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Neuropsychologist or Educational Psychologist?


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I think I've finally decided to get DS9 tested, but now I'm overwhelmed with the decisions of where/who/etc. Can you help calm me down?  :willy_nilly: 

 

Possibilities I'm wondering about include sensory issues, dyslexia, dysgraphia, 2e, maybe ASD (although a psychologist friend says he has too much social awareness, he does have some signs) and/or ADHD. I'm worried that a tester not familiar with 2e issues might misdiagnose him. I've read The Mislabeled Child and am reading Different Minds and as far as I can tell, he doesn't neatly fit into any category.

 

So what's the difference between a np and an educational psych?

Should I talk to several? 

What do I ask?

How do I know how to evaluate the info I receive?

 

 

I like personal recommendations for health care professionals, but no one I know locally has used a neuropsychologist.  I am even having trouble finding them on google - maybe I'm not searching for the correct thing? I do have a friend who had her child tested with an educational psychologist nearby. I found someone off the Hoagie's Gifted recommendations within driving distance, but she's a clinical psychologist with a sub-specialty in gifted testing and sensory issues.

 

Thanks in advance!  :001_smile:

 

 

 

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If you could afford it or insurance covers it I would go to a NP. I could not afford it and had to use a educational psychologist through the school and she did a very poor job explaining the results. She did not even use a GAI which you were supposed to do in his case never mind know how to explain what she was seeing. The test she used were fine but I am left wondering if it is completely accurate because it came out a little different then I expected based on what I see in my child. It did show huge discrepencies and the weaknesses I thought but she did not explain anything about that. I had to figure out that myself.

Edited by MistyMountain
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I guess it will depend on school district. We just went through the process from district and child study team in our district has been very helpful. In addition to run tests in school, we were also referred to psychiatrist outside for psychiatric evaluation which was paid by district. Each professional shared and reviewed all information. Each of them provided us individual report from their perspectives. My son ended up getting more help than I expected. But educational psychologist will mainly focus only on improving his function in educational setting. I did ask them if I should go to audiologist to sort out APD possibility and they said it will be our choice as it will not change whatever they have in IEP for him. In addition, they do not diagnose nor give out label. However, the psychiatrist we were referred to is able to give us diagnosis (ADHD combined, mild dyslexia, mild dysgraphia, adjustment disorder) on his report after he interviewed us and reviewed all results from school evaluation. If you have concern outside of academic area, neuropsychologist may be better choice to go to.

Edited by beishan
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So what's the difference between a np and an educational psych?

 

Depending on your state licensing, an educational psych might have a master's degree through a School of Education whereas a neuropsych is required to have a doctoral degree in psychology (clinical, child, or neuro) plus specialized coursework and training in NP.

 

In a lot of cases where the child has just relatively straightforward LD's, it's probably not going to make a huge difference in terms of the testing accuracy and usefulness of the report. But with a complex child, you probably do want to see a board-certified NP.

 

Have you checked the 2E Newsletter database? http://2edb.info/

Edited by Crimson Wife
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In our area, we would go to a neuropsych for the ASD and ADHD evals.

 

That said, we used an ed psych for general IQ, LDs, etc., and the 2e expertise is obvious.  This ed psych is on the list of approved testers for local gifted schools that require testing for admission.  The ed psych is far less expensive than the NP but refers out for additional testing (e.g. to SLP) for dyslexia and such and refers to a psychiatrist or NP for ASD/ADHD after screening for them.

 

Thinking out loud, ideally I'd like to see more than one provider LOL, if only to get more than one opinion on the big picture aside from diagnoses.  The NP we saw for something else didn't really seem that into the 2e learning angle.  If you have a hammer, everything you see is a nail...

Edited by wapiti
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That said, we used an ed psych for general IQ, LDs, etc., and the 2e expertise is obvious.  This ed psych is on the list of approved testers for local gifted schools that require testing for admission.  The ed psych is far less expensive than the NP but refers out for additional testing (e.g. to SLP) for dyslexia and such and refers to a psychiatrist or NP for ASD/ADHD after screening for them.

