Suggestions Needed

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by a_demann, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. a_demann

    a_demann New Member

    So we have an appointment. at Childrens in Minneapolis Monday (initial parent meeting) for neuropsychologist evaluation. However, I'm kind of undecided if we should keep the appointment. We were referred to the U of M but they are booking out 9 months as of right now, and childrens should be able to get him in by November early December at the latest. So the problem I am facing is deciding which is the better option. The packet the U sent out has a lot more forms to fill out is that a sign they go more in depth? I dont know....any one have experience with Childrens or U of M or maybe even both? The problem I am having is trying to figure out if we would be better off waiting for the U to get us in or if Childrens is just as good. I really hate to put the evaluation off by that much we really could use help now.....
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I'd be inclined to take the appointment on Monday and go with it. Don't have any personal experience with the facility, but I wouldn't want to wait another 9 months. You could always book an appointment with U of M 9 months from now and see where things go between now and then. It's nearly a year away... who knows, you may want another opinion by then.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    The really good places usually have long waiting lists. I feel the opposite. If you can get in so quickly...why? Most neuropsychs can't get you in that fast. Also, I like the cutting edge of teaching hospitals (university hospitals). JMO
  4. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    The children's hospital focuses on kids. Would the U of M have a child's neurology department that does the same? After an experience I had with Diva and a behavioral issue, I am sworn to seek out children specialists. The idiot we 1st took Diva to was going to try and treat her as an adult patient (you make your own decisions as opposed to your parents make the household rules) and even admitted he had no experience with kids but would give us our 1st two free visits and then pass us on if we needed more services. So, if the testing is not in a pediatric neurology setting, I would tend to stick with Children's if the U of M's appointment is not specifically for pediatric. There really is a huge difference in testing children and adults.

    How long did it take you to get into Children's? Can you get a list of tests that each of them do to compare? If the U of M does more, can you have the Children's do theirs now and have the U of M do the rest later?

    If you did get in quickly, you can also ask the reason. If there was a cancelation, they may have pulled your name up to fill it.
  5. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I can't tell you what to do and I've already told you what we did. If you can handle things as they are (with any changes you are making) for awhile longer, it might be worth the wait. On the other hand, you could always do like gcvmom said, do them both. If your insurance will pay for it (or you can afford it) that is. They will be about a year apart so maybe check into it.
  6. a_demann

    a_demann New Member

    Thanks for the suggestions.....Not sure why Childrens doesn't have a real long wait. U of M services peds too. Thinking we'll start with Childrens and then depending on our experience make an appointment. for the U. I don't think I can continue struggling with him every morning before school on top of his other behavioral issues.The sooner the help the better.
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'd do both if possible. The first evaluation then would be a baseline for the subsequent evaluation. Alot depends on the quality of the evaluators and sometimes the best people don't work for the best institution. At worst it will give you two points of view and it may provide questions to address at the second evaluation. DDD
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Its already been said - so ditto on the "do both if you can".
    9 months is a long time...
    If Children's gets you the answers you need, you can always cancel the U.
  9. seriously

    seriously New Member

    I'll give my sister a call and ask her if she's familiar with either of these programs. Pediatric neuropsychologist is a pretty small field and she just finished her PhD in Peds Neuro. I expect she may know someone in one of the programs or know about the reputation of each program.

    In the meantime, I would call U of M and check to see if they have any cancellations. Do this even if they keep a cancellation list. Sometimes you get lucky or at least can confirm you are on such a list.

    I wonder if the difference in wait time can be attributed to:

    1. Teaching and research demands are probably much higher at U of M so the faculty and fellows may only work in the program part time. Also I would expect that you are more likely to get a fellow or intern at U of M and their work must be supervised so any reports, etc have to be reviewed before being issued - which takes longer.

    2. U of M may be the provider of last resort and the main tertiary care center in the region for anyone receiving publicly-funded health coverage such as those on Medicare or MedicAid. This is likely to increase their patient load, weighting it with patients who are sicker and/or have many barriers to care like language that can make the provision of services take longer and require more coordination, etc. This means each patient takes longer compared to programs that don't serve a large number of these patients.

