neuropsychologist evaluation vs. school psychiatric evaluation?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by luvmyottb, Mar 7, 2008.

  1. luvmyottb

    luvmyottb Guest

    difficult child has a neuropsychologist evaluation coming up on 3/31. I just don't know what diagnosis to give this child. I may never know. Bipolar, Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), ODD, ADHD, you name it, perhaps a combo of all.

    She is failing 4th grade, so obviously it is time get her revaluated again since it was last done in 2nd grade. I am pulling my hair out getting an initial meeting scheduled between teacher, administration, myself and Easy Child specialist so I scheduled a private evaluation because I knew I could at least secure a date.

    So, should I go ahead and let the school district evaluate and keep the private evaluation scheduled and compare the 2 assessments? Or is it a waste of $ and time?

    She is so consistent in her inconsistency I thought I might keep both scheduled and see what shakes out.

    Any thoughts?
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    in my opinion a private neuropsychologist exam is way better (and not partison). I never had good luck with school testing. They caught Learning Disability (LD)'s, but missed the bigger pictures big time. I'd keep the neuropsychologist exam, especially if you keep on getting tons and tons of alphabet soup diagnosis. It's helpful to know the main problem that you are really dealing with. in my opinion NeuroPsychs are excellent diagnosticians--they take lots of time and do lots of testing and don't have any agenda, like school districts do.
  3. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Keep the private evaluation but let the school know what diagnostic tests are scheduled so they can follow up with any gaps or any tests they feel are still needed. It's important to communicate because some tests can't be duplicated within certain time frames and it would be preferable to have the private neuropsychologist do it.
  4. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I would definitly keep the private.

    The schools only obligation is to find out what inhibits her learning ability...they aren't after the big picture.

    If it were me, I'd let the school go ahead with theirs, and do the private, also, but not share info until both are completely finished.
  5. luvmyottb

    luvmyottb Guest

    That is exactly what I was thinking and wanted to see if anyone else has done the same thing.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Oh yeah, LOTS of us have done and continue to do this. Our school has never wanted to do the thorough testing, and has a bias toward the "no problems" results. So private evaluations really made a difference.

  7. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    SRL makes a very good point. Certain tests like the WISC (IQ test) and the Wechsler (achievement test) can't be given more than once a year. Otherwise, the child becomes accustomed to the test and the second set of scores is invalid. So you do need to know which tests are going to be administered by whom before you just send your daughter into both the school and neuropsychologist testing.

    in my humble opinion, I'd stick with the private neuropsychologist, who will give you a far more thorough evaluation and bigger picture diagnosis. You can then share the results with the school and see what accommodations/services your daughter needs based on what is discovered in the neuropsychologist testing.
  8. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I'm in the same boat and have decided to do both. But as others have cautioned, it is important to not duplicate any of the tests because it renders them invalid for the most part.

    The way I am handling it is this: I gave the private neuropsychologist the list of assessments the school was planning to do (which is very limited). The neuropsychologist requested that the school not do one of the cognitive intelligence tests they'd planned on doing, so the school has made that change. Furthermore, the school will be providing the neuropsychologist with the actual test and results when they are complete, so that the neuropsychologist can include the information in the overall assessment.

    Since the neuropsychologist will be creating a complete assessment by augmenting what the school does, I feel the money will be well spent and I will end up with the "big picture" for what's going on with my difficult child.

    Ours is scheduled for the first week in April, too. Fingers crossed it gives us both the answers we're seeking!
  9. Superpsy

    Superpsy New Member

    It definitely doesn't hurt to have both assessments done. I would let the SD know about the private evaluation. I think it will help to make the SD's evaluation more complete. The weakness of private evaluations is that it is done in isolation (no access to how student is doing in curriculum, student behavior at school etc.).

