Seeking a Neuropsychologist

Parent Q&A

  • Psychoeducational Eval for College Accommodations?

    (6 replies)

    Hi All,

    My h.s. senior is applying to college! He has always had an IEP in Oakland Unified for specific learning disability (dyslexia). His testing is more than 3 years old. It looks like I will need to get him evaluated privately to qualify him for accommodations in college. Can anyone recommend an agency or individual who won't be super expensive? (I don't think the school will provide the testing because they are trying to "exit" him from services.)

    Thank you!!

    We used UC Berkeley for our student who had a 504 plan in high school. The tester seemed very aware of the accommodations that would be needed for going to a UC (early registration, extended time on testing, lower course load.)  Sliding scale.

    I've used Clearwater Assessment for my children.  I won't say it's cheap but it's relatively reasonable.

    East Bay Family Institute has a wonderful technician, Liz Walser. 

    http://eastbayfamilyinstitute.com/

    Five years ago we paid $1500. 

    Yes, you've got to set up the testing on your own.  The school should, if they're conscientious, provide you with names of people who do the testing.

    Be sure to request accommodation for both the SAT and ACT tests.  Accommodation for the ACT is more useful to most students, but is also harder to obtain from the test-maker.

    Raymond Barglow

    I believe they need to eval him in order to exit. You might want to check on the process. 

    UC Berkeley will do testing as will the Ann Martin Center (sliding scale).

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  • Neusopsychologist evaluation for 10th grader

    (4 replies)

    Our 15 year old daughter has multiple complex learning issues and has been on an IEP all through school. SHe has just entered Grade 10.

    Her last evaluation was 5 years ago, by a not very skilled professional. We think it's time to update it, hoping to pinpoint specific issues and provide her with tools to learn, and a plan for the future ( with realistic college expectations)

    Anyone have personal experience of Dr Sandra Chiao in Berkeley or Dr Carole King?

    Thank you!

    My 16yo just started seeing Sandra Chiao for a detailed neuropsych work-up so he can get accommodations for the ACT/SAT. She was recommended by our beloved developmental pediatrician so that was a big point in her favor. We are still at the beginning of the evaluation, but I recently met with her for more than two hours while my kid was doing some testing on the computer in another room. Her office is a small studio in the back garden of her home near Star Market in Berkeley. It's a pleasant, leafy setting that put me at ease.   I found Dr. Chiao to be very friendly and down to earth, a good listener, with a lot of incisive questions. She explained in detail what kinds of tests she'd be doing, what she'd be looking at, and what sort of reporting we could expect back. My very shy kid and I both clicked with her right away, and I would recommend her. 

    I am a teacher and have been in meetings with Sandra and have been impressed.

    We used Carina Grandison - highly recommend her. If she is not available I know she will be able to recommend other good people. 

    We had our 14 year old evaluated by Dr. Bernou in Lafayette. He also has extremely complex needs and she was great with him and did the most accurate and thorough evaluation we have had.  She came and presented it to the school as well.

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  • Looking for a Neuropsychologist to do testing

    (3 replies)

    I am looking for a Neuropsychologist in or near Oakland, to do Neuropsychological Testing for my 9 year old daughter with Anxiety and Sensory Processing Issues.

    Thanks,

    Emily

    If you suspect giftedness mixed in with the anxiety and SPD, look to the Summit Center in Walnut Creek

    We just finished with extensive neuropsych testing for my 6yo daughter at Westcoast Children's Clinic in Oakland. The Dr. whom we were placed with was AMAZING! I suspect anyone you get there will be fantastic. My kiddo has a rare disorder which causes anxiety and OCD. The Dr went above and beyond to research it and figure out how it was affecting my kid. She was also an amazing advocate for us in talking to her school. Unfortunately, she is leaving Westcoast at the end of this month and opening up her own practice in Rockridge, doing the same testing, etc. It actually might be easier to get in to her, because we had to wait awhile to get into Westcoast (totally worth it!). Dr's name is Rebecca Gitenstein (dr.rebecca.gitenstein [at] gmail.com)

    Good luck Mama!

    Gabrielle Anderson is terrific. Same issues with my 9 year old son.gabrielle [at] hallowellsfo.comwww.hallowellSFO.comUC Berkeley has a psychology program that also provides assistance to this situation. Its a wait list but half the price.Gabrielle studied at UCB who told us about the program. 

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  • Neuropsychological assessments for 10 year old.

    (2 replies)

    I have been looking into into getting a professional neuropsychological assessment done for my son who has some complex learning challenges as well as likely executive function issues. I am hoping for someone who will really take the initiative to uncover what seems to be a complicated compendium of 'stuff' and not just have a report thrown at me with no solutions.  Curious if anyone has worked with Lisa Greenberg in Oakland?      

    About Dr. Greenberg: I have additional information that I should have put in my first recommendation.  My son's cognitive situation is that his brain has 1% attention (that means out of 100 people, 99 of their brains have more attention span than his brain does.) But he has no social issues that often go along with ADHD.  He has executive function and a very high verbal IQ. But also, and I'm not going to be able to remember the name, but a certain form of dyslexia as well as slow processing when taking information in.  Please read my longer review for more information.

    Our family has worked with Dr. Lisa Greenberg in Rockridge.  I ran into her recently, looked her in the eyes and told her, "you changed my son's life."  This is simply the truth.  

    We approached Dr. Greenberg on the recommendation of friends when our son found that he couldn't finish the SAT, or the ACT in one sitting. He had a prior assessment that was not as thorough as it needed to be but we didn't know until our son's back was up against the wall.  The prior testing was rejected by ACT and the College Board - no accommodations.  Call it a parental learning curve. Spend the money now, or spend more later: been there, done that.  And most critically, time lost cannot be gained back. 

