Maya Guendelman, PhDCommunity Subscriber
Dr. Maya Guendelman is a pediatric neuropsychologist in Berkeley who specializes in comprehensive neuropsychological, psychological, psycho-educational, and autism assessments. She also conducts IEEs and evaluations for high-stakes testing accommodations (e.g., SAT, LSAT). She provides services in English and Spanish.
Dr. Guendelman sees children, adolescents, and young adults (ages 3 through early/mid-20s) who struggle with a variety of cognitive, learning, behavioral, and social-emotional difficulties.
An East Bay native, she received her training at Stanford (BA), UC Berkeley (PhD), and UCLA Medical Center (Fellowship). Dr. Guendelman works closely with families to ensure personalized and evidence-based care using a warm and strength-based approach.
Our daughter is older but we cannot recommend Maya Guendelman highly enough. https://www.bayareaneuropsych.com/ She is an expert on ASD and after years' worth of school testing for IEPs, Maya's evaluation blew all of them out of the water. She really got into the nuance of our daughter's situation and how her autism and other learning disabilities intersected with one another. As parents we left with names and explanations for aspects of our daughter's behavior and challenges that had previously baffled us. Maya attended an IEP meeting and presented her findings to my daughter's teaching team that gave us all clear directives about *how* she needed to be taught, what right-sized expectations looked for our daughter and which next steps to prioritize. My daughter has a lot more going on than her HF ASD so her situation may be more complicated than your son's. I am a social worker by profession and could recognize that Maya is great at testing AND relating to kids AND conveying challenging and sometimes sad news to parents AND presenting clear directives to IEP teams.
Hi Rhoda - you should contact Dr. Maya Guendelman, based in Elmwood/Berkeley. She is extremely smart, caring, and thorough. Her reports and recommendations are clear and helpful - so you feel like you understand the problems and exactly what needs to be done to address them, specifically who can help (e.g., therapists, specialists, etc). My understanding is her prices are between the extremes you mentioned, and her report (that I've seen) is very individualized. That quote for $15K/60 hours of testing seems crazy to me given what you're looking for. In my experience there's a wide range in quality of people out there doing "neuropsych" evals. Your best bet is to choose an actual neuropsychologist with a PhD- rather than a psychologist, school psychologist, etc. who say they do neuropsych testing -- it's not the same. A neuropsychologist who only does neuropsych should be able to integrate the results from all of the assessments you've gotten and help you make sense of them, figure out the appropriate diagnoses, perform testing that connects all the pieces together, etc. Finally, you should talk to the person you're considering (most I know of will offer a free phone consultation) and make sure they seem like they understand your needs and goals for the assessment. Dr. Guendelman will do that - and I seriously cannot recommend her highly enough. Plus she's from Berkeley and her PhD is from Cal. I know she works with kids in your daughter's age range too.
Our experience with Dr. Guendelman was wonderful...she was easy to work with, compassionate, and straightforward. Dr. Guendelman was sensitive to our family situation and our child's complex needs, and she was extremely thorough in her assessment. She spoke with our child's therapist and teachers, and was able to create a "team"--everyone was on the same page about how to help him as a result of her communication. Dr. Guendelman's feedback and written report were also very timely. I felt she really understood our family's and our child's needs and we were able to get him the appropriate services and accommodations as a result of her work. She has excellent credentials, and is extremely professional. I highly recommend her!