What is a Neuropsychologist?
Neuropsychologists typically have a doctoral degree in Clinical or Counseling Psychology. They then complete a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in neuropsychology, developing expertise in neurocognitive assessment and learning about brain development, neuroanatomy, and the relationships between brain and behavior. Neuropsychologists are not medical doctors and do not have prescription writing privileges.
What are Common Reasons for a Neuropsychological Evaluation?
If your child is having a hard time meeting expectations at school, home, and/or in the community, a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment may be helpful in identifying areas of strength and weakness and determining skill areas that would be likely to benefit from intervention. Pediatric neuropsychologists work with children, adolescents, and young adults who present with a wide range of concerns that affect their overall development and day-to-day functioning. Common difficulties include, but are not limited to:
school struggles, sometimes with declining or poor grades
not completing assignments or completing assignments and forgetting to turn them in
trouble paying attention and becoming easily distracted
fighting with parents over homework, unable to complete homework independently
behavioral challenges, particularly at school
symptoms of test anxiety or school phobia and avoidance
evaluations also are completed as part of routine care for those who have a medical condition that is known to have associated learning difficulties
A neuropsychological evaluation will help to identify possible factors that may be contributing to your child’s struggles, such as a cognitive or learning disability, an attention disorder, weaknesses in executive functioning, or concerns with behavioral or emotional functioning. When appropriate, a diagnosis is made (e.g., Learning Disability in math, reading and/or writing, including Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, and Dysgraphia; Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder; Anxiety Disorder). Recommendations are provided to guide planning for intervention, accommodations, and curriculum modifications, as needed, to help facilitate your child’s overall development.
What Does a Neuropsychological Evaluation Involve?
For a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation, Dr. Paull generally meets with you for four appointment sessions. During the first session, she will complete an intake and gather background information. She will then begin the testing, which typically is completed across two different days and takes approximately 5 hours in total. With your permission, information also will be gathered from outside professionals who are working with your child. A separate feedback session will be arranged, during which Dr. Paull will provide you with verbal results of the assessment. A written report will then follow, which you will be able to share with your child’s physician(s), school personnel, and any therapists working with your child, if you choose to do so.
What Does the Cost of the Evaluation Cover?
Based on the age of your child, the reason for referral, and the testing that needs to be completed, you will be provided with the cost of the services when you call to schedule an appointment. This fee will cover the following:
Review of previous assessments, school records
Scoring and interpretation of the testing
60-90 minute verbal feedback session
Written report of the evaluation
With your written permission, the fee also will cover the time Dr. Paull spends talking to one or two of your child’s teachers and any therapists who might be working with your child (e.g., speech language pathologist, occupational therapist, social worker, psychologist). In some cases, permission also may be requested to speak with one or more of your child’s medical care providers (e.g., primary care provider).
Will My Insurance Cover the Evaluation?
Dr. Paull is not a member of any insurance panels. You will be responsible for paying for the full assessment cost upon the delivery of services. As a courtesy to you and your family, upon your request, she will provide you with a Superbill to submit to your insurance. Please note, that coverage for neuropsychological evaluations varies with the reasons for the assessment and with your plan.
Is Dr. Paull Available to Attend School Meetings?
Yes. Following completion of the neuropsychological evaluation and report, upon request and under a separate fee arrangement, Dr. Paull would be happy to meet with school personnel to review findings and recommendations from the assessment.