ADHD Parents Together
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Neuropsychological Testing?

Who here has had neuropsychological testing done? What was involved? Do you think it helped? About how much did it cost?

My sons neurologist recommended we have this done, as we’ve hit a point where we should seriously look at medication. She wants to weed out any other potential issues that may be masking as ADHD / Tourette before we start medication.

Though I’m not against medication (my husband takes a little more convincing), it’s still pretty scary to finally head down this road.

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rckline- Thanks for asking the group.

Just curious are you talking about an MRI? Fmri.?

I believe ADHD is mostly diagnosed by behavioral scales so I am curious as to who had had other test run. The advertising for Brain balance says that kids have less activity on one side of their brain and that their program is based on this. So I am curious what others answer.

Best of luck in getting answers. Take care

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Thanks for the reply!

Well, she just said “neuropsychological testing”, but from my googling, it seems to be more extensive evaluations (written / observation) by a neuropsychologist, and doesn’t necessarily involve and scans or anything like that. It’s sometimes used with Alzheimer and other things.

Barkley seems to think it’s problematic in diagnosing ADHD. We already have an ADHD diagnosis from the pediatrician using Vanderbilt Assessment, and neurologist diagnosed Tourette purely by interview / observation. But she really wants to make sure it’s not anxiety / ocd / sensory processing / etc that is just mimicking ADHD before prescribing meds, which are things the testing is better at diagnosing.

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It is great that you are working with a specialist and If I were in your shoes I would do what she recommends. From my experience when they are on the correct medication with the right dose things can be as "normal" as possible. It is very important to find out what is causing what if you know what I mean.

Best of luck with this long process..

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Hi rckline,

We had our son go through neuropsychological testing last year when he was almost 11.

It is a series of assessments and evaluations done with a Neuropsychologist that covers IQ testing, ADHD, autism, learning and reading abilities, executive functioning, cognitive function and so much more. There are no physical brain scans involved. We received a very thorough report afterwards that we could then share with our school about the exact areas our son would need support and accommodations (in and out of the classroom). It was very helpful. The Neuropsychologist was professional, warm and made my son feel comfortable.

Once we felt we had covered every option and understood the bigger picture of what my son was struggling with (namely adhd combined type), we decided to start medication and implement additional support for him.

Once you find a neuropsychologist, you can ask them more questions about the testing then get their procedure/billing codes to check with your insurance. Our insurance would not cover the neuropsychologist we found in the Seattle area so we paid about $2300 for the testing. It was a worthwhile investment. And it helped my husband to finally realize our son had ADHD.

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We were told by the neurologist that our son was not Autistic but would need a neuropsychological to see if he was on the spectrum. I went through my insurance to find a neuropsychologist. My son was 4 at the time. The appointments spanned three days. Day one was an interview with me to get background information. Day two was testing. She had snacks and let him take breaks. Day three was giving us a copy of the report or reviewing the findings. I recommend getting the evaluation. It was the key to getting my son assistance at school. My husband is against medications and has left me on my own when it comes to any treatment. It has put a strain on our marriage; but when my little boy started talking about wanting to die...I could not stand by and do nothing. Good luck to you!

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I had neuropsychological testing in 2014. There was no question as to whether I had adhd before the testing, and the only reason I had it done was because I had just come out of an addiction to an illegal stimulant and my cognitive functioning was way off from what it had been prior to the addiction. For example, it would take close to an hour for me to order a pizza....it was ridiculous. I flew to Boston and had it done at the Hallowell Clinic. It felt like one of the most stressful days of my life, and I had to stop to take a nap in the afternoon just to take a break and shit my mind off.

My results were interesting and I’m glad I had it done. Nothing changed regarding my adhd diagnosis but I had self induced cognitive impairments that didn’t make sense for a normal brain. This was shown in the results because there was such a huge variation in certain parts of the test where my scores should have been about equal. I’d excel on one part then I’d bomb another part. They told me that functioning could come back and I’m happy to report that it has. I was also diagnosed with Anxiety which made so much sense to me after they explained what anxiety felt like and I realized I had been living with it for as long as I could remember but I just thought it was normal because I was used to it. Who knew? I thought it was normal not to be able to catch my breath at times, but I guess it wasn’t. The results also showed that I have an audio processing disorder, and just knowing that has helped me adjust in situations when I need to learn something that is being told to me so I can write it down or do something else to compensate when something is being told to me that I need to remember or understand.

I didn’t have insurance at the time and my test was just under $4,000.

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Thank you so much everyone for your responses. They are super helpful!

Perhaps I am being naive, but since our insurance provider is also a large university with its own hospitals that perform neuropsychological testing, I’m really hoping we’ll be the rare ones who get insurance coverage for this. Guess I’ll find out when I make some calls next week.

Thanks again!

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Yes- We got an evaluation through Children's Hospital and our insurance covered it. As others have said, it is a combination of aptitude (IQ) and achievement skills (school academics) . I think is very important that children get this kind of comprehensive evaluation, along with a consult with the pediatrician to get an accurate diagnosis and to identify the child's strengths as well as areas of delay. Often, we help children the most when we build on strengths rather than exclusively try to remediate deficits.

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