At what age should a neuropsychological evaluation be performed?
There are age appropriate tests for children and adolescents of all ages. Therefore, a child of any age may be evaluated. The timing of your child’s evaluation will depend on the issues to be addressed in the assessment. Dr. Bronk will discuss the optimal age of assessment for your child’s specific needs with you.
What should I tell my child about the evaluation and what should he or she expect on the day of testing?
In general, you should provide a brief and age appropriate reason for the assessment. Dr. Bronk often explains to children that she want to see how they learn so she can make school easier for them or to have them struggle less with homework, for example. It is important to remind them that they are not expected to ‘pass’ any tests but, rather, will be asked to do their best so that Dr. Bronk can have a better understanding of how they learn.
Your child can expect to spend 1 to 3 hours over several sessions working with Dr. Bronk on a number of activities that may include drawing, puzzle-like tasks, answering questions, completing school related activities (e.g., reading, math problems), and filling out questionnaires (for older children). Most children find the majority of the tasks interesting and challenging, although a few may be boring or difficult. You may reassure your child that he/she will be given breaks when they want to make them feel comfortable.
What should we bring with us to the appointment?
Please bring all of the completed forms that have been mailed home to you with your confirmation letter packet. Also bring with you any relevant records that may be helpful in our evaluation of your child. These may include previous testing reports, educational records (including Individualized Education Program, progress reports and report cards), and any relevant medical records. Also, please make sure that your child is dressed comfortably and has a sweater in case he or she is cold in the office. You may also bring some snacks with you if you feel your child will need them during breaks.
Should my child take his or her medication on the day of testing?
Most often, your child will be instructed to take prescribed medications, but occasionally this may not be optimal. Since some medications affect a child’s cognitive functioning, it is important that Dr. Bronk is aware of the medications your child has taken and know of any changes in your child’s medication from session to session.
How long will the evaluation take?
Neuropsychological evaluation take approximately 6 to 8 hours and are typically scheduled over 1 to 3 sessions. However, there is some variability in this scheduling depending on your needs. Dr. Bronk typically meets with parents during the first assessment session. A developmental or psychological evaluation takes place typically in one session. Sometimes more, shorter sessions are required, depending on your child’s age, ability to tolerate long testing sessions, and the nature of the referral questions. An optimal testing schedule will be discussed with you when finalizing your child’s appointment schedule. Please refer to your confirmation email and ask Dr. Bronk if you have any questions about your scheduled sessions.
How will the results of my child’s evaluation be shared?
The results will be delivered as follows:
- A 60-90 minute feedback session for parents.
- For older children and adolescents, Dr. Bronk can also arrange to meet with your child on a separate occasion to review the results with them briefly, highlighting their strengths and explaining our findings and recommendations in simple terms.
- Following the feedback session, a written report is generated for parents and other involved professionals such as schools or doctors or testing boards
- All reports include specific recommendations and referrals for future assistance.
- All reports are written in a clear and user-friendly style. It is the goal of this office for every parent to understand in plain language the results of this evaluation! Additional meetings or phone consultations can be scheduled, if parents need additional clarification about their child’s report.
What will be done to protect my child’s privacy?
NDH is dedicated to protecting your child’s privacy and take great care in protecting sensitive information. NDH will release reports to other parties (such as your child’s school or other clinician) only after obtaining your permission. Please note an exception to our privacy efforts in the rare cases where NDH feel that your child is in danger. Psychologists are mandated by law to report to appropriate agencies if they suspect that a child shows evidence of abuse, is in danger of imminent physical injury to himself or to others, or in response to subpoenas, court order, or other legal proceedings or statutes requiring disclosure.
Will my health insurance cover the cost of the evaluation?
NDH does not have a billing department. Therefore, NDH does not bill your insurance directly. However, at your request, you will be provided with a superbill that contains all of the information necessary (including diagnosis, dates of service and type of service rendered) for you to submit to your health insurance provider to seek reimbursement for any payments made. It is your responsibility to check with your carrier to see if there are specific guidelines or necessary authorization prior to the evaluation. It is also the parent’s responsibility to submit documentation to their insurance company.
How frequently should a neuropsychological evaluation be performed?
In general, your child’s neuropsychological evaluation results will be helpful for several years. NDH recommends updates approximately every three years, although a comprehensive evaluation may not be necessary. Brief evaluations may also be recommended sooner to assess the effects of recommended interventions.