 

Thinking out loud, ideally I'd like to see more than one provider LOL, if only to get more than one opinion on the big picture aside from diagnoses.  The NP we saw for something else didn't really seem that into the 2e learning angle.  If you have a hammer, everything you see is a nail...

 

Yeah, we found that the Ed Psych was more helpful, and the NP wasn't into 2e. Every single thing that we asked about was chalked up to ADHD, but there are clearly other things going on. Even in areas where it can be ADHD plus another problem, he had zero suggestions for intervention because it was obviously ADHD (we have zero doubt he has ADHD, but there is definitely more going on). Supposedly, an NP can pull together data from all of the testing and give recommendations. Yeah, didn't happen. So, I have several specialists (because there are things going on that the NP can't diagnose) all not answering specific questions. All my kid's stuff seems to fall in the cracks, and the NP calls that crack ADHD. So, meds plus a few generic and totally nonspecific recommendations that may or may not work (just stuff to "try" basically).

 

The Ed Psych (also listed on Hoagies') tends to piecemeal things together as she discovers them, but she actually thinks and processes stuff. She very much knows what 2e students struggle with, so she is motivated to keep learning and continue networking with other practitioners if there is something she cannot offer. 

 

Night and day difference in our experience, and the Ed Pysch is much cheaper. Wish we'd done ALL of our testing through her.

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Oh, thank you, everyone! Very helpful.

 

Wapiti, the gifted school resource is a good idea. There's nothing on our websites, but maybe I'd get recommendations if I called.

 

Kbutton, I was also suspicious that someone would choose a label and dismiss all concerns as falling under that label.

 

The 2e newsletter didn't have any options within a reasonable distance. :( Thank you anyway, Crimson Wife.

 

It sounds like the right first course of action is to call the Hoagie's recommended psychologist, ask her what tests she would run, and see if she listens to my concerns.

 

I feel better now. Thank you!

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I used an psychologist for one child and neuropsychologist for the other and I found the neuropsychologist testing to be way more helpful and informative. The psychologist seemed to be really distracted with trying to psychoanalyze our family which was irritating and unhelpful. No helpful advice came from her report. The neuropsych was very professional and specific about what issues she saw and gave specific helpful advice. This is just my experience and could be differences with the individual doctors too but I was much happier with the neuropsychologist.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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BES, reality is ADHD is the diagnosis of exclusion.  If the other things they see aren't severe enough to get to a clinical level and a diagnosis, you'll get stuck with ADHD as the label.  And since ADHD can include all sorts of stuff (social problems, EF problems, mild learning issues, low processing speed, on and on) it has just become a very, very common issue.  The issue there is the DSM. Kids will have labels shift with time, as disabilities become more apparent and discrepancies increase.  Sometimes there are just a bunch of things at that pesky, subclinical level.  My dd is like that. 

 

And yes, some psychs are more personable or better about application than others.  You go to a neuropsych because you need more thorough testing for more complex situations.  The reports can take a lot of time to sift through and figure out how to apply.  Some will hold your hand, but I think that's uncommon.  I was pleased with our first neuropsych, because he was a good listener.  I had a lot to get off my chest, and he listened to all that and gave advice in each area that EMPOWERED us to go forward confidently.  That advice has stood me in good stead for a lot of years. 

 

The next psych we used was well-recommended but an utter jerk.  He wouldn't listen, was deprecating, cutting us off, flattering stupidly.  It was ridiculous.  He told us nothing.  He did appropriate tests, but he just wouldn't listen and thus missed things.  He made us all kinds of problems because of his arrogance.  I can't work with someone like that, kwim?  Doesn't matter that someone else liked him.  And I really do think you can just have that bad a fit with someone.  You HAVE to talk with them and get that match.  