    Dr. Greenberg has the rare combination of experience, professional and ethical standards, intuitive sense and ability to communicate respectfully to both teens and adults in an intelligent, supportive, educational and genuinely positive way.  She's the total package. She created a safe space for our son to talk and share with her. My son, who had been struggling with feeling stupid, ended up seeing and feeling how smart he is through the testing and her ability to explain to him how his brain works, the gifts he has and the areas that are different.  Her family counseling is spot on. 

    Dr. Greenberg took the time to listen to our concerns, and our son's concerns, about his learning and future. Her intake was extremely thorough. She worked with us step by step to explaining which tests she thought were necessary and which ones weren't or needed to wait until she had more information.  We never got the sense that she was spending our money on unnecessary testing.  Highly detailed reports were tailored to our son specifically, and were clear, logical and visually easy to read.  She educated us on his cognitive situation, explained test results, answered as many questions as we had, and made recommendations.  We never had the feeling that she was anywhere but present with us.

    Dr. Greenberg created a team, making herself accessible to and communicating with the ACT tutor we hired, his regular tutor, teachers, and the Learning Specialist at school for testing accommodation in his classes. She also assisted those at school in charge of working with College Board and ACT, to obtain the appropriate accommodations. 

    With regard to petitioning the College Board and ACT (which is much harder than the initial request,) she explained that when testing scores/assessments/recommendations are sent to the College Board they need to present the findings in the most straight forward way - readable, understandable information, "right there." Dr. Greenberg's submission demonstrated clearly and precisely why our son needed the accommodations she recommended. 

    As a result of Dr. Greenberg's outstanding expertise, team building, and my son's involvement in his own adventure, he raised his ACT scores to a number that was a game changer in terms of college acceptances.  While we are parents who loath the standardized testing system, we feel it was a critical factor in his acceptance to a high ranking engineering school, (and which was the right fit for him.) Best of all, I can sleep at night ;)

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  • Affordable neuropsychological testing for 9yo

    (6 replies)

    I am looking for neuropsychological testing for my son. He is nine years old and in the 3rd grade. His school suggested that I get testing done. However I can not afford the cost of most testing programs. I am looking sliding scale program. He is having social and emotional trouble at school, particularly with students, and being defiant towards his teachers. Is neuropsychological testing helpful? What does it consist of? After testing is done what is next? Are there any sliding scale programs out there?  I have heard about the JFK University program. Does any one have any experience with their program?  Thanks any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    I believe the Ann Martin center has a sliding scale http://www.annmartin.org

    I looked into this about a year ago for my 2nd grader. It is so expensive. Even the "affordable" option through UC Berkeley was ridiculous (sorry, I don't remember the price tag because I basically fainted when they finally told me after 2 weeks of phone tag with the interns). If a public school is recommending neuropsych testing, they should provide it. Since you didn't say that, sounds like you are in private school, and then, yes, it's on you. My best suggestion is to try to find someone working on their PhD who will do it independently at a lower cost, but then perhaps you run the risk of the school not accepting the results. My second best suggestion is to tell the school flat out you can't afford it, and can you break up the pieces to get at what the main concerns are in the school setting, and perhaps pay a therapist for a couple sessions - I assure you, that will be MUCH cheaper than a full neuropsych eval. Good luck!

    Good neuropsych testing should be helpful. Get specific questions from teachers and formulate your own so the Psychologist knows what your need to know. You should also try Access institute in the city and Ann Martin Center in Emeryville

    The Wright Institute in Berkeley has sliding scale assessment services. 

    I would contact Radha Richmond - she is a Licensed Educational Psychologist who does neuropsychological testing as well as other tests for learning disabilities and the emotional piece too- and she is great because she was a teacher and has worked with kids for years so she has the practical application to schools and the learning piece as well. I don't know what you consider affordable but she is reasonable and well worth it! 

    I think her website is www.eastbayedpsych.com

    I had a neuropsych assessment done for my son thru our HMO.  It was not easy to get it out of them, because they pretty much told me that one would have to suffer a head injury and be truly incapacitated mentally to get one.  However, my son had so many unusual symptoms, including physical pain in his early teens, and memory lapses where he'd know something very well only to say he had no idea what it was the next day (and I thought he pretended not to remember, and we both ended up in tears!).  I asked several times, several doctors, first a psych therapist, then a developmental doctor, then a therapist again, until they gave us an assessment.  It was done by a resident doctor, under supervision of their regular doc.  It sounded like our HMO had only one doctor who is able to perform neuropsych evals for the whole Northern California, so I think having a resident to help out was one of the factors in their decision to provide us an eval.

    You can make your case persuasive enough, especially if your school has an experience with something like this, which I hope they do, otherwise they are just throwing words around without knowing what they really mean. They should know what a neuropsych assessment will provide, and give enough reasons for why your son needs it.  What about the school district?  Did your son have an IEP? Do they think he needs a neuopsych, as a team, or is it just a school administrator or teacher who's suggesting it?

    Regarding what you get out of an assessment, for us it was a lot of interesting information about our son, some of it rather useful. For example, we found that he has very slow processing speed, which explained a lot about him acting out in class, or getting frazzled when he was called on without much warning, or spent hours on something that should take minutes for a "regular" kid. They have scales for all kinds of things, like visual and hearing perception. I forget everything they included, and I had a learning specialist review a draft before I agreed on the final assessment.  I can give you more info if you want, just ask the moderator for my contact info.  In the end, we used the assessment to prepare a 504 plan for my son's school, and it's been hugely helpful to have it.  Plus, it has been helpful to me to understand my son's strengths and weaknesses as detailed by the evaluation, and adjust my expectations of him and be able to help him better to cope with his issues.

