What are the benefits of having a complex neuropsychological evaluation? Why should I pay to have testing done when my psychiatrist/primary care physician/pediatrician is already writing me/my child a prescription for ADHD medication?
There are a multitude of reasons that make it worthwhile to have a neuropsychological evaluation. First of all, Learning Disabilities can occur in close to half of all individuals who have ADHD. If you or your child has not had any testing, these Learning Disabilities can go undetected and untreated. Treating this individual with only medication would be treating only half of the problem. Untreated Learning Disabilities in children can result in low academic performance, lack of motivation, low self-esteem and can sometimes lead to more severe problems such as depression and anxiety.
Secondly, in order for you or your child to apply for accommodations for ADHD or Learning Disabilities (such as extended time) on standardized tests (such as the SAT, ACT, GRE, MCAT, LSAT, or GMAT) the boards of the testing company require that you have had a full assessment. Dr. Hall is experienced in providing testing that meets the requirements of these boards. Also, almost all universities and most primary and secondary schools require a full assessment to document the ADHD or Learning Disability before they are willing to provide accommodations for you or your child. Without proper accommodations, individuals with ADHD and/or Learning Disabilities may not be able to perform at their highest levels academically. Dr. Hall has experience providing the type of testing that meets the standards set by universities and schools.
Additionally, a full evaluation provides not only a diagnosis, but also a thorough pattern of strengths and weaknesses. This pattern of strengths and weaknesses is used to design individualized treatment and educational interventions to assist you or your child.
Finally, but not least importantly, a full assessment provides diagnostic accuracy. There are many different conditions that share symptoms with ADHD and can easily be misdiagnosed as ADHD without a full evaluation.
What are the differences between evaluations, assessments and testing?
Evaluation and assessment are terms that refer to a process that includes a review of a client’s history and symptoms as well as the administration of psychological tests used to diagnosis a condition. Testing is a more common, everyday word used to talk about the actual testing part of the evaluation/assessment.
What types of conditions does Dr. Hall provide evaluations for?
Dr. Hall evaluates for ADHD/ADD, all Learning Disabilities (including, but not limited to: Reading, Writing, or Math Disorders, Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Processing Speed Disorders, and Fluency Disorders), High or Low IQ, Academic Achievement and Giftedness. Since emotional or psychological conditions can cause symptoms similar to ADD/ADHD, Dr. Hall will also evaluate an individual’s emotional and psychological functioning.
How much does testing cost?
Price varies extensively by the type of testing being done. Dr. Hall will explain all costs up front so that you may make an informed decision.
Do I have to commit to the testing immediately?
Absolutely not. All assessment packages start with an intake interview. If, for any reason, following the intake you do not want to go forward with testing you will only be charged for the intake and are not obligated to complete testing.
What does a testing package consist of?
All testing packages contain an intake interview, which involves a review of important personal and family history, a discussion about current concerns and their development and completion of several quick questionnaires about symptoms, 1—5 hours of testing, and a feedback session. If prior testing has been done or school/teacher reports are available, those will also be reviewed. Individual tests (such as IQ test only) are not in a package and frequently consist of only the specific testing and feedback.
How long does testing take?
This will vary depending on the type of testing being done. Testing frequently takes from 1 to 5 hours. Lengthier testing will be broken down into two to three hour sessions conducted on different days.
How long until I get my results?
Results and reports for a complete neuropsychological evaluation are typically completed within two weeks. Results for some of the shorter evaluations are provided that same day.
What happens after the testing processes?
During your feedback session, Dr. Hall will spend time with you reviewing your scores, discussing your pattern of strengths and weaknesses, and explaining any diagnosis. She will make recommendations relevant to your particular case. If therapy or coaching is needed at this point, you may continue to meet with Dr. Hall, but she will also provide a list of other practitioners she has worked with and recommends. If you require a service or treatment that Dr. Hall does not provide, such as a medication evaluation or speech therapy, she will provide you with the names of individuals who can provide that service or treatment. After the feedback session, Dr. Hall will follow-up with you to help you implement the recommendations and to answer any additional questions that may have arisen.
What are the differences between ADD and ADHD?
ADHD is the diagnostically “correct” name, and although the media and pop culture frequently refer to it as ADD, they are discussing the same condition. There is also some confusion because people often feel that if they are not hyperactive than the “H” in ADHD does not apply and thus think that ADD is a better term. In actuality, ADHD has several sub-types including one that is “inattentive only” and does not include hyperactive symptoms.
I live out of town, but there is no one in my area who conducts this type of testing. Can I come to see Dr. Hall for an assessment? How would this work?
You can come to see Dr. Hall. In fact this is not uncommon, Dr. Hall has worked with individuals from out of town on many occasions. Testing can be completed with one trip to Austin, and no more than one overnight stay (sometimes no overnight stay is needed). Prior to testing, she would send you some preliminary paperwork to complete and mail back. Testing would be scheduled to take place in different sessions, with breaks, all in the same day or two days depending on the type of testing. Feedback would be given while you are in Austin to eliminate the need for an additional trip.
What if I have specific questions about my/my child’s situation?
Dr. Hall is happy to talk with you on the phone for no charge to help clarify your situation, explain services and pricing and discuss what type of service would best fit your needs. If it becomes evident during the call, that a significant amount of time is needed to review your case, Dr. Hall will recommend coming in for an intake interview.
What is the best way to contact Dr. Hall?
By phone at 512-909-9865 or by e-mail.
If you have lengthy or detailed questions, a phone call can be an easier way to have a discussion. To be accessible, she uses a cell phone as her business number. She may not always be immediately available by telephone, as she is frequently with clients and generally will not answer the phone while with a client. When unavailable, her telephone is answered by a voicemail system that is protected with a password and checked only by her so feel free to leave a confidential message. Dr. Hall makes every effort to return calls and e-mails the same day.
How do I talk to my child about testing?
It is often reassuring to a child to explain that everyone is good at some things and not so good at others and that one of the reasons for seeing Dr. Hall is to help determine what things they are really good at and what things they need some help with so that parents and teachers know the best way to help them learn and get along at home and school. When talking to your child about the assessment process, it is best to not use the word “test” as this causes anxiety in many children. Instead talk about how they will work together with Dr. Hall on “tasks,” “projects,” and “questions.” Additionally, it is not uncommon for children to hear the word “doctor” and think that they will be having a physical exam, being poked and prodded or receiving a shot. It is helpful to reassure them that this is not the case.