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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My daughter has one scheduled this month. What can I expect? Anything I should know? I was told it would take seven hours with one break for lunch.

My daughter had an evaluation two years ago with a pediatric behavioral psychologist but it consisted of the doctor talking with me, observing my daughter at her toddler class, and going out to lunch with all of us. It was very informal and involved no actual testing.

Is anyone familiar with Dr. Zaccariello at Mayo? I scheduled the evaluation with him at the suggestion of my daughter's neurologist, also at Mayo. Now I'm wondering if I should check into other doctors instead of blindly accepting her suggestion. If you've seen a great doctor for an eval please PM me. We live in Northern IN but will travel if needed.

Thank you!
 

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mine did, but those testing and interviewing hours were broken up as 2 hour segments all week. I suppose yours is old enough to tolerate a full day and still get meaningful results?

I should add that this got us his most accurate diagnosis and a slew of services that were just right for him, and can be credited as a great turning point in his development and happiness. Very, very worthwhile.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by cchrissyy View Post
mine did, but those testing and interviewing hours were broken up as 2 hour segments all week. I supose yours is old enough to tolerate a full day and still get meaningful results?
How old was your child? My daughter will be five in June; I was concerned about the long day. They said this it the way they always do it and if they needed to do more tests we would schedule another visit.

Thank you for your reply...I've been doubting the need for the test but your response summed up the reason we want to do the testing.
 

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Mine was 7, and he did two or three 2-3 hour sessions, I don't remember now. That was plenty for him (though ADHD was a resultant dx, so... lol). We also went back after his meds were on board and retested one more session, and my DH and I met with them before and after the main testing and again after the re-test.

DS thought it was fun, liked the games, but did come home wiped out.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I called the office again asking if it was possible to break up the testing into several days. They said 'no...this is their procedure'. I've been online looking for other doctors but this doctor specializes in testing children with Epilepsy, like my daughter so he may be a good fit.

I also asked for an estimate of the cost since our insurance does not cover this type of testing. They told me it would be ~$3,500
.
 

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Wow that is hard - a whole day. My son's neuro psych eval was when he was 6, it was 7 hours and spread out over 3 visits then a 4th visit for the results. It was $1800-ish. My daughter's neuro psych eval was only $600 - it was 4 hours broken out over three days as well.

Good luck with it all - that is a long day of testing but a lot of the testing can be considered fun. My son was upset that testing was over that last day hehe.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by dbsam View Post
I also asked for an estimate of the cost since our insurance does not cover this type of testing. They told me it would be ~$3,500
.
Wow. We did neuropsych. testing when ds was 5, and it was $1500 (our insurance also did not cover it.) When we were calling around, I found that most neuropsych's had a wait of 4 to 6 months. We were living in a major metropolitan area at the time.

For the testing, the neuropsych. broke up the testing in 2 hour increments, for 3 sessions once a week for 3 weeks. DH and I attended an initial intake meeting before the actual testing. The risk you run, besides fatigue for your dc, is that if they are having a not so great day it could definitely skew results.

If you're in northern MN, I'm sure there's someone in the Twin Cities that could do the testing and it would be closer to you. I would ask your neurologist for another recommendation and also ask around maybe in Tribes?
 

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Writing as a mama and a psychologist who specializes in neuropsych/neurodevelopmental testing. The fee sounds spot on. I'm practicing in a suburb of NYC and the going rate here is $3900-$4600. Personally, I will only test a child who is 7y and younger over a period of 3 hours (with small breaks built in). I schedule two mornings of testing (6 hours total) and then will follow-up with an additional hour or two if necessary, especially if I'd like to see how the child does in the afternoon. I did train at a major children's hosp in ATL and procedures there are different. That being said, you are making a major investment and you need to feel comfortalbe and have confidece that the results are as accurate as possilbe. I would call again and leave a message for the psychologist sharing your concerns about the long day.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by dbsam View Post
I called the office again asking if it was possible to break up the testing into several days. They said 'no...this is their procedure'. I've been online looking for other doctors but this doctor specializes in testing children with Epilepsy, like my daughter so he may be a good fit.