    All that said, the evaluation is not able to tell you the entire "truth" about your kid. As anything, it's somewhat subjective, and is affected by how your child performs on the days it happens (in our case, it took two separate sessions on two different days, because my son got too tired to go through the whole thing in one sitting).

    Also, you can find a lot of helpful info in books. I got one of them, specific to slow processing speed, but it has a section on neuropsych evals and what they provide,etc.  Maybe you can find it or something like it in the library: "Bright Kids Who Can't Keep Up: Help Your Child Overcome Slow Processing Speed and Succeed in a Fast-Paced World".

    Take care, and good luck. Things work out, our kids grow up. And they do get better, especially when we parents invest our time and our selves in making that happen.

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  • Recommendations for evaluation of possible dysgraphia in teen

    (1 reply)

    We are wondering if our child has dysgraphia based on what is happening and what we are reading in Google searches. We would like recommendations for testing and evaluation to find out (other than UCB). Thank you.

    For the gold standard of testing, recommendations, and creating reports and plans for schools is Carina Grandison, PhD.  (510) 704-1820 · 2006 Dwight Way Ste 301. Berkeley, CA 94704. My younger son has several learning challenges related to a serious illness coupled with an underlying neurological condition, and she has been invaluable to us over the years. My older son, who was clearly bright and engaged, struggled with reading and writing in 3rd grade. Carina dxed orthographic dyslexia and presented a list of teaching strategies for his school. He is now attending a competitive HS and doing very well. 

    Best of luck.

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  • David O'Grady for neuropsych eval of third grader

    (1 reply)

     We recently received a referral to David O'Grady in Walnut Creek for a neuropsych evaluation of our young son. I can find very little online about him regarding patient reviews. Has anyone had experience with him testing their children? The one BPN message I saw about him was for adult therapy.  Wondering if we should get back on the list for Dr. mountain at Kaiser even though she has a four month waiting list.

    Thanks

    Having a waiting list is usually a sign that this person is good. I would wait for a good person; this is an important eval.

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  • Neuro cognitive or Neuro psych testing for teen

    (0 replies)

    I need resources that might be helpful for my son as he enters 10th grade. He has had hints of executive functioning deficits that may be beyond the norm for his age. I would like to try to find a site that offers neuro cognitive/behavioral testing to explore and target what ever he has going on. I would like to find a site or two to compare and see what testing might fit and what results can be useful to share with his school and at home.

    Thanks,

    Mama of teen son

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Archived Q&A and Reviews

 


Pediatric neuropsychologists Ubogy and Bernou

July 2015

We would like to get a neuropsych workup for my teenager (possible ADHD, OCD), and Seth Ubogy and Elea Bernou have both been recommended. Neither seems to have been reviewed yet on this website. Would love to hear your thoughts about both of them! Anonymous


Elea Bernou is wonderful. She is very thorough with her evaluations and her recommendations. She is a very knowledgable and kind person and really takes the time to get to know the child she is evaluatiing. I have had experience with her both professionally (I am an OT) and personally as she helped a relative of mine. Debra


We highly recommend Dr. Ubogy for neuropsych testing. He is easy to relate with, thorough and our son liked him. Dr Ubogy performed the typical test;Problem Solving, Planning and Abstract Thinking, Attention and Concentration... He talked with our sons school, therapist and specialist. We feel like we gained a better understanding of our sons strengths and weaknesses. Our son was given information to help him succeed in school. And, we had written plan for his teachers. You mentioned that there was no info on him on BPN. There was a recent inquiry on Dr. Ubogy with responses about a couple of months ago. We were still in the process with him and I responded that it was going well and I saw a few other replies.


I do not have experience with the doctor you asked about, but I can give a strong recommendation for Dr Marianna Eraklis in Orinda. We had the exact same assessment for our 10 year old daughter. Dr. Eraklis has a great rapport with my daughter and has helped us greatly with strategies to manage her ADHD at home and at school. Mom of ADHD girl


Neuropsych Evaluation for Possibly Gifted kid

Nov 2013

My daughter who is about to turn 8, has been recommended for Neuropsychological evaluation by her school. She's had signs of giftedness since she was young, advanced and early vocabulary, highly observant, long attention span, intensely focused, understanding etc. We never done anything to get her identified because it never seemed necessary.

She's also have difficulty with anxiety, perfectionism, and abiity to switch tasks. Since many of her issues are common among gifted kids, I want to make sure whoever evaluates her has some background with gifted children. Anyone have a neuropsychological evaluator that they can share? Anyone have any luck getting insurance to pay? Needing a good match


Definitely contact Summit Center in Walnut Creek. They specialize in assessment of gifted kids and really understand their particular needs. www.summitcenter.us Good luck! mom of a gifted kid


the summit center is really good especially for gifted kids. they have done a lot of work on supporting kids with the developmental patterns the latter often show. walnut creek and a few other office places. anon


Pediatric Neuropsychologist for 9 year old

Oct 2013

My 9 year old son has seen a lovely therapist for several years and she has recommended that he be evaluated by a pediatric neuropsychologist to gain additional insight into his ongoing and escalating behavioral issues. We have UBH and they only cover in network providers. Can anyone share information about Dr. Mary Heller or Dr. Charlotte Crawford? Also, does anyone have recommendations for someone who evaluates for sensory processing disorder?