    Also...another reason to complete the private re-evaluation is that the SD HAS to consider the results of the private evaluation in determining whether or not an IEP is necessary to provide FAPE.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2008
  10. tchockey23

    tchockey23 New Member

    Also you should be aware that you can request the school do a neuropsychologist exam but must request in writing. I've never seen a school district with a neuropsychologist on staff. So knowing this they will call a review and revision meeting about your daughter, and where you present your case, and the school does the same and then try to convince them to do one. Once they do yes you can use any provider you want to do the neuro psychiatric but the school will pay for it. they can even pay youback if you have already paid for it. It ok for the school to share their info with your neuro psychiatric but don't share the private report with the school until they have agreed to pay for the testing. Tiffany
  11. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    we did something similar to what gvc is doing....we let the school do the edu tests (wisc, achievement, speech testing) and let the neuropsychologist do other testing (nepsy, conners computerized test, etc) and combined the reports for both sides so both could use the data. we had a very unique situation in which there was already a relationship between the two parties so it was fine. to be honest, i did it that way in the name of money (i wont even sugar coat that, lol). in our case, the np didnt administer tests himself anyway...they had a specific testing administrator, so all he really did was interpret the results and make a few reccomendations. i personally didnt love him and thought his report was pretty weak, but at the time it was really our only option. i'd probably do it differently when we retest in a few years---i'd find someone with much more expertise in kids and education.

    its very worth doing, in my opinion....but keep in mind there are no specific profiles for autism or bipolar etc (there sometimes can be patterns that point you in a certain direction, but its still not definitive) it can never point to a definitive diagnosis in and of itself....history still plays a very big part in diagnostics. whatever results you get from the testing may point to specific weaknesses but its still a subjective opinion for diagnostic "labels". the results are best used to address each and every specific in, treat the symptoms, not the label.

    good luck with it...i hope you find some strategies to help her.
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'd trust the neuropsychologist to be the more accurate. They are usually not rushed like school evaluations and more importantly there is no benefit for the n/p in results discovery which may not be true of the school Board. A thorough independent n/p report can hold you in good steed for support services. Plus, lol, my children enjoyed the day off school and having me nearby to say nothing of having the treat of a lunch with me. Good luck. DDD
  13. KAC

    KAC New Member

    Help, I am new to this process. My son is almost 10 (4th gr) has had a school evaluation education/behavioral. The school declined him for an IEP and basically says all testing points to ADD/ADHD and I believe ODD. My pediatrician is not convinced that there's no learning disability therefore requested a neuropshyc evaluation. The school has refused and offered to do further testing. I think they are just trying to string me along. I would like a neurophsyc evaluation but cannot afford it. Does the school absolutely have to pay for the neurophsyc exam if requested by parent and/or pedicatrician? I've been told I'm in for a battle. I did agree to the school doing further testing but I really want an unbiased test done. Can anyone point me in the right direction? I am not denying possibility of ADHD but if a learning disability is overlooked, it would be detrimental to my son.
  14. Jena

    Jena New Member

    in my opinion having had my daughter have (2) school testing's done versus the neuropysch very involved very expensive exam we had done at a hospital. in our district the school one is a joke. unfortunately some school districts look to save money and do not want to pay for your child to have services so they say your childs fine.

    whereas a private institution has no bias and will just give the child a thorough exam which is very detailed and share the findings...

    good luck!
  15. comatheart

    comatheart Guest

    We let the school do their testing on my "easy child" with special needs. Then when we didn't agree with the results, we requested an IEE. An Independent Educational Evaluation by an outside source at their expense. They reluctantly agreed when i showed them it was my right. (Google IEP + IEE for more information) They ended up paying for full neuropsychologist testing at our local Children's Hospital. Saved us about $1200!

    What's even funnier? The neuropsychologist testing showed significant issues in several areas where their own testing showed he was just fine. That day I received the test results was the day I lost ALL faith in public school system for children with ANY type of special needs. It all comes down to one thing... $$$$$$$$ and it makes me sick. You wont find that to be an issue with a private evaluation.
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I would strongly recommend sharing test score results between school and neuropsychologist. it also reduced the "over-testing" angle which can seriously inhibit accuracy of results.

    We've had the situation where difficult child 3 was privately assessed (we got it done free, it was part of a research study into developing a testing protocol for kids with autism) and then, only a couple of months later, despite being given a copy of the private test results and the report, the school counsellor repeated the testing, WITHOUT my knowledge or consent. Interestingly, the school counsellor's results indicated "he's not that bright after all; which mans he's actually doing quite well really, for a kid who is not that bright." Two months earlier he had been given an IQ score in the mid 140s. "not that bright." pfft. yeah, right.

    You can lead an ass to order but you cannot make him think...