Seeking Neuropsych evaluation

We are looking for a neuropsyc eval for our child who is showing anxiety and ADHD symptoms. I have found a number of them and have spoken on the phone and via email. We have found a range of about $3000-$6000, most have a flat fee and have wait times from 3-6 months out. However, we really need to start now. The two we have found that could see us this Feb have both the Highest price so far and the potentially the lowest price. I have not been able to find reviews of either of these doctors online. I am hoping that someone has used them and can give a review.

There is Debbie Bonardi and Megan McConnell. If we went just by the distance their office is from our house we would go with Bonardi, but that sort of seems like a low bar for trusting someone with testing that will hopefully help us with making a plan to help our child thrive.

Thanks.

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RE: Seeking Neuropsych evaluation ()

This isn't your question - but I want suggest getting into therapy now, and for the neuropsych evaluation I would wait and use someone you trust and who has a good reputation.  We did this, were able to book a therapy appointment for our kid quickly.  Later did the neuropsych evaluation.  The therapist can get to know your child over time and work with them about anxiety and issues.  Anyway, just our experience in dealing with this, it is not easy.  Good luck. 

RE: Seeking Neuropsych evaluation ()

Agree with first poster. Start therapy ASAP. The eval can wait. My child also has anxiety + ADHD and even group therapy through Kaiser for a semester helped a lot with the anxiety management.

RE: Seeking Neuropsych evaluation ()

Neither of those providers are neuropsychologists, they are clinical psychologists. There is a difference in training and experience. $6K seems high for a non-neuropsychologist. If you’re going to spend the money on an assessment I’d say get the best there is which is probably going to be with a neuropsychologist who will have more expertise, and ultimately may be able to help you more effectively, than a straight clinical or school psych. Unfortunately there aren’t too many neuropsychs and they tend to get booked out. Therapy could be a good interim support if you feel like you need immediate help. 

RE: Seeking Neuropsych evaluation ()

We highly recommend Dr. Jessica Lipkind, Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, who did testing of our daughter who has dyslexia and anxiety issues. Dr. Lipkind is smart, compassionate, supportive, and great with dealing with the school once the testing results are in and accommodations are needed. The administrators at our school were highly impressed with her report, which helped our daughter navigate middle and high school. Our daughter is now a successful college student due to Jessica's help. She has an informative website.

RE: Seeking Neuropsych evaluation ()

While it won't fit in to the time frame you're hoping for, you may want to consider getting your child assessed at the UC Berkeley Psychology Clinic.  The assessment is conducted by grad students under close supervision by a professor, and it's very thorough and also low-cost.  The only downside is the waiting period, likely until the summer.  The learning specialist at our daughter's school said the report from UC was by far the best she'd ever seen, in terms of clarity and completeness, and it has helped us a lot to understand what our child is experiencing.  The UC clinic has also helped us deal with our kid's school and has offered to continue to do so next year when she's in high school.  Finally, we really liked the people at UC.

RE: Seeking Neuropsych evaluation ()

We just completed the ADHD evaluation process at Kaiser, from the time we self-referred to when we get the results in 2 weeks it will have just been 2.5 months.  Because our daughter had a concussion over a year ago we are working with a neuro psychiatrist.  The wait times you mention I imagine are just to get the first intake appointment and exclude time to gather evaluations from teachers, etc. and write up the report. Might be quicker to switch to Kaiser if you can and go through them versus waiting that long.

Regarding the therapy versus eval, at the one parent group I attended, the facilitator when asked about the need for medication said that ADHD lives in the prefrontal cortex, so therapy alone won't fix that. The therapy can help with anxiety tools, but in our case with a daughter that most likely has the inattentiveness type, months of therapy have done little help with her emotional regulation issues, especially at night. When she has an emotional response out of proportion to the whatever set her off, it can go on for over an hour and the techniques we were taught in therapy before realizing she probably has ADHD do little to stop that sot of irrational looping/spiraling. 

One thing I recommend is to get your child tested convergence insufficiency, a functional vision disorder that can't be detected via a standard vision exam. It's something we never considered because our child loves to read and has tested as above average in reading. Many of the symptoms are the same as ADHD. While kids can have both ADHD and CI, some kids can have just CI. We got an initial diagnosis after a 1.5 hour exam at UC Berkeley's School of Optometry. Here's a link to more info on the link with vision and ADHD: https://www.additudemag.com/adhd-and-vision-problems-understanding-sympt...

RE: Seeking Neuropsych evaluation ()

I posted earlier but wanted to add that if your child's ADHD symptoms are causing difficulties at school, then it would be beneficial to get the evaluation so he/she can get a 504 Plan or an IEP so there are accommodations at school. Even just starting the evaluation process has helped my daughter. She was feeling like something was wrong with her and that she wasn't that smart as she was having to put in way more effort/time than everyone else and constantly being nagged to focus. Knowing that it is a function of her brain, not her intelligence has boosted her moral.  

RE: Seeking Neuropsych evaluation ()

I'll put in a pitch for the Summit Center. They evaluated both are kids, while I can't promise affordability or speed, I will say they know a ton about anxiety and ADHD. They'll also make sure to focus on your child's strengths as well as what might be holding them back. In the meantime, you might take a look at Dan Peter's book (he runs Summit) on children and anxiety called "The Worry Monster."  The approaches in it were very helpful to us. Also we found address our daughter's learning differences really reduced her anxiety.