If you are willing to wait a bit and go to SF, Leyla Bologlu is an incredible nueropsychologist. Could be a long wait though. I have also heard good things about Elea Bernou in Lafayette. Full disclosure, I am a pediatric OT, but let me know if you have any questions about an evaluation for sensory processing disorder. I have worked in SF for 13 years, and am now working with clients in the east bay for in-home evaluations, with a clinic site opening in Walnut Creek in January. Debra


Neuropsych Exam for teen girl

Oct 2013

Our high school freshman had a neuropsych exam when she was in the second grade, and it was very helpful. Now in high school, she is MISERABLE, really struggling, disappointed, bored, tired.... I am wondering if we should have her re-assessed, now that she is older, and see what, if anything, has changed (or possibly, if we can get a more accurate picture of her strengths and challenges). I do not know how to find someone to do an exam. Where does one go? Can anyone recommend anyone local? Thanks for any references. Confused Mama


I would start with your pediatrician, and go from there. I know Children's Hospital has neuropsychologists...you could start there if you don't have an HMO.


try Clearwater http://www.clearwaterclinic.com/ good luck


Neuropsych evaluation for 7 year old

Oct 2013

We are looking into Neuro psych evaluation for our 7 years old son.He has great difficulties with social skill and also he has sensory processing disorder .We are considering either Dr Alex Peterson or Dr Grandison from Berkeley. Any recommendation of either one of them would be great help. Thanks so much! Anna


I would suggest you work with Dr. Peterson. He's very good. anon


Both Dr. Peterson and Dr. Grandison are excellent! Both will do a thorough evaluation and spend the time you need to understand your child. If you are interested in having your son evaluated be sure to call ASAP to make an appointment as this is a extremely busy time of the year for them. Nancy


Dr. Grandison is very good - empathetic, effective and thourough. highly recommended! Juliane


Dr. Caroline Johnson, Neuropsych

June 2013

My almost 10 year old son needs neuropsych testing and Dr. Johnson was recommended to us. The latest review of her is from March 2011 and I'm wondering if anyone has had any more recent experiences. We are trying to rule out ADD, ADHD etc as well as receive some educational testing as we suspect that some of his issues may stem from high intelligence. Which leads me to my other question which is - what exactly is a gifted child and how do you know if you have one? My son is anxious, depressed and extremely dissatisfied with his world and we have been struggling for over a year now with how to help him. All insights extremely welcome. Worried mama


Dear worried mama, Caroline Johnson is wonderful, kind and very knowledgeable. We met with her for a consultation and she explained the whole process in detail. She did our child's neuropsych assessment last summer and all of the information has been very helpful. We continue to call or meet with her for follow up questions and advice. Make an appointment with her and get on her waiting list now. You can decide if she is a good fit for your son. Good luck--it is a hard road, but she is wonderful and will really help you figure things out. another mom


Hi - I have two kids with learning issues and Dr. Johnson has evaluated both of them. She is very kind and great with kids, advocates for you with the school district if your child needs help, and should qualify for special services. She also knows her stuff. I have been told by my pediatrician and my son's developmental pediatrician that she is ''the best.'' She is also very honest. My son has disabilities but she told us when he was evaluated that he did not qualify for special ed services because at the time of the testing it was not interfering with his ability to learn. (My son has AD/HD). That wasn't what we wanted to hear, necessarily, but was her honest opinion. That was five or six years ago. She is testing my daughter now and advocating with the school for better services for her. My daughter is very bright, but has pretty severe dyslexia. Because Dr. Johnson is a straight shooter, the schools and judges (if you have to go to hearing to get what you need) also respect her opinion. The down side of having a great reputation is that she is extremely busy. It usually takes several months to get appointment times to have your child evaluated. With my daughter we got appointments about six months in advance. She was good about getting the intial report within three or four weeks. The first time we used her it took longer to get the report. She is in demand and extremely busy, attending meetings at schools, etc. in addition to doing the testing. Hope that helps. Mom with special kids


Dr. Johnson (Kie) has assessed my daughter twice - in third and eighth grades. She is wonderful in every way. She is extremely experienced and knowledgable. She is completely professional. She is GREAT with kids. She has great respect for the children and families with whom she works. I can't sing her praises highly enough. She can also become an advocate for your child, with schools, teachers, etc. - explaining how your child works and what s/he needs. My daughter's issues were different than your son's but I think you cannot go wrong with Dr. Johnson. We learned a great deal that helped us and our daughter.. Grateful Mom


I cannot say enough good things about Kie Johnson. She is a consummate Pediatric Neuropsychologist-- highly skilled, experienced and attuned to both parents and children. As a therapist, I have referred kids to her many times, always with very satisfying results. And as a mother, we asked her to evaluate our son many years ago for some learning issues in an otherwise extremely intelligent kid (he went on to get a PhD). As the wife of a neuropsychologist, I know my husband has enormous respect for both her work and her person. RE: your other questions, don't get ahead of yourself! Let Kie take a look at your son and she will help you with some direction. Good luck Heidi


We had a Pediatric Neuro-psych Evaluation done for our child who sounds quite similar to your son. We also had our child tested at the Gifted Development Center (GDC) in Denver, Colorador. Both sets of test results were very helpful though if there is a chance your child is highly or profoundly gifted, I would have him tested at the GDC before getting the Neuro-psych evaluation. It was finding out the level of giftedness in our child, and what that meant, from life-long professionals in the field, that really started the process of improvement in our child's life and in our family life. We also have considerable experience with the challenges stemming from raising a twice-gifted child... who is both highly gifted and has ADD/ depression/ anxiety issues. If it would be of value, I'm happy to share more with you about our experience with all these tests, with numerous schools, and with the therapy and medication options we've tried. (If you'd like to talk more, please ask the Moderator for my contact info.) By the way, I do not know Caroline Johnson but Cynthia Peterson, who, I believe, shares an office with Caroline, did our Pediatric Neuro-psych Evaluation and was excellent. Wishing you all the best!


