Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Neuropsychological Evaluation - Got Questions?

A few months ago, in an ACC support group that I belong to,
there was a discussion in regard to Neuropsychological
Evaluations for kids who have Agenesis of the Corpus
Frequently Asked Questions by parents of a child with ACC:

1. What age should my child have a Neuropsych Eval?
2. What kinds of tests will they give my child?
3. What takes place during an Evaluation?
4. How will a Neuropsych Evaluation help my child?
5. How do they take the test results and apply it?

Because these same types of questions come up on a
regular basis by many parents who have a child with ACC,
I am sharing the detailed discussion here on the blog,
(with permission from the author-parent).

Parent of 7-year-old child with partial ACC writes:

"Here is a list of the tests she had done last November for
her neuropsych eval":

Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-4th Edition
Beery-Buketenica Development Test for Visual-Motor Integration
Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-4th Edition
Expressive One Word Picture Vocabulary Test
Wide Range Achievement Test-4th Edition
Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning
Electric Finger tapping Test
Integrated visual and Auditory Continuous Performance Test
Conners-3 Parent/Teacher Rating Scales
Personality Inventory for Children-2nd Edition
Sentence completion Test

The parent diverts to another subject regarding school testing.

The school testing was to see if she qualified for an IEP. Her testing with the school showed she had rare IQ where her nonverbal was 40 points higher than her verbal, which for age 5 only 1% in the world has this score. Her actual performance score compared to where she should be, based on her IQ score, were anywhere between 18-35 points difference.

Parent resumes discussion regarding neuropsychological
testing in a private facility outside of the school.

If you want a thorough neuro-psych eval they usually don't test until
age 6.

It was the best thing for us to get our child testing. Her rare
scores were still there, the neuropsychologist expected it to switch
but they didn't.

Her nonverbal is in the gifted range while her verbal IQ is barely
in the normal range at 81. It did show she has ADHD focus and attention problems.

We found out through the testing that the angular gyrus in the brain
that controls the language part is affected by her ACC. Her auditory
and visual processing is affected. He gave us ideas and tips on how to help her and for the school.

Note: "angular gyrus" located above in green.

The specific wording pertaining to the language comprehension deficit and the angular gyrus, in the 7-year-old child's Neuropsychological Evaluation, states:

"Together with the previously referenced language comprehension deficiency seen through her performance on the Similarities subtest of the WISC-IV, this WRAT-4 difficulty on Sentence Comprehension suggests a specific problem in the region of the angular gyrus in the left cerebral hemisphere."

"Despite her language abstraction difficulty which suggests particular
difficulty in the functioning of the left cerebral hemisphere in the area
of the angular gyrus, there was no lateralized indication of brain dysfunction through either motor or sensory perceptual testing.
Thus, this appears to be a very limited and circumscribed cortical dysfunction. She has much more evidence of normal than abnormal brain functioning."

The Neuropyschological Evaluation further states:

"Her overall intellectual ability and many of her academic skills are entirely within normal limits and sometimes performed at above average levels. However, she has shown persistent and significant difficulty in language comprehension and abstract verbal reasoning that appears to include both spoken language and reading."

The parent of the 7-year-old child with partial ACC goes on to say:

At one point due to her reading decoding skills, they were talking about taking her out of resource for language. With the results of the
testing we had done, she was kept in.

We also found out she is in the mild to moderate range, 1.5 standard deviations for possible autism but not enough to give a diagnosis for autism. The testing as a whole gave us a clearer picture of who my
daughter is and insight into some of her little quirks.

She will get testing done every 2-3 years based on her scores. Our
insurance paid for all but our copays since it was based on a medical diagnosis and not for ADHD testing. You would have to check with your insurance to see if they will pay for testing and how much. This is one testing I have never regretted doing and so glad we did it.

Where we did the testing, we came in for the initial visit so he could meet my child, talk to me about her history and what we were looking for, and for him to decide which tests to perform. Then about 2 weeks later, we were lucky and had a cancellation, we went in for the testing.

We were there from 8:00 to about 4:00 with a lunch break and mini breaks during testing if she needed it. While Emily was testing, I was filling out questionnaires such as Connors-ADHD, and another one that had 200 or so questions-can't remember the name but asked questions for emotional, behavioral, autism questions.

Then 2 weeks later I went back alone for the psychologist to go over the testing.

Some neuropsychologists spread the testing out over 2 days.

Parent of a 5-year-old child with ACC asked if they can get
good test results from a child who is young and fidgety
with an attention span that is not so good?

Reply from Parent of 7-year-old with ACC:

When is his 6th birthday? Many times Neuropsychologists have a
long waiting list or several months before the first appointment so it
wouldn't hurt to call and make the appointment now for right after
his 6th birthday if you are really interested.

In my personal opinion, this was one of the best things I could have done for my child.

This same parent goes on to say:

My child does take a low dose ADHD meds for attention and focus as
well as cognitive skills while in school. She takes 2.5 mg adderall
twice a day. Not long after we started the meds, she jumped by
leaps and bounds in her learning skills at school. She started
taking meds halfway through Kindergarten.

If you have any more questions, please feel free to email me at weimerse@cox.net

Mom of 7-year-old child, partial-ACC, colpocephaly, chiari 1, ADHD, strabismus, hydrocephalus w/VP shunt"

Thank you very much to the parent of a 7-year-old child
with partial ACC who graciously gave permission for me
to share her experience and quote input here pertaining to
her child's Neuropsychological Evaluation for others
to read and also for sharing her e-mail and offering to
answer questions.

In addition, you can read more about Neuropsychological
Evaluations in a previous post that contains test
results from an 11-year-old child's Neuropsychological
Evaluation and also provides additional input from other
parents who have a child with Agenesis of the Corpus

If you have something that you would like to add, please
consider posting your comment.

Medical Disclaimer: Please seek the advice of a qualified
medical doctor regarding any medication and dosage for a
person. Every person with ADHD is different and responds/reacts
differently to medications and dosage amounts.
Some people with ADHD do not require medication.

1 comment:

  1. This is really great information. It is so wonderful for you to share this as I am sure it will help so many families. I know a neuropsych eval is in our future.



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