Neuro-psych assessment for 1st grader


I have read a couple recommendations here about neuropsych assessments & am just asking again in case there are more / more recent. I have a 6yo 1st grade daughter with possible dyslexia or processing difficulties (struggles with writing, numbers & reading) possible attention weakness. She is on the shy side so of course would need a very engaging & attuned person who works expertly with younger kids. (Some opinions may be to wait until later to have her assessed. I am not of that opinion & don’t mind hearing those opinions but am really seeking recommendations for thorough, expert neuro-psych evaluations to tease out in a precise way (as possible) the learning challenges she is facing.) She has completed an eval at the UC Optometry Clinic & may need vision therapy, but I am interested too in the processing problems. Thank you! 

Parent Replies

New responses are no longer being accepted.

They are expensive, even through UC Berkeley using students. We were very discouraged by the cost when we started down this road about two years ago. We ended up getting a fairly thorough one through the school district! Rare, but it happens. It was via the IEP - he already had an IEP that did not seem to be meeting all his issues so we pushed them to do this for a better assessment. If you don't already have an IEP, I would start with a call to DREDF.

If you’re looking for testing related to learning and education, I recommend starting with the schools. They can make more recommendations and start an IEP as well if needed. If for learning/education, unfortunately, health insurance will not pay for the tests most likely (but the school would). You can also look into working with a child therapist to rule out anything else including anxiety that may be getting in the way of learning and development. A psychologist will then make recommendations (and can even complete some testing) as needed. And again although they may not cover the financial aspects of tests, if you call your health insurance company, they can give recommendations for providers locally. (I’m a licensed clinical social worker and have extensive history working with kids and teens. Although I don’t specialize in learning disorders, this is the route I’d recommend to a client or friend/family). Hope this helps!

We had a good experience at the Autistic Center of Northern California (  They were able to do a neurodevelopment assessment involving different specialists, such as occupational therapists, speech, etc. at one time.  They focus on learning how your child processes information and can help recommend therapists and forming a plan for how to support your child, regardless if they are on the spectrum or not. Screening for ADD, ADHD, Dsylexia, etc. is part of the evaluation process so you would also learn if these are issues for your child.

We are in private school and our health insurance did not cover the assessment. From our research, these assessments can range from $1800+. We were at the point at which we felt it was worthwhile to pay out of pocket so we weren't doing OT, speech therapy, and whatever else trying to work on specific issues and possibly not seeing that these were all connected somehow. Our child is around the same age and we had been observing possible learning differences since he was an infant, as well as suggestions from teachers.  ACNC came highly recommended from friends, and it was one of the more affordable options. 

They have a lot of helpful information on their website and I called to speak with their coordinator prior to scheduling an assessment. Their specialists were all extremely good with building a positive rapport with my child so he was happy to spend time doing assessments. (The assessment takes a few hours.)  Afterwards, their specialists were accessible and patiently answered all of our questions. They are located in downtown SF.