Neuropsychological Evaluation

Neuropsychological Evaluation2018-09-16T11:35:35+00:00

Neuropsychological Evaluation

The Stixrud Group, LLC offers neuropsychological evaluations for children, adolescents, and adults.  Our  comprehensive neuropsychological assessments are designed to clarify an individual’s strengths and weaknesses in cognitive, academic, and emotional functioning. Neuropsychological assessment also helps to identify inefficiencies in brain functioning which contribute to learning and social/emotional difficulties.

For children and adolescents, results from the neuropsychological evaluation  are useful in determining such things as appropriate educational placement and programming, behavior management techniques, avenues for self-help, career direction, and advisability of medical intervention.
For adults, results from assessments  are most frequently used to update documentation of a learning disorder for college, professional study, or licensing. However, it can also be used to diagnose neurologically-based brain disorders and to help plan rehabilitation following a brain injury or a stroke.
For both adolescents and adults,  results can contribute to planning career direction, higher education and training, vocational rehabilitation, and psychotherapeutic approach.

Is a Neuropsychological Evaluation Right For Me?

The Stixrud Group, LLC provides neuropsychological evaluations for children, adolescents, and adults.

Some reasons or circumstances in which it might be prudent to undergo a neuropsychological evaluation include:

  • Times of transition, e.g. to ensure proper academic placement and accommodations
  • Documentation for disabilities
  • Medical accidents, injuries, or illnesses that have psychological consequences
  • Lack of ease or discomfort in school, academic, or work settings
  • Referrals from physicians, medical professionals, and therapists (e.g., speech and langue therapists, occupational therapists, psychotherapists)
  • Need for information to guide occupational and career planning

Regardless of the reason, the goal of our evaluations is develop a holistic profile of an individual’s capabilities, differences, and special needs so that proper decisions can be made and appropriate expectations developed. Our ultimate goal is to use our knowledge and professional skills to help people be more successful in school, in their careers, and/or in their relationships, and to remove any blocks to their experiencing happiness and fulfillment in life.

Your first telephone call to the office will probably be answered by an administrative assistant. They will do several things:

  • First – Collect some information including name, date of birth, address, and so on.
  • Second – Mail you a packet of information about our services.
  • Third – Arrange a telephone consultation, which is free of charge, between you and an educational diagnostician. During this conversation you will have an opportunity to ask specific questions regarding your concerns, including testing procedures, fees, payment and insurance.

Common questions answered during telephone consultation:

  • Which children, adolescents and adults would benefit from a neuropsychological evaluation?
  • When should my child be assessed?
  • How does a psycho educational assessment differ from a neuropsychological evaluation?
  • My child has already has a speech and language assessment. Would I learn anything new from a neuropsychological evaluation?
  • Are neuropsychological evaluations only for diagnosing LD and ADHD?
  • If my child takes medication, how will that affect the test results?
  • If my child is evaluated in your office, can s/he get testing accommodations for the SAT/ACT?
  • My child’s pediatrician says s/he has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Is there any point in getting a neuropsychological evaluation if I already have this diagnosis?
  • My child was recently evaluated by the local public school system, and we were told s/he does not have a learning disability; however, we are still concerned about his/her performance in school. Is it worth having a private neuropsychological evaluation?
  • How does the public school evaluation compare to a private neuropsychological evaluation?
  • If my child is evaluated in your office does the local public school system automatically accept the results and provide special education services?
  • How do I know when it’s time for my child to be re-evaluated?
  • What kind of recommendations may I expect from the evaluation?
  • What kind of assistance may I expect with regards to follow up from your office?

At this point we can schedule the evaluation, or, it may be appropriate to refer you to another type of service. If you are not ready to schedule an evaluation at this time, we do keep the paperwork on file for about eighteen months should you change your plans.If your first telephone call to our office is directly to a licensed psychologist, they will return your call as well as give your name and telephone number to the administrative assistant who will also contact you to initiate the above sequence.