Neuropsych eval for 11 year old

Nov 2012

I'm considering a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation for my 11 year old daughter, through Raskob Institute. The psychologist is Dr. Mary Cunningham. Any feedback on neuropsych testing by either Raskob or Dr. Cunningham? Recommendations for other doctors? Kaiser won't cover, so cost is a factor, but I'm resigned to pay whatever, as long as I get some info. gotta help my kid


I highly recommend Alex Peterson, a pediatric neuropsychologist on College Ave. in Oakland. We had him do a full neuropsych evaluation for our son (ADHD and LD) when he was 13 yrs old and it was the best money we ever spent. He came highly recommended to us from a number of sources and we weren't disappointed. Extremely thorough and personable. After many years of struggling to figure out exactly what was challenging our son, we finally had a very clear picture of his strengths and weaknesses, along with excellent recommendations on ways to help him. I wish we had done it sooner. Pleased Parent


Neuropsychology testing for my 5 year old

March 2011

Hello, I'm looking for some input from Mom's & Dad's about neuropsychology testing for my 5 year old son. Do you have someone you have used? Did you like them and would you recommend them? Any information would be helpful. I will travel for a good doctor. Thank you.


Our family has recently had our son assessed with Dr. Kristin Gross in Albany. She is excellent - intelligent, keen insight and kind. She provided excellent recommendations on school strategies, as well(510)530-1676 East Bay Mom


We saw Carolyn Johnson several years ago. She is obviously very capable but I felt she was way too busy to follow through on anything. The draft of the report came four months after the testing.The report depended very heavily on pooled statements from previous reports, some of which were quite out of date. I had given them to her with the expectation that she'd talk to the people who had been working with my child since the reports were written, but she did not contact them before she wrote the draft. She did after I insisted that she do so, but at that point their comments were tacked on rather than integrated into her conclusions. With regard to the testing, there seemed to be relatively little analysis of the data; the narrative was more a line by line explanation of what the various categories of testing were. In short, it didn't seem very specific to my child. The final recommendations were simply to continue with what we were already doing, which while perhaps wise on her part, made me wonder why I had put my child through three days of testing and spent 5000 dollars.

She did come speak to my child's teachers once after the report but they quickly forgot about her suggestions. I did tell her the suggestions were not being implemented, but I didn't set up another meeting and I don't think she contacted them again; I think we were both just done.

When I went to pick my child from the testing, I heard her asking multiple choice questions, including, ''Do you think of killing yourself often, seldom, never at all?'' My child was six years old! To some of these multiple choice questions my child would say, ''I wouldn't think of it that way'' or ''none of those answers seem right,'' and she would just say, ''You have to choose one'' rather than finding out what my child was in fact thinking. I wished I had saved the money we paid her and spent them on people who would actually have worked with my child. anon


Neuro-psychologists - has anyone worked with these?

May 2010

We are looking into neuro-psych testing for our nine year- old. Insurance would cover the following doctors. We were wondering if anybody has worked with them, in particular the field of ADHD-PI and difficulty with working memory/text generation: Charlotte Crawford, Mary Heller or David Pingitore.


Unfortunately, we did not have a good experience with Dr. Pingitore. He may be known to be competent in his testing abilities and have a generally solid reputation, but he was cold as ice and interactions were very, very awkward--not the kind of nurturing environment you would want for your child, I imagine. In addition, the final report he delivered based on his evaluation--although ultimately helpful--was riddled with typos and biographical errors. We would go elsewhere, if we had it to do over again. -Anon


Neuropsych evaluation for 6-y-o - worth it?

April 2010

I have an almost 6 year old who, well, has always had issues in the emotional regulation and social skills department. My pediatrician suggested yesterday that maybe its time we pursue a formal neuropsych evaluation. Social situations have always been difficult: in his toddler years he never wanted to play with other kids, always preferred to play alone, still has a hard time reading social cues and has a hard time with the reciprocity of interaction and sometimes personal space. Even now, I'm a little tense when there's social interactions because my son's history doesn't fill me with confidence that it will go well. Emotionally, he's volatile. Recently we've seen some improvements in his behavior mostly because I have found some good tools to use (from a center whose clientele is primarily those with ASD).On the flip side, he is a very charming, intelligent boy (even though I just made him sound like a miserable one) and again, is making some improvements. So I'm really on the fence about a neuropsych evaluation because 1)it's extraordinarily expensive and we'd have to get help to pay for it and 2)his behaviors are not SO obvious all the time - he would never qualify for services at his school so what's the point? and 3)I worry that the evaluation process would make him feel like something was wrong with him - he's already incredibly self-conscious. At the same time, I need whatever help I can get. Thank you for your thoughts - sorry for the longwindedness. anon


My 6 year old son just completed a neuropsych evaluation. I haven't gotten the results back yet, but I'm very glad I did it (although our insurance covered most of the cost). The behaviors you describe are worth investigating. The results of the evaluation are just more information that you can use to provide the best support for your son. Early intervention is always better than later intervention. Also, you may find that you can use the results to qualify for some accommodation at school (you may find learning issues that you didn't know were there). My son enjoyed the evaluation. I framed it as just a series of doctor visits to see how his mind was growing - just like getting weighed and measured at his yearly well check. He loved the experience. My son knows that he has some social challenges (same issues you mention). We talk about it all the time, even though heC,bd rather not, because I donC,bt want it to be some big, bad thing that he should feel shame about. I try to frame it as just one of the things that makes him who he is and that we can work on. Finally, donC,bt underestimate the amount of energy you are putting into dealing with your sonC,bs behavior. My situation might be a lot worse than yours, but if you are like me, you are living in a storm (the emotional volatility) and have gotten used to it. Anything you can do to improve your sonC,bs behavior, even in small increments, will pay off for both of you. Feel free to email me. anon


