when I contact her?

 

Do Ph.D.'s do Neuropsych Evals and Psychoeducational or are there other letters I should be looking for after their title?

 

The neurospych here that ds should have seen was an MD, not PhD.

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A clinical neuropsychologist is a PhD psychologist with additional post-doctoral education & supervised experience. The American Board of Clinical Neuropsychologists lists the educational & experience credentials a psychologist must have before applying. They include the doctorate and a post-doctorate residency.

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If it would help, here's the webpage of the neuropsych who evaluated my dd, and whom we really, really liked. She was invaluable.

 

http://www.boswellneuro.com

 

If you look around the site you'll see how she describes the post-doc and residency experience that Tokyomarie talks about, as well as her attachment to our local university medical school.

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Wow Karen, I've long been jealous of that detailed help (and 20 page report!) you got from the neuropsych, and now I see why! What a place! Don't know if there even is such a place around here.

 

You've got me curious now. Which did you use and how long was your report? We used an EdPsych. One report was 28 pages and the other was 33 pages.

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Oh now, we haven't done a neuropsych evaluation yet. I've just had this fear that Karen's was somehow extra-special and gave a lot more helpful information than the norm, meaning we wouldn't have as helpful an experience if we plunked out for it. Don't know where I got that impression, maybe from some less-than-impressed people on the boards?

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I also received a lengthy, single-spaced, 20+ page report. Ds was quite young (just turned 5) when we did the evaluations, so the neuropsych warned us that some of the assessments were not well-normed for his age, and ds also ended up invalidating some of the assessments, because he would not cooperate with the directions.:rolleyes: Even with all that, dh and I believe we still received incredibly useful information about ds's processing issues, and the neuropsych helped us find the appropriate therapists who were able to give us even more specific information. It is very expensive, but I think that he saved us from spinning our wheels and pursuing inappropriate treatments. In our case, it was really helpful to have that baseline and to cast a very wide net, diagnostically speaking. Each therapist tends to see the client's issues through her own diagnostic lens. The neuropsych can't get to the same level of detail as the "specialists," but at least, he was looking at a bit of everything.

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I'm not sure where you live, but we had ours at Johns Hopkins, they took our out of state insurance, and the 5,000.00 they usually charge came down to 800.00 out of pocket. It was well worth it, they have a PhD who does nothing but work on testing with a grad assistant. It was the most complete and most descriptive of the kid I know as my son. Any major medical center with an Autism specialty clinic will have what you're looking for. Stamford, Hopkins, Rush in Chicago, something like that. It would be worth the travel for a few days to get a great assessment than try to build a plan around an incomplete eval. That's just my opinion, but we went from Idaho to Baltimore for ours and it was worth it.

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Oh now, we haven't done a neuropsych evaluation yet. I've just had this fear that Karen's was somehow extra-special and gave a lot more helpful information than the norm, meaning we wouldn't have as helpful an experience if we plunked out for it. Don't know where I got that impression, maybe from some less-than-impressed people on the boards?

 

I might have contributed to that impression. I think I commented that you've done so much research already that you might not learn a lot of new information from a psych eval. We had a fantastic EdPsych who was very thorough, but I felt like she mostly confirmed what I'd already figured out rather than providing a wealth of new info. She commented on how much info I gave her about my kids, and said that most of the parents she sees are very confused about what's going on with their kids. The evals gave us peace that we were doing the right things for our kids, but if money had been super-tight, we could have spent the money on curriculum rather than evals and still ended up in the same place.

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Lizzy, I appreciate you updating that! I missed that you had done an ed psych instead of a neuro. Maybe that too would affect the results? Our OT said the education side of the neuropscyh evaluation would, as you say, just basically confirm what we had already figured out on our own. Lots of money to be told what you already know. :( If we ever do it, I'll keep looking to find someone who will expand my horizons.

