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Neuropsychological Testing vs.  Psychological Testing

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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 may help diagnose a condition such as ADHD based on behavior. A neuropsychological evaluation looks more specifically at underlying cognitive processes that are contributing to the symptoms, which may lead to more specific treatment recommendations, especially for complex cases where solutions may otherwise be illusive.

Neuropsychological assessment is a comprehensive assessment of cognitive processes. Neuropsychology integrates understanding of genetic, developmental, and environmental history 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 evolution of a disorder over the lifespan, to help families gain control of the present and plan for the future.

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?
    • Insurance varies by clinician. 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. 
    • If medical necessity is required, such as for a neuropsychological evaluation, it is necessary for you to provide the following evidence:

1. Documentation of a known or suspected neurological/organic condition directly related to the child’s symptoms, which must be a diagnosis the insurance company approves; and 

2. A referral from the child’s physician that shows sufficient evidence to support the medical necessity for a neuropsychological evaluation.  

  • 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 a generous sliding scale discount and payment plans based on economic need (application required). If we do not currently work with your insurance plan, please complete an application for a sliding scale discount!

  • 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. 


Pinnacle Center

Neuropsychology and Educational Services

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