Hi I am married to a child neuropsychologist. The cost is expensive and well worth it. The time spent with your child and giving you a snapshot of where he is at and a game plan to move forward and make progress is priceless.The children I see leaving the office are often laughing and have had a good time. Sure there is lots of work involved but a child neuropsychologist knows how to incorperate play and work to get the best for your child. My wife might not be the right person for you in which case she would refer you to the right therapist. Make sure you have your questions written down and answered as you interview your prospective neuropsychologist. It can take my wife a couple of days to answer your phone call. It's best to email her with any questions and then set up a phone appointment. She is located in Lafayette just minutes from Berkeley. Good Luck Jacques Dr. Elea Bernou


We had a neuropsych eval done for our 4.5yr old son and then later when he was eleven. We found it tremedously helpful. The neuropsychologist Dr. Grandison of Berkeley (used to work at Children's when they provided this service) took time to explain what it can tell us, what it can't, what the results mean, etc. She made it interesting and challenging for our son both time w/ good breaks. Our son wa diagnosed w/ ADHD and learning/sensory disorders. We were able to use it for getting help at school though it was a big struggle nevertheless. But sometimes these struggles can be well worth it with the right expertise and support. Special ed. attorney and mom of special needs child Jean Adams of www.Adamsesq.com was our tool to get our son through the system. I did not wait to get authorization through my insurance so it was a lot of money; we took it off as medical expenses. Still worth it. We wish we got the second neuro eval sooner and took on an attorney sooner. So much struggle and grief. Now, our son is doing well with what we have set up and he's happier. My new motto is ''never say never.'' We've learned a lot through this process. Feel free to contact me directly if you want to talk things over- parent-to-parent. Monica


Psych evaluation for gifted 6 year old

March 2010

We need a psyche evaluation for our 6 year old kindergartener who also happens to be gifted. The school is requesting the evaluation based on some behavioral issues at school. We want to use a psychologist who is very familiar with gifted patients so that we get an accurate assessment. We've read and heard that giftedness can often be overlooked resulting in incorrect findings of ADD or ADHD, etc... We'd like information on Terry (Teresa) Doyle in Oakland and/or Daniel Peters in Walnut Creek. anonymous


We wanted an evaluation of our gifted son and used Lisa White, PhD. (she did her dissertation of gifted kids). We were so pleased and helped by her evaluation and recommendations that we then had our second child tested. It's critical to have testing done by someone familiar with gifted issues. Dr. White works with Dr. Peters at Summit Center in Walnut Creek. I highly recommend them. Kathleen


We've worked with Terry Doyle in Oakland and recommend her highly. She is thorough, experienced, and insightful. I would trust her to approach each child with an open mind, without jumping to any conclusions, and to identify your child's strengths as well as challenges. She has a warm, gentle manner and relates well to people of all ages. a mom


I can enthusiastically recommend Carina Grandison at Children's Hospital -- she did a very perceptive evaluation for us that has been useful for understanding our child for years afterwards.

For a less expensive alternative you might try the Ann Martin Center. We recently had a quite good experience with Andrea Miller there.

Read the final report carefully 2 or 3 times -- it can take a while for information to sink in. Good luck! Been there


Neuropsychology evaluation for teen with ADD

March 2010

My son was diagnosed with ADD about 1 1/2 years ago. He has tried several medications but still has difficulty concentrating in school. His psychologist has suggested a neuropsychology evaluation to uncover any underying learning problems. I'm looking for a psychologist who is good with teenage boys. Any suggestions? My son is also open to the idea of seeing a education specialist; someone who can help him with planning and organizational skills. Time management is a big issue. Any recommendations? We live near Berkeley. Thank you for your help. parent of teenage boy


Dr. Jack Davis can be reached at 510-693-8439. I have known his work for nearly 15 years. He is insightful and thorough in his evaluation. He is respectful and extremely helpful. Good luck! Marianne, Educational Therapist


2007 - 2009 Recommendations


Nov 2009

Re: Gifted 9th grader with possible AHDH
Our daughter is exceptionally bright with a myriad of learning differences including ADHD. She too is in High School but was diagnosed earlier. She is on Concerta. I fought against putting her on medication for many years however she asked for them in 8th Grade and I honored her request. It has helped exhorbitantly. She can focus more in class and I don't think she could navigate her High School classes without it. She has few side effects. Some headaches the first few weeks of taking it but she says that they disappeared after her body adjusted.

What is most important though is that your son truly understands how his brain works. To that end, I can't say enough about Dr. Teresa Doyle. She is a neuropsychologist who has a unique insight to kids with learning differences and she and her staff after testing are able to discuss with you and your son his strengths and weaknesses. As a psychologist, she can offer counseling as well.

After filtering through and administering more tests, what she also can do is a project with your son that helps explain to him and to his teachers his learning differences. By presenting this himself, he at that point will become his own and best self advocate. Projects can be anything from artwork, to a written and bound book, to a power point (my daughter's choice) or anything that your son and Terry decide on. As an example, my daughter's Power Point has been shown for the last two years to her teachers with great success. With a little ''tweaking'' it can even be shown to professors in College.

I know if you have a diagnosis, you have already had some tests administered and interpreted (we did too) but I still think you should contact Terry. She is on College Ave and her number is 510- 594-1926. She is pretty amazing.


