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Dr. Steve
Dr. Steve, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 370
Experience:  19 years conducting therapy; book author; newspaper columnist; former co-host of radio show
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I have a 20 year old grandson with ADD and OD who has been

Customer Question

I have a 20 year old grandson with ADD and OD who has been in several public educational and residential placements over the past 14 years which have produced little change in his behaviors over that period of time. As an active advocate for him at his IEP team meetings and following the advice of a local pediatrician who works as a consultant regarding developmental and behavior disorders in special needs students, I have repeated sought to have a neuro Psychological assessment done to comprehensively determine the root of his difficulties. So far no such assessment has been done. My daughter has given me permission to act on her behalf in pursuing this. Am I on the right track with this and who can advise me further. Please respond.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Steve replied 6 years ago.

Hi Ken:

I am not an expert in this field, but have done a fair amount of consulting with school systems on behalf of clients - and have sat in on MANY of those painfully irritating IEP meetings. It seems (at times) that their goal is to totally befuddle the parents, so I ALWAYS recommend having an advocate at your side who can stick up for you and remain focused when you get angry.

But your question... I think the buzzsaw you are running into with the school system is how they define the "Related Services" section of the I.D.E.A. act. Of course, they are invested in protecting their pool of resources (despite the laws of the land) - but in your specific case, they may have a legal leg to stand on if they can demonstrate that neuropsychological testing lies outside the parameters of the school's legal obligation. In other words, if this is an impairment that can create a "classification" for your grandson WITHOUT the neuropsychological testing (i.e., if the school psychologist can "adequately" classify your grandson by using other methods) then they will have fulfilled thier obligation.

My advice to you is to get legal council on this matter rather than psychological. A psychologist can advise you on what the I.D.E.A. law specifies as your rights, but an attorney can interpret the legal-ese in a manner that will at least clear up the impasse. If you have a case, then the attorney can also apply pressure more easily (and more effectively, quite frankly) than a psychologist.

Your goal (obviously) is to resolve this matter quickly so your grandson can proceed. All I'm saying is that the specific tests you are requesting may not actually be the responsibility of the school system, but legal counsel can help.
Best of luck to you-


Dr. Steve

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for your response. It is clear and concide and I agree withit. A final question is; would you say that a neuro pschy assessment could be helpful enough for me to consider paying for it myself?
Expert:  Dr. Steve replied 6 years ago.
Hello again:

Well, three things to consider on that one:

(1) Unless you have a reason to believe that there has been an insult to the brain (injury, accident, disease, etc.), there is not much that neuropsych can do from a starting point of ADHD and/or ODD. A neuropsych is more geared toward determining which area of the brain has been affected, to what extent, and then working out a treatment plan to help the patient overcome his/her insult. (As an aside, another pathway toward brain damage is chronic drug abuse)

(2) If you DO decide to go with it, you need also ask the question: How will this help my grandson EDUCATIONALLY? You are pursuing this evaluation from the school system, so it has to relate to education/learning in order to be relevant. The testing would be (as you know, I am sure) very expensive, so having a clearly defined question will be vital. In my opinion, this will be difficult to do.

(3) . If you are thinking about this, your first step may be to set up a sit-down with a neurologist rather than a neuropsychologist. Thje neurologist can at least give you some options or help you to pare down your interest into feasible chunks for the tester to examine - or even tell you if you are on the right track. Some of the answers you seek may not be possible, and a neurologist would be the gate-keeper of all such information.

I hope this helped. I am a little tired, so fear my response may have been frazzled. But to recap: attorney for the school, neurologist before the testing. In general however, and knowing the little bit that I do about your grandson, I would lean toward not feeling that the neuropsych would uncover anything useful to your current situation.


Dr. Steve

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