• Dr. Ghilain

Support & Steps to the Neuropsychological Evaluation During A Shelter-In-Place Order

Updated: Apr 9, 2020

Children are home. Parents are home. Families are getting a crash course in Zoom, Google Classroom, and FaceTime. While the routines of February feel like years ago, we are all slowly adjusting to a new reality. If these new opportunities for family togetherness are raising red flags for you as a parent, please know you are not alone. If you are struggling to set up and maintain consistent routines, if you are frustrated that your child is bewildered by his or her current school assignment, or if you feel like this experience has been a wake up call that your child needs help academically, behaviorally, or both- we are here for you. In today's blog post, Dr. Ghilain discusses the resources available to struggling families in these unprecedented times.

Step one: a collective deep breath. It is okay to be frustrated and it is okay to feel stuck. No one expected this left turn in our lives, and this pandemic did not come with a handbook. Here are ways we can help:

1. Neuropsychological Assessment: for many parents, now seems to be the time when they are interested in scheduling a comprehensive assessment. I'd be glad to speak with interested families over the phone, to better understand concerns, provide guidance or suggestions based on our initial conversation, and to get a date reserved on our calendar for your child's evaluation. While we are scheduling a few months out, families are pleased to know the assessment is on the books.

2. Assessment Services Consultation Call: Perhaps you'd like to discuss the neuropsychological assessment process, or at least get a better sense of what it involves and whether it would be appropriate for your child or family member. I would be glad to discuss it with you. There is an earlier blog post that broaches this topic, though families are often appreciative of discussions around how a neuropsychological evaluation is different from a school assessment, and how collaborations occur betweeen us as clinicians and school support teams. I am happy to discuss the many individuals who tout assessment services in this area, and to help families understand why they should choose a board-certified neuropsychologist, and why is it such an in-depth assessment process? (if you're curious...see prior blogs for more information!)

3. Behavioral Intervention Consultation Call: I (Dr. Ghilain) am available to schedule a call with you. Whether you want to discuss methods for reducing a particularly challenging behavior, or methods for setting up a reward schedule to increase compliant behavior, support is at your fingertips.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, we are all adjusting to a new month of social distancing and sheltering in place. Our team at NPANJ takes the safety and health of our clients very seriously, and we will not begin in-person assessment services until it is safe. Even then, we have plans and procedures in place to conform with CDC guidelines, and we look forward to opening our doors to you in this manner when the time is right.

Finally, a word of caution: please be leery of companies attempting to "sell" tele-neuropsychological services. While intake appointments and phone consultations are perfectly appropriate and these tele-communicative methods are sound for therapeutic intervention, there is no research that currently supports comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations over video platforms. Our tests and methodologies are based on person-to-person interactions, and you as the client deserve the attention to detail and accuracy in diagnosis that this provides. We empower you to remain conscious consumers, as we know scammers are ready and willing to take your money, particularly in times of uncertainty.

Our best to you and your families!

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