Do I really need Neuropsych Testing for my child?

Guest Authored By Dr. Shay M, PsyD

Many parents grapple with whether or not to go through formal testing and diagnosis for their child when it comes to emotional, behavioral, and learning difficulties.  While they may see struggles with anxiety, communication, attention, or simply frustration with school, they question what a diagnosis means, fear the stigma, or worry about what impact it might have on their child’s future.  They want to help their child and find resources but they’re not sure where to go for answers.  Neuropsychological Testing (also known as Medical Diagnostic Testing) seems complicated, and diagnosis can be scary for many parents.

Diagnoses like ADHD, Autism, or Learning Disorders used to be associated with some stigma.  But we’ve come a long way in how we understand, teach, and support these kids.  According to the CDC, nearly 10% of children will be diagnosed with ADHD and almost 2% will be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in their lifetime.  And the needs and personalities of these kids are as diverse as they come!  Through neuropsychological testing, parents get to learn about their child’s strengths and weaknesses and use that information to advocate for resources at school or in the community, as well as different types of therapies.  A diagnosis is an official, cohesive way of describing those needs and communicating them to doctors, teachers, and other important people in your child’s life.

A formal diagnosis is one tool that can help children qualify for services such as an IEP, 504 plan, or ABA therapy.  It can also provide documentation to jobs, clubs, and other organizations about what types of teaching and supports can help a child feel confident, participate, make friends, and learn to the best of their ability.  While schools and insurance companies are the ones who ultimately make the decision about what services will be provided, a comprehensive neuropsychological report can provide the framework and the evidence that these services are beneficial to a child’s learning and development.  The team at Eyas Landing can provide more information  and guidance on what these processes look like.

While a diagnostic label can be scary for parents, for many children, teens, and even adults, it can be a doorway to self-understanding.  Being able to say “Oh, this is why I do that!” or “Wait, other people do this too? I’m not alone?” can be a powerful experience.  From finding supportive communities, to developing a positive identity, self-advocacy starts with understanding your needs and it’s the goal of the team at Eyas Landing to support this journey.

Not all children need testing.  Many will thrive without these formalized interventions.  They may benefit from things such as tutoring, talk therapy, or other interventions that don’t require extensive testing.  And if you’re on the fence, there’s lots of options to try!  You can start by talking to teachers about supports they can provide in the classroom, like fidgets or check-in sessions, enrolling your child in peer group activities, or meeting with a therapist or pediatrician to learn more about how to best support your child.

Eyas Landing is a therapy clinic with a mission to provide evidence-based and family-centered therapy services for children, adolescents, and their families. The primary goal is to deliver relationship-based interventions within the most natural environments and to empower families to reach their full potential. To achieve this goal, our highly educated, compassionate staff dedicates time and expertise to create experiences that maximize therapeutic outcomes. The strength, determination, and perseverance of our clients are evident as they succeed in therapy, and ultimately in their daily lives.

Eyas Landing offers a wide range of comprehensive services including Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, ABA Therapy, Social Work, Family Therapy, and Neuropsych testing. Services are provided throughout the Chicagoland area via Telehealth, In-Home, and in our state of the art clinic.

Want to learn more or you have a specific question? Feel free to connect with us here!