difficult child#3 has had a neurological evaluation. and a psychological evaluation...but I still want a neuropsychologist evaluation. What will this neuropsychologist tell me that the other 2 haven't?
He will test in extreme detail and tell you A LOT more than the other two have--regarding specific areas of weakness and strengths. He will be able to point out to you specific learning descrepencies, social skill problems, life skill issues, and will administer tests. He will do more intensive digging to rule in or out ADHD or autistic spectrum disorder. A good neuropsychologist spends many hours testing before making a conclusion. Our particular neuropsychologist came from Mayo Clinic. He tested my son for twelve hours. We had to fill out a gazillion forms and he also carefully read all the school records and his psychiatric records, which, in the end, he disagreed with--he did not see bipolar moodswings in my child. NEITHER DID I!!! I had doubted that diagnosis from the beginning, but thinking "the psychiatrist knows best" had let him be put on at least ten medications. Now my son is getting social skills, life skills and some academic interventions and is doing great--four years NO medications. I think every child who is on this board should have a neuropsychologist exam. It is far different from the psychiatrist, who listens to symptoms, observes maybe for one hour, then takes out the prescription pad and in my opinion seems to take a guess. Same with a regular therapist--they don't do any testing. A Neurologist tests for concrete things such as epilepsy, tumors, etc. but does not do the kind of "behavior/academic" testing that Neuropsychs do. In fact, our Neurologist referred us to a neuropsychologist.
A red flag for a less-than-stellar neuropsychologist would be if he only tested for an hour or two. Most test much more than that, often in more than one appointment. Ours did the twelve hours in two hour segments.
The first time we saw him, he observed my son but mostly gave me forms to fill out and spoke to me. The rest was 100% my son, and my kid has never done better. It scares me that he may have been on heavy drugs all his life THAT HE DIDN'T NEED. I have no problem medicating kids who need it, but my child is not bipolar nor is he ADHD/ODD. I'm grateful to our neuropsychologist for taking the time with my complicated child.