Please click here to access our Evaluation Process Flow Chart OR You can get started now by filling out the new client information form.

Learn more about our Adult Neuropsychology services.

A personality evaluation is available for children and adolescents between the ages of 5 and 20. This evaluation is appropriate when there are concerns about emotional problems and/or significant behavioral issues. This evaluation can assist with the diagnosis of an emotional or behavioral disorder, and can help identify underlying psychological processes that are contributing to an individual’s behavioral or emotional problems. Information is obtained regarding the individual’s self-perception, coping resources, interpersonal functioning, thought processes, and emotional self-regulation. This information is then used to generate recommendations for an intervention plan. The personality evaluation is conducted by a neuropsychologist and includes the following components:

  • A 1 ½ to 2 hour clinical interview of the parents / caretakers and the child
  • Objective and projective personality tests that measure the individual’s personality, and emotional and behavioral functioning
  • A brief cognitive screening of the individual’s intellectual functioning

Approximately one week after testing is completed, a 1 ½ to 2 hour interpretive conference is scheduled to discuss the test results and recommendations. A detailed written report summarizing the test results and recommendations is then mailed to the client approximately four to six weeks after the interpretive conference. Upon request, the neuropsychologist is available to hold a feedback session with the child to provide him/her with results and further recommendations.

The Assessment of Personality And Emotional Disorders

The Assessment of Personality and Emotional Disorders takes approximately 2-3 hours and consists of several objective and projective personality measures and a diagnostic interview. It is recommended when a more complete assessment of personality and emotional functioning is required. The neuropsychological evaluation may include specialized assessment of social cognition, e.g. the ability to understand socially relevant information.

This additional assessment would be indicated when there are significant concerns about 1) the development of age appropriate social skills as demonstrated with family members, other adults, or peers, 2) the ability to use and understand language both at home and at school, or 3) the development of appropriate and accurate self perception and self awareness. The evaluation of social cognition includes more extensive assessment of your child’s social, cognitive and language development.

Information is gathered through:

1) A diagnostic interview with the parents conducted by a pediatric neuropsychologist

2) Additional questionnaires for your child

3) the administration of tests which offer additional information to help understand these issues. The social cognition assessment requires 2 to 3 hours, in addition to the standard neuropsychological battery described above.

This is a specialized evaluation to assess for a possible autism–spectrum disorder and/or to evaluate children / adolescents who have already been diagnosed on the spectrum. This type of evaluation is appropriate for children and adolescents, ages 4 to 20, who exhibit difficulties with social development, communication / language, and/or behavioral difficulties including rigid / inflexible behaviors.

This evaluation provides differential diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders. In addition, and for individuals who have already been diagnosed on the spectrum, this evaluation provides a comprehensive assessment of the individual’s cognitive and social/emotional strengths and weaknesses. This information is then used to generate a comprehensive treatment plan, including recommendations for school / educational and behavioral interventions. Recommendations are also provided to support the individual’s social development, based on his/her developmental history and present levels of functioning. This comprehensive evaluation includes the following:

  • An extensive parent interview that includes a detailed review of the individual’s developmental, medical, and educational histories, as well as extensive review of social, emotional, and behavioral development.
  • The standard neuropsychological evaluation, as detailed above
  • Assessment of social cognition (the ability to understand socially relevant information) and social functioning

As with the standard neuropsychological evaluation, a two-hour parent feedback session is scheduled to discuss the evaluation results and recommendations approximately one week after testing is completed. A detailed written evaluation report is mailed to the client within approximately four to six weeks. This written report summarizes the evaluation findings and recommendations.

Lastly, the neuropsychologist is available to conduct an additional feedback meeting with the child in order to discuss the results and recommendations with him/her. A neuropsychologist and a clinical assistant will complete this evaluation. The first appointment will be the parent interview with the neuropsychologist. After this, the individual will come in for testing— first with the neuropsychologist, and then with the clinical assistant. The neuropsychologist will then conduct the feedback session with the parents (and the child if requested) and prepare the written report.