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Lizzy, I appreciate you updating that! I missed that you had done an ed psych instead of a neuro. Maybe that too would affect the results? Our OT said the education side of the neuropscyh evaluation would, as you say, just basically confirm what we had already figured out on our own. Lots of money to be told what you already know. :( If we ever do it, I'll keep looking to find someone who will expand my horizons.

 

If we update dd's testing, maybe I'll use an NP this time just to see if there's any difference. We were steered to an EdPsych because they typically give more info and suggestions on the practical day-to-day teaching of kids with LDs, or so we were told. We were told that if our dds were having seizures or anything of that sort, an NP would be better. There have been stories here on the boards of people getting diagnoses that don't comport with their observations, diagnoses with no info on what to do about them, etc. from NPs. I'm guessing the key is to find someone well-qualified and recommended regardless of which you use.

 

Fortunately, our insurance covered a good portion of the kids' testing, so we weren't out of pocket as much as I thought we'd be. Our EdPsych had worked with Mel Levine at the All Kinds of Minds clinic. I really liked her and her philosophy of testing and labeling.

Edited by LizzyBee
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That's really interesting, and it makes a lot of sense as I think about it. I have wondered for some time how a neuropscyh could be expected to stay up on all things educational to have helpful feedback. I guess it depends on their particular interests. The ones I've researched so far each seem to have little corners they're interested in (how the brain recovers from this or that, how CP affects such and such, etc.). So presumably one with a more medical interest wouldn't be as much help on the ed side. You'd want one with experience with your mix of medical and ed.

 

I got one or two of the Levine books from the library and wasn't sure what to make from them. They seemed sort of general. I guess I got biased going in because of some dreadful comments about him personally in amazon reviews. It sounds like your ed psych was a real winner! At this point I keep hashing through the whole thing myself. I was working on a *6 year plan* to get us through high school, and it's hard to know what is reasonable and what isn't. It would be nice to have a Moses coming down the mountain moment to make that obvious, but oh well.

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If we update dd's testing, maybe I'll use an NP this time just to see if there's any difference. We were steered to an EdPsych because they typically give more info and suggestions on the practical day-to-day teaching of kids with LDs, or so we were told. We were told that if our dds were having seizures or anything of that sort, an NP would be better. There have been stories here on the boards of people getting diagnoses that don't comport with their observations, diagnoses with no info on what to do about them, etc. from NPs. I'm guessing the key is to find someone well-qualified and recommended regardless of which you use.

 

Fortunately, our insurance covered a good portion of the kids' testing, so we weren't out of pocket as much as I thought we'd be. Our EdPsych had worked with Mel Levine at the All Kinds of Minds clinic. I really liked her and her philosophy of testing and labeling.

 

Who did you use? I am one of those who got a (very) unexpected result from our testing and have since figured out that it isn't possible that they were right (any of the 3!) Our mistake was using a school psych clinic with no wait - now I know why there wasn't a wait! The students had little experience with educatonal testing or LDs and had little to no oversight or mentoring.:glare:

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Who did you use? I am one of those who got a (very) unexpected result from our testing and have since figured out that it isn't possible that they were right (any of the 3!) Our mistake was using a school psych clinic with no wait - now I know why there wasn't a wait! The students had little experience with educatonal testing or LDs and had little to no oversight or mentoring.:glare:

 

We went to the NCSU Psychoeducational Clinic and worked with Sasha Fradin. She did all of the testing herself - it was not done by psych students. The head of the clinic is Patsy Collins and I've heard good things about her, too.

 

I've also heard good things about Silber Psychological in Raleigh.

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We went to the NCSU Psychoeducational Clinic and worked with Sasha Fradin. She did all of the testing herself - it was not done by psych students. The head of the clinic is Patsy Collins and I've heard good things about her, too.

 

I've also heard good things about Silber Psychological in Raleigh.

 

Thanks! We'll be in that area, soon, so I hope to get the testing re-done at some point.

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