How can a Neuropsychological Evaluation help me or my child?
There are a number of benefits from participating in a Neuropsychological Evaluation. Psychiatric disorders are not easily determined in a thirty or sixty minute session. Through the course of brief psychotherapy, sometimes relavant information is not dicovered or addressed. Our evaluation process is designed to assess functioning in several areas while developing rapport. In the latter phase of the evaluation, semi-structured and structured interviews are conducted to elicit additional detail on subjective areas of concern. The rich data and interview information gleened through our assessments enable us to pinpoint problematic or stressful areas which shed light on diagnostic issues.
In addition, our evaluations aid clinicians and school personnel toward providing treatment and educational services, respectively. For example, diagnostic clarification helps psychotherapists and psychopharmacological prescribers (psychiatrists, nurse practitioners) tailor their treatment strategies. Diagnostic clarification also helps educators to provide special services to students such as Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and 504 Accommodations. Clarifying diagnoses can help teens or adults with addiction and other psychiatric disorders by shedding light on emotional and relational issues underlying dysfunctional and addictive behaviors.
Often, diagnostic clarification provides relief to patients and their families. For example, for students and adults with severe social challenges, it is often a great relief when their issues with social skills or social pragmatics are discussed and conceptualized within their diagnostic picture.
What is the Neuropsychological Evaluation process like?
We meet with the client for several hours over the course of a morning and early afternoon. Several breaks occur, including a lunch break. Each assessment instrument is brief, lasting two to fifteen minutes. Praise and positive feedback is provided throughout the process when appropriate. If additional time is needed, a second session is scheduled on another day, typically for an additional one to two hours. For child evaluations, standardized forms are sent home for parents and teachers to complete, which is a unique aspect of a our evaluations. We consider teacher and parent feedback to be a necessary part of assessment, as the child may behave radically different in the classroom and/or at home compared to the testing environment. In adult evaluation, information is gathered from a partner or close friend or family member. Parents', teachers', and partner's feedback are highly valued. Additionally, an interview is conducted with the child and his/her parents or with the adult to gain his/her perspective of strengths, challenges, and problematic areas.
Does what we talk about throughout the assessments remain confidential?
Yes. Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychologist. Successful assessment requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is not discussed outside of a psychologist's or therapist's office. We provide a written copy of a confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in assessment sessions will not be shared with anyone. This is called “Informed Consent”.
However, often it is helpful for me to discuss client information with a third party such as a teacher, primary care physician (PCP), pediatrician, or psychopharmacologist (prescriber). By law I cannot discuss client information without obtaining your written permission in advance. In the case where you would like me to contact a third party, you can sign an authorization form, by which you grant me permission to contact your pediatrician, psychotherapist, or teacher.
State laws and psychologists' professional ethics require psychologists to maintain confidentiality except for the in following situations:
* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources. * If the psychologist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threated to harm another specified person.
Who will have access to the evaluation once it's complete?
Psychologists are bound to strict rules of confidentiality. We can not share any of your information without your permission. The final report is yours. We keep a copy archived in a locked file storage area. We cannot provide a copy of your evaluation to anyone without your written permission. The only exception is if a judge makes a court order to obtain a copy of the evaluation, or in the cases listed above where abuse is highly suspected or if there is a serious threat of harm to oneself or specified others.
Can you accompany us to our child's IEP meeting?
We are available to attend IEP meetings scheduled at least three weeks in advance. The fee is $200/hour, including travel time. We are able to help explain the student's diagnosis, challenges implicated with learning, and recommendations for remedial services.