Dr. Caroline Johnson, Neuropsych

Oct 2009

My 5-1/2 year old kindergarten daughter will meet with Dr. Caroline Johnson for a neuropsychological assesment soon. I have seen some older posts on parents experience with Dr. Johnson, but want to hear from someone whose children were recently evaluated by her. Are you satisfied with her assessment? Does it help you in understanding your child's needs, obtaining services from the school district.. etc? Any comment is appreciated. AH


My son has seen Dr. Johnson three times over the years and she has always been really helpful, compassionate, and professional. She is well regarded in the community and we were told by many people that she's particularly good with working with kids who don't necessarily fall into a neat diagnostic category. Happy with Dr. Johnson


Neuropsych testing for 10-year-old

Oct 2009

Looking for someone covered under Blue Shield for neuropsych testing for my 10 year old. oakland mom


Jack Fahey at Herrick Hospital is very good for this. Phone # 204-4570. You need to have Fahey's assistant get it pre- approved by Blue Shield and if possible, get it classified as a medical issue (e.g. assessing for brain dysfuntion). Otherwise, you may need to go through Blue Shield's mental health provision, which can be more difficult. anon


I recommend Dr. Alex Peterson in Oakland for neuropsych testing - he was thorough, very kind, and put our child at ease during the 3 days of testing. His conclusions were correct, and addressed learning style as well as special needs, psych issues, and even eye-tracking - which led us to take my kid to UCB opthomology clinic to get some much-needed eye-tracking retraining! Dr. P. gave us a lot of time and care, and even re- did certain tests because he felt my child was upset one day and did not test accurately. I have Blue Cross/Anthem PPO and it was covered to some extent, but he was with Children's Hospital then (which is not a preferred provider) and now is in private practice. Call and ask them if he is a preferred provider now. Good luck. glad we finally did the testing


Dr. Carina Grandison and Dr. Alex Peterson are neuropsychologists I would recommend without reservation. They are both extremely competent, thorough and sensitive. Both Dr. Grandison and Dr. Peterson were formerly at Children's Hospital, and have great depth of experience which informs their interpretations and recommendations. They follow clients through transitions, including to college and work and work collaboratively with allied professionals. Dr. Grandison: 510-499-6462; Dr. Peterson: 510-531-0500. Linda L


Neuropsychologist to do testing for under-10 year old

Jan 2009

I am looking for recommendation on Neuropsychologist to do testing and evaluation with expertise on children under 10 Years of age. I have a list of names, but don't know any of them. Appreciate any information on any of the doctors listed below. Dr. Mary Heller Oakland, Charlotte Crawford Berkeley, Gregory Alter Berkeley, Antonia Bercovici Berkeley, Lori Wensley San Francisco, Kathleen Fahrner San Francisco,Tom Hall San Mateo, Henry Hoey Livermore. Thank you F.


I recommend Cynthia Peterson, Ph.D. and Chi Johnson, Ph.D. 510-843-2005. They are excellent and from my experience will follow through with the school as well. Neuropsychologist Recommendation


How about Diane Kosters in Walnut Creek. Diane tested our 8 yo son last year and did a great job. Not only make our son feel welcome she also gave us a working report that has been very helpful. Not only did we get a clear diagnosis but we got a plan of action. Good Luck, a thankful parent anon


Neuropsychologist to evaluate 12 year old

June 2007

We need to get a neuropsychological evaluation for our 12 year old son. Our insurance (healthnet) may cover it, but the only people they are contracted with are: John Fahy, Sonya Lifshay, Leonard Price, Michael Rodevich, and Michael Weber. I know nothing about any of them-has anyone seen any of these psychologists, and do you have any feedback? Thank you!


We had a full neuro-psych eval. done for our son by Jack Fahey. He is an exceptionally caring, objective, and bright person. I can recommend him highly. He gave me a lot of time to understand any questions I had. Very thorough and highly competent. anon.


We had a good experience with John Fahy, who did a neuropsych eval on our 13-year-old a few years ago. He was thorough, yet made the experience quite enjoyable for our child, and produced a clear, comprehensible report. anon


Of the Neuropsychologists you mentioned (my partner has worked with all of them at Herrick), Jack Fahy has the most expertise with children. He is a good guy. Sonia has retired. This is not the group that most folks would consult with for school related issues, but they are all good with the medical/psychological part of the picture. Melanie


2004 - 2006 Recommendations


Neuropsychologist for autistic spectrum disorder

March 2006

We'd like feedback on the neuropsychologists who have been recommended to us: Alex Peterson, Kristin Gross, Cynthia Peterson, and Carolyn Johnson (and any others you may really like). This is for an evaluation of a preschooler with an autistic spectrum disorder -- we need very specific and clear recommendations re education and treatment. Thank you. Anonymous


I really like Cynthia Peterson and Chi Johnson. They are good at follow-up, both in person and on the phone and will advocate at the school as well. anon mom


Neuropsychologist for 16 yr old

Oct 2005

My 16 year old daughter needs to have a neuropsychological evaluation. We are new to the area and have no idea where to look. She has a history of cognitive problems due to a childhood onset of Multiple Sclerosis and I know I will need this exam to help her get the accommodations she needs for standardized testing like the SAT's. If anyone knows of a competent, reasonable neuropsychologist, I would really appreciate the recommendation. Thanks


Rochelle Wolk, Ph.D., is fabulous - many years of experience, thorough evaluation, and a clear report with helpful recommendations. Her office number is 510-658-7445. anon


You have a terrific Neuropsychologist right in Berkeley. Her name is Dr. Elea Bernou, (925) 457-4214. She lives in Berkeley, may practice in Walnut Creek. She's very compassionate and really well trained. My husband saw her recently and was very impressed. Her specialty is children and teens. Julie


Psychologist for special education evaluation

May 2005

My child is an elementary school student at Berkeley Unified. The school district completed a very shoddy special education evaluation of her, relying primarily on the work of a student intern. We have requested a second evaluation and we have been given a selection of four outside assessors. Does anyone know anything about: Cheryl Jacques, Caroline Johnson, Vincent Nunno or Teresa Doyle. Thank you.