    What forms did each place send you? U of M may rely more heavily on basic screening tools or it may be that they send you a lot of stuff so their graduate students/fellows get practice using them.
  10. seriously

    seriously New Member

    I asked my sister who is a recent graduate of a pediatric neuropsychologist program here in California.

    She said she is not super familiar with either program. She said the closest pediatric neuropsychologist program she's familiar with is Chicago which is fantastic and is the oldest in the nation.

    However, she said if it were her she would go to Children's for the following reasons:

    1. whenever possible she recommends children be seen at facilities that specialize in working with kids. her experience is that they are just much better with kids and families than even pediatric programs that are housed in regular medical centers like U of M because that is all they deal with and their entire facility is geared to families/kids.

    2. the reason for the long wait at U of M is pretty much what I had already posted. Because the work is done by students it takes a lot longer because the faculty has to review everything they do and approve it. She said you are likely to get better or equal results much, much faster from Children's.

    3. the reason for all the extra forms at U of M is because they want the students to get practice with all of them. Not because they apply to your child or your situation and not because they think the forms will help them in their diagnostic process. They might - but probably not because, if they are mostly forced choice or multiple choice forms, they are intended to be general screening questionnaires that only identify children with obvious issues from the herd of generally normal kids. You already know you have a kid who isn't "normal" so it's not too likely those general forms are going to be helpful.

    So I would go for the Children's appointment and make the most of it.

    It's helpful if you have written down what questions you hope will be answered by the neuropsychologist evaluation to give to the psychologist. Generally they will find that very helpful in deciding where to start.

    Let us know how it goes. And I wouldn't cancel the U of M appointment until you have had a chance to check the Children's team out.
  11. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I would choose carefully, many of the tests that a neuropsychologist administers can only be done every so often, like every 2 years, not sure if that is the realy time frame or not, that is just an example. I would call and see if U of M could do one 9 months after the initial one was done, and also check on your insurance approval. neuropsychologist evaluations are costly, and I would want to be sure that they would have the best insurance coverage.
  12. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I took my son to U of M for years as our neuro was there. We now go to Gillette and I have to say we LOVE their services. Our neuro moved there and we followed. As for the neuropsychologist testing at U of MN it was fine but remember it is a university. SO (and I was a grad student there as an Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) so I feel I may be betraying them, tee hee but as a mom....), I found that having students administer tests was not always great and some of our reports had different names (because templates had been used and they forgot to change them) dates of appointments were changed etc. I didn't even share two of the reports with anyone. It was hit or miss if we got a good student (of course I was one of the good ones when I was in their shoes, haha). Again, I would never never go back to st. paul childrens (which did one neuropsychologist evaluation during a seizure evaluation-in paitent 3 day...). I have loved being with Gillette. They really care for him and in private I would be happy to share specific neurologist if you ever need that too. Also a good psychiatrist (not sure if she is taking new patients) and a great pediatric clinic which has developed a special interest in working with kids with behavioral issues inc. adhd, autism, bipolar, Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) on and on and on...etc. (maplewood area for that one but we travel because they are too good). All three of our docs work together and call eachother frequently, then call me at home from their personal cells. We are blessed in this case.
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    We were in that situation.
    Here, the gap is 3 years, but we needed a re-evaluation at 2 years.
    The doctor doing the re-evaluation started by getting the behind-the-scenes details of the last round of testing - stuff that doesn't even show in the report. Re-evaluated every test result and drew her own conclusions. THEN added other tests to fill the gaps.

    So... no you can't get a re-run of the same test, back-to-back. But there are ways to leverage the second appointment if necessary - especially if you don't feel that the first one was thorough. That's why I wouldn't be too fast to cancel the 9-months-away appointment just yet.
  14. a_demann

    a_demann New Member

    Thanks everyone for your advise. We had the intial parent meeting this morning and I think it went very well. We have a really good feeling about the pysch. at Children's. difficult child 1 will be going in on the 14th for his evaluation. and we can't wait! Excited to finally be headed in the right direction! We will still keep the U of M appointment on the back buner but may not choose to keep the appointment, depending on the outcome with Children's.