Neuropsychological Testing vs. Standard Psychological Testing




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Pinnacle Center

Neuropsychology and Educational Services

A standard psychological evaluation (a.k.a "psych eval") typically evaluates general cognitive and personality functioning and is geared toward diagnosing psychiatric conditions. For example, a psychological evaluation has the capacity to diagnose a condition such as ADHD based on behavior, but it may lack the specificity to understand what underlying cognitive processes are contributing to the symptoms and therefore cannot always give as many customized recommendations for treatment.

Neuropsychological assessment is a comprehensive assessment of cognitive processes. Neuropsychology integrates genetic, developmental, and environmental history that you provide with data from testing conducted in our office to better understand brain functioning. When there is a neurological or neurodevelopmental disorder, our evaluations can help understand the etiology and evolution of a disorder over the lifespan. With a comprehensive assessment of a person’s cognitive and personality functioning, we can make customized recommendations.

To understand cognitive strengths and weaknesses, neuropsychological testing typically evaluates: 

  • Attention and concentration
  • Auditory and visual processing
  • Visual-spatial functioning
  • Verbal and visual memory
  • Language skills
  • Sensory development and sensory integration
  • Gross and fine motor development
  • Social skill development
  • Executive functioning
  • Academic skills
  • Emotional and personality development


Other Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Do you take insurance?
    • Pinnacle Center is contracted with some insurances companies (BCBS, Cigna, & Mercy Care at this time). Patients are usually responsible for part of the cost of their medical care. The parts that are your responsibility are called copays, deductibles, and coinsurance. How much you have to pay is determined by your insurance policy, and each patient's policy is different. Many plans only cover neuropsychological testing when there is "medical necessity" and may not cover academic testing. We are happy to consult with you regarding the likelihood that insurance will cover the service you seek, but ultimately this is not our decision and our guidance is not a guarantee. 
  • What if you don't take my insurance?
    • In this case you would be considered "out-of-network" and would be responsible for paying the fees at the time of service. Pinnacle Center can provide you with a super bill for you to attempt to get reimbursed from your insurance carrier. We also offer sliding scale (reduced) fees and payment plans based on economic need (application required). 
  • What should I tell my child about the evaluation?
    • We recommended telling the child they are coming to see a specialist who can help figure out how to help them be as happy and healthy as possible. In order to do that we will ask a lot of questions and do a lot of activities. Some of the activities might seem like school work, and some things might be new and even interesting. It is also important that your child gets a good night's rest before the evaluation and eats a healthy breakfast. If your child has a hard time stopping  a game or screen time, it is best to not have them start when they enter the office. We are happy to help entertain your child while you get registered, so please don't hesitate to ask. 

 

2345 E. Thomas Rd, Suite 200A Phoenix, AZ 85016 ∙ (602) 334-1353 ∙ www.pinnaclecenter.org