Theresa Doyle is one of the best people in the bay area for this sort of thing. You really can't do any better -- but you might have to wait. Sometimes she's booked far in advance because she is so good. She is quite experienced, incredibly smart, very warm and compassionate. She will give you feedback you can use and she will connect well with your child. I have worked with her professionally in various capacities and I also hear nothing but good things about her from other people. Good Luck! Diane


I have worked with Dr. Teresa Doyle for a neuropsychological assessment for one of my own children, as well as some of the clients I have worked with in my private practice. She is excellent, and has a long waiting list. She may be worth waiting for, however. Her reports are thorough, her approach to parents and children respectful, kind, and in the spirit of discovery vs. pathology. Her reports have helped me both personally and professionally know more about a child: how they tick cognitively and emotionally, and what specific interventions would be useful.

Another neuropsychologist I have found to both work well with clients and parents, and who writes good reports is Dr. Alex Peterson at Children's Hospital, Oakland. Laura


Welcome to the special ed maze. You don't have to choose from the school district's list, which is another story. (You might want to consult a special education advocate.) However, I've heard Dr. Vincent Nunno speak and describe his work, and I was impressed enough that I'd trust him to do a thorough, accurate evaluation. Betsy


Neuropsych evaluation for 11-y-o

March 2005

We just received our 11-year-old daughter's standardized test scores and were a bit dismayed at the results. Upon further checking, we've realized that every year since second grade her scores have been declining. Her vocabulary score was very low. Our family therapist has advised a comprehensive neuropsych evaluation (including IQ test) to help us determine whether she may have learning disabilities of some sort. He recommended Dr. Kristine Gross at CHO. We were wondering whether anyone has had personal experience with Dr. Gross or CHO.

As we've been trying to get up to speed on this new development, we feel like we are getting more confused than anything else. Some people say a neuropsych eval is recommended if your child has had a head injury (ours has not). Others say some neuropsych evals don't look at emotional issues that may also have a bearing on learning issues. We were under the impression that a neuropsych eval was a specific set of tests, but apparently that is not true. Different practitioners might do different tests and potentially interpret the results in different ways. The level of training also can vary from one practitioner to another. As the process involves a big time commitment and a lot of money, we want to make sure we are seeing the right person for our daughter. We would appreciate hearing from anyone who may have been through this. What should we look for? What kinds of questions should we ask? What should we expect in the final report? Thanks in advance to anyone who may have something to share. anonymous


I haven't heard of that neuropsychologist, but have a lot of experience working with Caren Kovar, Ph.D. who is located at the Childrens' Health Council at Stanford. She is excellent. Deborah


I am a school psychologist. I do not know of the clinician from CHO you mention, but in graduate school I did have some superivision with Carolyn Johnson, Ph.D., who was with CHO and now is in private practice. She was incredibly astute, dedicated, and thorough and had a wonderful style with her child clients. I continue to hear good things about her. One thing you may have already learned is that there is a long waiting list at CHO, as well as for most private clinicians (sometimes 3 to 6 months).


Neuropsychologist for dyslexia

Feb 2005

Does anyone have any experience with neuropsychologists Cynthia Peterson or Dr. Robert Solley? They both apparently assess children. My child shows some signs of possibly being dyslexic, and has some auditory processing and memory issues. I don't know if this is the way to go or if we should be working with a educational therapist. Thanks for any information regarding your experience with these people, any other neuropsychologists you have worked with, and the assessment process. Many Thanks


Our son was recently diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome and he also has dyslexia, dysgraphia and processing issues. His neuropsych assessment was done by Dr. Alex Peterson at the Neuropsychology Assessment Service of Children's Hospital Oakland. We were very pleased with the assessment. Dr. Peterson gave us lots of information about our son and recommendations for his care and education including names and numbers of recommended educational therapists and other providers. Unfortunately, the wait time to get the appointments for the assessment was several months and it was not covered by our insurance. Dr. Peterson's phone number is (510) 428-3885 ext. 2809 Good luck


2003 & Earlier


Neuropsychologists for ADHD Assessment

Feb 2000

Can anyone recommend a neuropsychologist for assessment? My almost-12 year old has ADHD, a learning disability, and is highly gifted. I feel it important to find someone who understands all of these conditions and their interaction, since they seem to mask and compensate for each other. I don't think the school has a handle on what he needs and I know his teacher doesn't, since she ignores his special ed plan. I've read the Parents' list recommendations for ADHD assessment, and note that Brad Berman is highly recommended, is he appropriate for this? A knowledgeable professional has recommended Bob Kaufman, so I'm inclined to pursue that - anyone have experience with him? Children's gave me the names of Corinna Grandison and Theresa Doyle, any experience with them? I'm not even sure what's entailed compared to a psychoeducational assessment (which he's had). How much does this cost? I've heard $1000-2500. Dana


Myla Young, PhD. She was a teacher of mine and not only a wonderful neuropsypchologist, but a warm, down to earth person. jennifer


I highly recommend Carina Grandison. She is bright, thoughtful, and very sensative to children and parents equally. She has great understanding of children, development, and how they are effected by learning environments. She will be able to discuss your child's needs and make recommentations for home, school settings and learning stragegies. I work with Carina and have been privilidged to part of a number of her neuropsychological assessments of some very complex children. Afterwords, everyone involved with these children had a much better sense of their strengths, struggles, and the strategies they use to cope, as well as some ideas for helping them manage in school and at home. I think you will be pleased with her and her work.


I know Teresa Doyle professionally very well and I would highly recommend her. She is one of the very best Child Neuropsychologist's in the Bay Area and your child would be fortunate to have an assessment with her. She can be extremely busy and you may be put on a waiting list for a long time. Her Psychological Assistant, Michelle Horton is also excellent and I would highly recommend her if Terry doesn't have time. I would easity recommend a friend of family member to either one of them. Sharon