I also asked for an estimate of the cost since our insurance does not cover this type of testing. They told me it would be ~$3,500
.
We did one over a year ago and of course our fabulous insurance at the time (thank you Kaiser Permanente) did not cover it. We paid out of pocket. We paid $900. The doctor was quite nice about letting us pay her in three installments of $300 without any interest. I don't know if other doctors will do that but it might be worth asking if you don't mind. Our consult was over a period of two days. The first day lasted about 2-3 hours and the second day was about 3 hours but only I had to show up for it.

A fee of $3500 would hit our wallets pretty hard but you would be able to deduct it from your taxes next year if you itemize and if your other medical expenses exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. The $900 helped put us over the threshold for our medical deduction this year so that was good. lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you all for your replies.

Quote:

Originally Posted by LauraLoo View Post
If you're in northern MN, I'm sure there's someone in the Twin Cities that could do the testing and it would be closer to you. I would ask your neurologist for another recommendation and also ask around maybe in Tribes?
We're actually in Indiana (long story how we ended up switching from neuros in Chicago to Mayo). I've been checking Chicago and Indy for other doctors. It would be great to find someone who would break up the sessions and would not require hours of traveling and hotel stays. My daughter would probably do better if she could sleep at home before the testing.

Quote:

Originally Posted by leafwood View Post
That being said, you are making a major investment and you need to feel comfortalbe and have confidece that the results are as accurate as possilbe.
Exactly…and I do not feel confident. I'm not even sure the evaluation is needed. The main reasons the neuro wanted to do it is:
1.She was furious that teachers decided amongst themselves my daughter was autistic. The neuro believes that is incorrect and feels we need to 'have proof' (her words) to combat incorrect diagnosis from the schools. I don't really feel I need proof…I just pulled her from their class. I didn't mind them suggesting she was autistic, but they took it too far. (I posted about it a while back.) They were inappropriate, unqualified, and I feel the way they treated my daughter affected her negatively. She was thrilled to leave the class and the teachers seemed equally happy.
2.The neuro feels my daughter possibly has OCD. I'm guessing she does since OCD tendencies run rampant in my family. At this point I don't feel the OCD issues disrupt her life. The neuro also mentioned possible ADHD.

I like the idea of breaking up the testing sessions in case she is tired, scared, etc. It seems like the results w/b more accurate if not all on one day.

I'm also concerned the test results will not be accurate because of my daughter's anti-seizure meds. I believe some of her behavioral 'issues' are actually caused by the Depakote. (appearing spacey, confused, a little out of it)

My daughter's new school has no complaints. I see no need for therapies since she is actually doing great and has always been developmentally on target. (She's quirky, has difficulty switching tasks, doesn't read facial cues well, is a perfectionist, etc…but aren't many of us like that?) I'm considering waiting until she is older and possibly off the Depakote.

I'm sure my last reason is not rational, but…I've always heard of these types of evaluations taking months to schedule. We were at Mayo on the 13th and the neuro requested the eval, they said they could see us as soon as the 21st and had several other open appts. in April. Isn't it strange they had so many openings within two weeks? Maybe they're not very good at what they do?

I wonder if teachers are more apt to dissect the behavior of a child with a known medical condition, like her Epilepsy. My sister's children have similar behavior to my daughter but no other medical conditions and teachers have never said a word. (of course, they are at different schools and diff. teachers.) I should add, my daughter hasn't even started kindergarten. These comments were from preschool, ready-set-kindy class, four-day PAT summer camp, and four-day VBS!

I also think they compare her behavior to her twin brother who is a people-pleasing rule follower. They both have wonderful personalities but couldn't be more different.

I am not in denial and have always recognized Maggie's differences; I'm just not sure they need to be 'fixed'. (or even labeled unless she is having a difficult time and/or treatment is required.)

Sorry for the long-winded post.
 

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Yes, my son has had one twice, at 5 years and at 7. It was not 7 hours in one day (that seems very long) but broken into two days.

Doctors vary and neuropsychs are as good as the doctor. They are essential in a legal battle in getting the services you need where we live.
 

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to follow up, my boy had just turned 4 when we did this, and the 3500 sounds about right. we did get insurance and school reimbursements for the cost, so we got it back in the end.
 
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