A.S.E.S.S. is a comprehensive evaluation program for adopted children and adolescents who are experiencing academic, social, and/or emotional difficulties. It combines our expertise in neuropsychological assessment with the understanding of — and experience with — adopted children possessed by the staff at the Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.). We have found that we are able to be much more helpful to adoptive families when we combine a thorough neuropsychological assessment with a sensitive evaluation of a child’s understanding of the adoption process and his/her role in the family.As a result, prior to or following neuropsychological testing in our office, the child and his/her parents are interviewed by a professional from C.A.S.E. We then integrate our findings, which we present to the parents in an interpretive conference, attended by our neuropsychologist and an adoption specialist from C.A.S.E. Following this conference, a feedback meeting is scheduled with the child in order to help the child better understand himself/herself.

Professionals from our office and/or from C.A.S.E. are then available to serve as advocates for the child and the family, e.g. at school meetings held to determine the services a child might need to be successful in school.For more information, click here.Download the A.S.E.S.S. Brochure Here

Learn more about our Early Childhood Evaluation service.

Every year our office offers a limited number of pro bono evaluations. The client participates in the typical test battery process—test administration, scoring, a parent interpretative conference, a brief student interpretative conference and a written report. The second component of the evaluation process is the implementation of the proposed treatment plan, as outlined in the written report. This component can be more challenging because implementation of the treatment plan involves time AND financial commitments. Therefore, families with some available resources tend to benefit more from the evaluation.The following are guidelines we use to determine who would qualify for a pro bono evaluation:

  • Ideal candidates are students who exhibit difficulties which are often related to learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder and/or executive dysfunction rather than problems where the primary concern is psychiatric.
  • Students whose families are involved in issues related to separation, divorce, or legal custody are beyond the scope of this offering. For pro bono evaluations we CAN NOT be involved in legal issues.
  • Students who have significant medical problems are very appropriate candidates because the evaluation is well designed to understand the educational impact of the medical condition, and in these instances it would be highly likely that the family is already working with a medical team.
  • The families must be able to provide transportation and be available on three separate days during the work week in order for us to complete the testing and the parent interpretative conference.
  • With regards to English as a second language, there are no hard and fast guidelines. The student must at least be reasonably fluent in English. As for the parent interpretative conference, IF the parents are not fluent in English, we can utilize an interpreter. Although, it is worth keeping in mind that significant cultural differences may exist and linguistic challenges only adds to widen this gap.
  • Note that the written report will look exactly the same as for our other clients; however, please remember that the recommendations may be modified to reflect what is actually realistic for the family because we are committed to making a valiant effort to create a viable treatment plan.

The procedures for referring a student for a pro bono neuropsychological evaluation are as follows

  • Identify the student
  • With parental permission, forward the contact information to the Administrative Director, Starr Stixrud at 301.565.0534×225 or starr@stixrud.com. Include the name(s) of the parents, their contact numbers and the name and age of the child
  • Have the parent contact the office and speak to an administrative assistant to arrange an initial intake appointment. This is a telephone conference which is arranged at a mutually convenient time in order to gather background information on the client, explain our process and answer any questions that the family may have. During this conversation, evaluation dates/times will be scheduled with the family

Prior to the evaluation, the parents will be given the standard informed consent form, which details the scope and sequence of the evaluation. We want to be clear with the referral sources that this informed consent does not give them automatic access to the written report or even permission for the psychologist to speak to the referral source. We will provide the parents with an Authorization of Release for Written and Oral Communication, and we will strongly encourage the parents to complete this authorization.

Contact and Location

Phone: 301-565-0534

Fax:301-565-2217

  OFFICE LOCATION

8720 Georgia Avenue
Suite 606
Silver Spring, MD 20910