Going to the neuropsychologist...what to expect?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by butterfly31972, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. I am taking my six year old son to the neuropsychologist today. I am hoping that he can confirm for me scientifically that my son is ADHD. I have been medicating him this year for Kindergarten and the medications are working but they keep having to up the dosage and this makes me nervous. The psychologist says this is normal and I am so concerned that they are just medicating him and not really trying to help as far as ideas for behavior modification, etc. Just medicate him seems to be the prescription. UGH!

    Does anyone know what a neuropsychologist appointment. entails and what should I do to prepare for it? I medicated him as I do everyday and this will be our first appointment.

    Thanks in advance.

    p.s. He is also on Seroquel for sleep at night as he has never actually slept through the night.
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I'm not sure, but my thoughts are with you. We're taking difficult child 2 on the 18th for his, so I will be interested to see what people say!!!
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    You should ask the neuropsychologist whether you should medicate your son for every appointment. Ours had us bring the ADHD medications to the appointment, and our son was given them halfway through to see if they had an effect on his ability to concentrate on his work.

    A neurospcyh evaluation typically involves 6 to 10 hours of paper-and-pencil plus computerized testing that measures cognitive, psycholgical, attentional and motor functioning. A neuropsychologist generally tries to figure out the brain-behavior connection in each child.
  4. Thank you smallworld. I was kinda wanting to know what to expect. I will definitely update on what happens when I get home later today. I am expectantly waiting for answers.
  5. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    So do you need more info on what to expect?
  6. jcox

    jcox New Member

    My son E just has his neuropsychologist evaluation about two weeks ago. They had told me it would be 6-8 hours, but the neuropsychologist said for him it would not be that long because he is only six... going to be seven in July. He said that older children do more academic testing. There is only so much that they can do with a child who can not read or write. First he had me go in the room while E waited with my husband. He asked me what I wanted to find out today, was there anything specific I wanted him to look for and/or make recomendations about. He talked with me for about 15 minutes. Then he took Elijah in. They met for about 3 hours with a 15 minute break half way inbetween. When they were finished he had me come back in for about 10 minutes. I do not have the final results yet. I know that he did some tests with him to see how his brain works etc. He told me that E's frontal lobe does not seem to be wired correctly, he has delays in everything that part of the brain is responsible for, speech delay especially in the area of expressive language... I will know more when I get the summary in a few weeks.
  7. Hi everyone! I went in and was armed with all the paperwork that I had from when he was first evaluated at almost two years old. The neuropsychologist's technician gave my son an EEG and asked me to make an appointment for next month. So now I have to wait. I was surprised he did not do any other types of testing. I know someone told me there are computer type tests that can be done that will measure his attention span, etc.

    So now we wait!

    Thank you StepTo2, smalllworld, and jcox. I now have more of an idea of what to ask the neuropsychologist next month.
  8. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Are you sure this is a neuropsychologist? Neurologists are the ones who generally do EEGs. In our many rounds of neuropsychologist testing, we've never had an EEG done (except when we actually saw a neurologist, who ordered an EEG at the hospital).

    Before your next appointment, you might want to touch base with this clinician to ask what specific tests he will be administering. If he tells you, feel free to post the tests here and we will be able to tell you whether these tests fall under a neuropsychologist evaluation.
  9. Oh no don't tell me I had the wrong doctor. I was wondering why he didn't seem to be very helpful as far as testing my son for ADHD. I am gonna check the paperwork and see exactly what kind of doctor he is.
    Thanks smallworld. I am really committed to figuring all this out before school starts again.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If he's a good neuropsychologist the testing will be from 6-12 hours and not just focus on ADHD, which mimics MANY disorders.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ok, you went to a Neurologist, which is a totally different animal. I'd still go for a neuropsychologist. The testing is better to catch these childhood disorders. Good luck! It's not BAD to go to a Neurologist. We crossed that sort of doctor too along the road. An honest warning: Nobody will likely be able to tell you exactly what is wrong by kindergarten. diagnosis. tend to change as the child ages and more stuff shows up. It's very common for an early diagnosis. of ADHD to turn into something else as the child gets older. in my opinion it's best not to just have one idea on your mind. It may be ADHD, it may not be ADHD, it may be a mimicker, it may be ADHD plus something else. And it's hard to pin these things down at younger ages. But it does help to get an idea of how your child's brain works and NeuroPsychs are tops in that.
  12. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member


    I know someone told me there are computer type tests that can be done that will measure his attention span, etc.

    You may be thinking of a CPT test, which is a computer-based test that evaluates attention and impulsivity (that's my very non-clinical description of the test, by the way). It is just one of many tools used in a thorough diagnostic evaluation, and I believe it's usually used for kids 6 and up. There is no stand-alone test for ADHD!!!!!

    The CPT test, in my opinion, is most useful for evaluating efficacy of medications from visit to visit. For example, when my difficult child's issues started worsening, psychiatrist was able to evaluate his performance on the CPT test compared to an earlier benchmark. He upped the dosage & the scores improved along with the behavior (and his grades).

    Recently difficult child complained that his medications "weren't working," but what he described had no relationship to medications. I suspected he was just grumbling. So at the next psychiatrist visit, difficult child took the CPT test and psychiatrist showed him the scores compared to a test about six months ago on a day where he had no medications. The with-medications test was dramatically better, and my suspicion of grumbling was confirmed.

    Hope that helps. Sorry for your stress & frustration over having to wait. This is a journey and some parts of it seem painfully long!