 

You won't necessarily solve everything in one round, which other people have already told you.  You just have to call and talk with them and go with your gut.  Talk with a variety of psychs and go with your gut.  Sometimes it's hard.  There are things looming you won't expect.  You bring up social issues, and some psychs are going to be REALLY NASTY about it and say homeschooling causes social problems.  Seriously.  So just talk with each psych, ask your questions, and roll.

Edited by OhElizabeth
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I don't know if you would consider this (there are pros and cons), but you could request for your local public school to evaluate him. They would be unlikely to give you answers about everything, but it would be a start. You would get test results to consider, and then you could take their report to your NP or your educational psych. They would be able to build on that initial knowledge by doing any additional needed screenings and may also be able to offer a second opinion about whatever the school said.

 

The big pro is that doing it through the PS is free. The big con is that you have to deal with the bureaucracy of the schools.

 

 

Edited by Storygirl
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Kbutton, I was also suspicious that someone would choose a label and dismiss all concerns as falling under that label.

 

 

I think the most important part in regard to your situation is to get someone who understands 2e. I don't believe that our NP gave an incorrect diagnosis, just an incomplete picture of my son. Even if he couldn't add another label to the pile, he could have spent a lot more time talking about the highs and lows in the other areas and what to do about them. Instead, he simply called those high and low areas ADHD. We now know from vision therapy that at least some of what he pinned on ADHD was not ADHD. It makes me wonder what else in his report is not ADHD. So frustrating. 

 

He was kind, and in that sense, he was approachable, but he was convinced that my son is not gifted, so he spent all of his time refuting the idea that my son is gifted, and during our entire post-test consult with him, he didn't go over scores with us. He had the testing finished and scored, but he didn't have anything for us to look at, refer to, etc. so the whole post-testing consult was oral arguments by one side about his overall IQ. I received mostly category descriptors ("average," etc. as descriptors) rather than raw test data. I think I did get percentiles. He didn't think that striking differences in my son's IQ and performance were significant and said that "he doesn't dig into the data." I can understand that some of my son's scores were on the low side of average, and the school might not care unless they are two standard deviations below average, but I care why it's several standard deviations below his very above average capability. He's not a school psych. He could offer some additional opinion or help even if he feels he cannot diagnose something.

 

So, yeah, ask questions. Get a 2e expert!

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Aren't test records like medical records? Can you request copies of the raw data?

 

But I see that you can't necessarily tell ahead of time whether someone is going to do their best to analyze the results.

 

I don't know. I was not pleased, and we just decided to take our reports back to the Ed psych as we sort this all out. We've got a million fish to fry with speech therapy, figuring out what to do about CAPD, etc. If he's not going to touch that with a ten foot pole, we'll just go somewhere else to follow up. 

 

I think you can ask what they include in their report. That might be telling. 

 

I really do think that you can't go just on credentials alone. That's really my big point. And the 2e thing.

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Going through the school is not something I'm interested in at this point, but I appreciate your idea of going there first and branching out from there.

 

OhE, I've never even thought they might pull the homeschooling card. Yikes. The same behaviors were happening when he was in preschool and we had every intention of sending him to public school. So I would remain unconvinced, but still. How unhelpful.

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Aren't test records like medical records? Can you request copies of the raw data?

 

But I see that you can't necessarily tell ahead of time whether someone is going to do their best to analyze the results.

Some psychs give you the results before your feedback appt, and some don't for a month or more when they send the report.  It just varies with the psych, and it's something you can ask.  They have their gig, so it's not like they're going to change for you.  Our first psych was like that, just general terms, answering questions, and no specifics till the report.  He didn't offer a follow-up appt either, though some psychs include that in the cost, knowing you'll have questions after you read the report.  

 

Some psychs will write up the report and give it to you before the feedback appointment, allowing you to ask questions.  So they just really vary.  Some want to talk about their findings before they finalize anything into a report.  If you end up with a psych who maybe doesn't handle that aspect the way you preferred but everything ELSE is fine, you could ask for an additional hour after receiving the report to go through questions.  And some are better about applying stuff than others.  They just really vary.  

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