Psych Eval vs. Neuropsych Eval



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tgsapo
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04 May 2012, 8:17 pm

Does anyone here know the difference between a psych eval and a neuropsych eval? Is one more creditable than the other for evaluating a patient with PDD-NOS, Asperger's, HFA, etc?



questor
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04 May 2012, 10:03 pm

I don't know the exact differences between the two of them, but the conditions you mentioned are all neurological in basis. If given the choice I would go for a neuro-psych evaluation, but with someone who has experience with Autism spectrum disorders. This would provide a more accurate evaluation.

Hope this helps! :D


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Bombaloo
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05 May 2012, 5:12 pm

For us living in kinda a small town, credible has less to do with a provider's specialty than it does with actual experience. There isn't a PSYCHologist within 250 miles of where we live who is very experienced with ASDs, however there is a NEUROpsychologist in our town who has be doing great work with spectrum, ADD, ADHD etc. kids for many years and is very credible. I'm no professional but I THINK either type of specialist would administer the same types of tests as far as diagnosis of one of the aforementioned conditions.



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05 May 2012, 11:19 pm

I think it is more important to find out what they do for the evaluation. It should include an interview with the parents, an interview with the child, some kind of interactive test like ADOS, and parent/teacher evaluation forms.

Some places use teams to evaluate for psych, OT (sensitivities, activities of daily living, fine motor skills) PT (gross motor skills), ST (language impairment, social communication disorder, receptive/expressive disorder), sleep disorder, epilepsy, learning disability etc.

If all they do is meet with you and your child for 30-40 minutes, that is NOT enough.



tgsapo
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06 May 2012, 12:30 pm

Thanks guys. My son was diagnosed PDD-NOS through a "Psychological Assessment" given by a Psychologist with a PhD as a result of his hospitalization for suicidal ideations. I'm not familiar with the acronyms used on this site, but the doctor used the following as a basis of evaluation:

Personal History Checklist for Adolescents
Neuropsychological Symptoms Checklist
Beck Depression Inventory
Beck Hopelessness Scale
Reynolds Adolescent Depression Scale-Form HS
Suicide Ideation Questionnaire-Form HS
Adolescent Drinking Inventory
Rotter Incomplete Sentences Blank-High School Response Sheet
Zung Depression Inventory
Tennessee Self-Concept Scale
House, Tree, Person Kinetic Drawing Test
Neurobehavior Mental Status Examination
Million Adolescent Clinical Inventory
Behavior Assessment Scales for Children-Second Edition
Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Fourth Edition
Conners' Continuous Performance Test-Second Edition
Bipolar Checklist for Children
Yale Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale

Though there were neuropsychological components to his assessment, I was wondering if there is a difference between the tests. I believe my ex-husband has been telling our son that he was not diagnosed "correctly" because it was a psychological evaluation instead of a neuropsychological one. Of course, my husband is also actively manipulating my son and sabotaging my relationship with him. So, I wouldn't be surprised if this is a strategy he's planning on taking to court to try and get my son taken out of therapy.



momsparky
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06 May 2012, 1:16 pm

I recognize some of those in the evals done by the school (someday remind me to tell the story of the house, tree, person test. It was our first formal eval...) The ones I recognize weren't specific to autism spectrum disorders, nor were they general screeners for autism or its deficits. I do know several families (including us) who floundered through these kinds of evals which didn't offer specific insights into what the problem was - even though in our case we got the label of Asperger's)

The CDC has a good page on the recommended diagnostic tools for autism spectrum disorders: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/hcp-screening.html

Also, the first screener we were given, just a screener of 50 questions for parents, provided us more information than any of the dozens of questionnaires we'd had previously: the ASDS http://www.livingwithaspergers.com/aspe ... scale.html

When my son was struggling with suicidal ideation, we had no idea that part of the problem was speech (he was hyperverbal) The neuropsych noticed a pragmatic speech delay almost immediately, and testing and therapy helped a lot. Sometimes (not always) suicidal language can tie in to poor pragmatics. I found this article of interest: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2835860/

Forgive me if I've suggested it before, but the "Parenting Index" stickied on the top of this board has several topics that may be pertinent to what you're going through, if not the diagnostic process.



Eureka-C
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06 May 2012, 3:20 pm

tgsapo wrote:
Thanks guys. My son was diagnosed PDD-NOS through a "Psychological Assessment" given by a Psychologist with a PhD as a result of his hospitalization for suicidal ideations. I'm not familiar with the acronyms used on this site, but the doctor used the following as a basis of evaluation:

Personal History Checklist for Adolescents
Neuropsychological Symptoms Checklist
Beck Depression Inventory
Beck Hopelessness Scale
Reynolds Adolescent Depression Scale-Form HS
Suicide Ideation Questionnaire-Form HS
Adolescent Drinking Inventory
Rotter Incomplete Sentences Blank-High School Response Sheet
Zung Depression Inventory
Tennessee Self-Concept Scale
House, Tree, Person Kinetic Drawing Test
Neurobehavior Mental Status Examination
Million Adolescent Clinical Inventory
Behavior Assessment Scales for Children-Second Edition
Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Fourth Edition
Conners' Continuous Performance Test-Second Edition
Bipolar Checklist for Children
Yale Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale

Though there were neuropsychological components to his assessment, I was wondering if there is a difference between the tests. I believe my ex-husband has been telling our son that he was not diagnosed "correctly" because it was a psychological evaluation instead of a neuropsychological one. Of course, my husband is also actively manipulating my son and sabotaging my relationship with him. So, I wouldn't be surprised if this is a strategy he's planning on taking to court to try and get my son taken out of therapy.


This list of measurements does not appear to have any designed specifically for picking up the nuances of the different spectrum disorders. While this can be done through interview and interactions with the person being evaluated, it is difficult to support/deny a diagnosis without standardized measures geared toward symptoms associated with autism spectrum.

Here are some common measures:
Children's Autism Rating Scale (CARS)
Gilliam Autism Rating Scale-II (GARS)
Asperger Diagnostic Scale (ADS)
Adaptive Behavior assessment Systems (ABAS) (Development test not ASD)
Vineland - II (development not ASD)
Autism Diagnostic and Observation Scale (ADOS) - the ADOS II comes out next month
Autism Diagnostic Interview Revised (ADI-R)

There are many choices and others.

Here is an article written for psychologists about doing a proper diagnostic evaluation.

http://childstudycenter.yale.edu/autism ... uation.pdf

As for a neuropsychological battery of tests, this usually involves several areas including intelligence, achievement, activities of daily living / levels of functioning, speech, visual motor, executive functioning, memory, etc. It involves looking at measures that are able to find deficits in cognitive/brain functioning.

This wiki site gives a good summary of common neuropsych tests.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuropsychological_test



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