Neuropsychologists are clinicians with extensive training in psychology, brain-behavior relationships, and social-emotional health. They gather information about an individual’s behavior, emotion and sensory regulation, relationships, stressors, and skills to provide a diagnosis, understand their unique needs, and identify what they need to thrive.
We opened up our Neuropsychology program in September 2020, with the addition of Dr. Shay M. Dr. Shay graduated from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology with a specialization in Children and Adolescents. Dr. Shay specializes in the assessment of Autism, ADHD, and other neurodevelopmental differences, Learning Disorders, Mood and Anxiety Disorders, Trauma, and medical and genetic diagnoses.
In March 2021, we added our psychometrician Paige M, MA. Paige is currently working on completing her PsyD in clinical psychology. She provides direct testing services under the supervision of Dr. Shay. Paige brings experience in a wide range of clinical presentations and excels at building rapport with clients and administering complex testing while supporting her clients.
Neuropsychological testing (also called Medical Diagnostic Testing) focuses on assessment and diagnosis to identify the strengths and needs of both children and adults. We take a therapeutic assessment approach, meaning that we help individuals and families identify goals for testing, and collaborate to identify what they hope to learn about themselves or their children in the assessment process. Our hope is that, through testing, individuals can gain an understanding of themselves, their diagnosis, and their needs.
We know that testing and getting a diagnosis can be stressful for many families. Our team wants to make sure that families feel supported in the process, and we strive to present clear communication and feedback with resources and recommendations for the next steps.
The testing process begins with an intake session, conducted with Dr. Shay. During this session, Dr. Shay will ask questions about what led you to seek testing, concerns, and symptoms. She’ll work with you to determine goals for testing, such as wanting to clarify or update a diagnosis, explore learning styles or differences, look at the impact of anxiety, or help figure out what therapies and school accommodations are best for you or your child. She will also gather information about developmental history, medical/physical health needs, family history, and major stressors you or your child may be facing. All of this information will help to inform the testing process. We may also ask about sensory preferences or special interests and do our best to have some of these available to help build rapport and engagement in testing.
The next step is the one-on-one testing. Testing will be conducted with either Dr. Shay or Paige M, under Dr. Shay’s supervision. During these 2–3-hour appointments, the client will be asked questions about themselves and complete “brain games,” puzzles, and other activities that will explore skills and symptoms discussed at the intake. Since these sessions can be long, we provide time for rest or play breaks. If your child is already attending Eyas Landing or Blue Bird Day, we can work with their treatment team to support transitions and building familiarity.
Parents will also be provided with forms to complete for testing. These forms will inquire about different behaviors and symptoms to help inform testing. If your child is in school, we may also request that teachers, coaches, or others familiar with your child complete similar forms. This helps us to get a well-rounded view of the child.
The final step of our testing process is a feedback session. At this time, we review the findings from the testing, discuss our impressions based on the information we obtained, discuss diagnosis, and explore recommendations. We work to provide education on diagnosis and individualized recommendations based on your unique profile. You will receive a copy of your testing report at the time of this feedback.
Sometimes questions come up after having time to sit with the report or after discussing it with teachers or other family members. We’re here to support the whole process, so we encourage you to reach out with questions or set up a follow up appointment.
Goals of Neuropsychological Testing
The testing team at Eyas Landing aims to help our clients and families better understand themselves and their children. By providing comprehensive assessments, we are able to outline not only diagnoses but strengths, needs, and recommendations for supports.
Many individuals come to testing seeking information about what can help themselves or their children at work, school, or other settings. Our testing team can provide recommendations for accommodations that can support their learning and are ready to work with schools to advocate for these supports.
For clients presenting with a known medical diagnosis, we can explore their developing skills and needs. Many of our clients at Eyas Landing presenting with Down Syndrome, seizures, and other medical concerns have benefitted from neuropsychological testing to better understand their learning style, adaptive skills, development, and behavioral and emotional needs.
Social Perception, Social Skills, and Relationships
Trauma/Adjustment to stress or change
Sudden change in functioning, mood, or behavior
Who benefits from Neuropsychological Testing?
Children and adults with a variety of needs and differences can benefit from neuropsychological testing. Many of our clients are not sure what they kinds of supports they need, but they know they are struggling in some aspect of their life, be it work, school, relationships, or managing their moods. Our integrative approach will work with each client to focus our testing to address their questions and concerns.
Individuals with the following symptoms or struggles may benefit from neuropsychological testing:
Depression or mood changes
Difficulty with communication
Difficulty with social skills or relationships
Medical diagnoses such as seizures, traumatic brain injury, or genetic disorders
Difficulty adjusting to life changes, trauma, or chronic stress
Behavior problems such as aggression, oppositionality, or defiance
Cognitive fog related to chronic illness/autoimmune conditions