Consultations can include cognitive testing and/or brain mapping to help monitor the effects of other interventions as well (e.g., occupational therapy, speech therapy, reading intervention, medication intervention, etc.).Clients do not always need full neuropsychological, psychoeducational, or psychological evaluations to obtain useful information. Consultation services can address a wide variety of client needs and can be done in-person or by video/phone.
Examples of Consultation Services
1. Review previous neuropsychological or psychoeducational test results:
We can review the results of testing conducted by other providers, which can help clients better understand the results/recommendations (particularly when the other provider is not available to review the results), and/or to provide a second opinion.
2. Provide treatment recommendations:
We can meet with clients on a more limited basis to discuss potential treatment strategies that can be used. At times we may suggest clients complete some questionnaires to give us more information, and then we can meet and provide suggestions. Common issues discussed include attention and executive functioning strategies and interventions.
3. Obtain information about possible diagnoses or other suggestions:
Without conducting a full psychological, neuropsychological, or psychoeducational evaluation, it is possible to meet for a consultation to discuss any areas of concern (e.g., cognitive or academic difficulties, emotional/behavioral symptoms, etc.). At times we may suggest clients complete a brief number of cognitive, academic, and/or emotional/behavioral tasks. In these situations, a brief report is sometimes written, or a verbal explanation of the results may suffice. These consultations may only require 1-3 hours of time.
4. Cognitive and/or academic screening:
Parents (or adults) may have concerns about potential difficulties (e.g., attention problems, academic problems/dyslexia, etc.), yet are not sure if a full evaluation is needed. Brief cognitive and academic screening (e.g., 45-60 minutes) can be done with children and adults to answer specific questions. Although such screening may adequately answer the referral question(s), this can also determine if additional testing could be useful (by either us, the school, or another provider).
5. Monitor the effects of other treatments:
Consultations can include cognitive testing and/or brain mapping to help monitor the effects of other interventions as well (e.g., occupational therapy, speech therapy, reading intervention, medication intervention, etc.).
Neuropsychological services often seem as an all or nothing service, but many times parents have milder concerns and may not have the time or finances for attempting a full evaluation.
The parents of a 5-year-old girl contacted our office because of concerns about possible attention problems in their daughter. The father noted he was diagnosed with ADD/ADHD in childhood, and his daughter seemed to have similar (but more subtle) symptoms as his own, including being fidgety, spacing out at school, etc. These issues seemed to worsen once she started online/video learning, including being easily distracted within the home, and trouble sitting in one place for very long. Her parents were sent several questionnaires to fill out and return to us ahead of time. We conducted an interview that lasted approximately 30 minutes, and determined she was at a mildly increased risk for having attention problems. Parents were not interested in a full diagnosis, but just wanted some tips. We met with the parents by video to provide several suggestions for them, as well as some additional suggestions for her school. Total time for the consultation service was approximately two hours, and a decision was made to monitor the symptoms over the next 12 months and possibly conduct another consultation at the time, or possibly set up a more limited neuropsychological evaluation at that time if the symptoms continued.
At times we can meet with the parent and child by video alone to discuss some modifications that can be made to improve attention.
During COVID-19, we have evaluated many children who were previously having only mild/subtle problems, but have started to struggle more (e.g., with the online/video learning). We have several hypotheses about this. On the one hand, for children with excessive levels of slow wave activity in the brain such as Delta or theta waves, adding video learning can actually increase the slow wave activity because of the video stimulus, which can make it harder to focus. A brain mapping can help determine this, as well as possibly provide information about devices that can help to counter this effect.
Following evaluations, we can provide ongoing consultative services to monitor symptoms and provide ongoing support as needed.
How do I get started?
Dr. Baker and his staff are happy to conduct a 10-minute free consultation to help determine which consultation service may be most effective and efficient.
We often send out specific questionnaires, and schedule a time to meet to review the results and suggestions.