Resources

DIAGNOSTIC EVALUATIONS

The Diagnostic Evaluation varies among the doctors.

The initial evaluation with Dr. Burnside, Dr. Spratley or Dr. Lee is a medical evaluation. The appointment will be either 1 hour or 1 ½ hours based on the doctor’s recommendation of time needed. During this initial appointment extensive background information will be gathered, as well as a discussion about past and present symptoms and concerns. You may be given a behavioral rating scale to fill out or have your parent/ spouse/teachers fill out as well. The doctors will discuss a diagnosis determination and if medication is suggested, medication types, benefits and side effects will be discussed. A prescription may be written if appropriate. There is usually not comprehensive testing or report done during this evaluation. If comprehensive testing and a written report is needed for college accommodations, Dr.O’Donnell, our Pediatric Neuropsychologist, would be the doctor to perform this type of evaluation.

If medication is then suggested the patient will see either Dr. Burnside, Dr. Spratley, or Dr Lee our psychiatrists, for a medical evaluation. The initial appointment will be a minimum of one hour with follow-up appointments ranging from thirty minutes to forty-five minutes.

Neuropsychological or psychological testing with Dr. O’Donnell

What neuropsychological or psychological testing can do:

  • Confirm or rule out diagnoses related to presenting problem behaviors
    • Example-Presenting problem behaviors (short attention span, restless and hyperactivity) are confirmed as due to the presence of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
    • Example-Presenting problem behaviors (poor eye contact, repetitive behaviors, echolalia) are confirmed as due to the presence of Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Provide treatment/intervention recommendations. Help with planning next steps.
  • Assist patients, parents, families, individuals with eligibility for services

Types of behaviors or suspected conditions appropriate for neuropsychological or psychological assessment:

School age children and adolescents:

  • Suspected Autism Spectrum Disorders; Asperger’s
  • Patients with genetic conditions (e.g. chromosome 18 deletions; Turner Syndrome)
  • Patients with prenatal exposure (e.g. suspected fetal alcohol syndrome, drug exposure)
  • Patients post injury (e.g. seizure disorder, traumatic brain injury)
  • Suspected intellectual difficulties, patients with developmental delay
  • Suspected ADHD, ADD, ODD (oppositional defiant disorder), DMDD (disruptive mood dysregulation disorder), depression, anxiety, speech delay, selective mutism
  • Learning problems in reading, math and writing including second opinion IEE assessment for the Northside Independent School District.
  • Memory problems and executive functioning difficulties
  • Speech/language and motor difficulties
  • General behavior regulation problems (temper tantrums, low frustration tolerance)

Infants and Toddlers

  • Developmental delay
  • Suspected Autism Spectrum Disorders; Asperger’s
  • Patients with genetic conditions (e.g. chromosome 18 deletions; Turner Syndrome)
  • Patients with prenatal exposure (e.g. suspected fetal alcohol syndrome, drug exposure)
  • Patients post injury (e.g. seizure disorder, traumatic brain injury)
  • Suspected intellectual difficulties
  • Suspected ADHD, ADD, ODD (oppositional defiant disorder), DMDD (disruptive mood dysregulation disorder), depression, anxiety, speech delay, selective mutism
  • General behavior regulation problems (temper tantrums, low frustration tolerance)

Adults

  • Suspected Autism Spectrum Disorders; Asperger’s
  • Patients with genetic conditions (e.g. chromosome 18 deletions; Turner Syndrome)
  • Suspected mental deficiency (retardation)
  • Suspected intellectual difficulties
  • Behavior regulation problems
  • Executive function and/or memory problems

What assessment services I do not provide:

  • Psychological evaluations for parental custody disputes. –needs a forensic psychologist
  • Court ordered evaluation. –needs a forensic psychologist
  • Adults suspected of having dementia; Alzheimer’s. -needs an adult neuropsychologist
  • Bilingual Assessment. Talk to Dr. O’Donnell who can refer to bilingual psychologist

What to expect from the testing/assessment process.

Note: If the patient and family are coming from a distance (Laredo, Austin, Uvalde, Amarillo), then the initial session and the assessment session is completed during 1 visit. The option of a video conference initial and feedback session is also available if desired but not required. The testing sessions must be done in-person.

Covid safety procedures: Patients and families must wear a mask during all office visits. All testing materials, office equipment and office materials are frequently sanitized. The option of a video conference initial and feedback session is also available if desired but not required. The testing sessions must be done in-person.

Initial Interview- 1-hour session or 90-minute session

  • Discuss presenting concerns and obtain a detailed background history. The family member participating in the initial interview should have detailed information regarding early developmental history, services obtained and current functioning.
  • Review previous assessment results if available.
  • Patient should be present. If the child is young and/or highly distractible, having a second person available to entertain the child is recommended.
  • Sign consent form for testing if parent/patient (if young adult) and Dr. O’Donnell decide testing is appropriate
  • Parents/guardians or young adults will be given additional questionnaires relevant to the assessment questions to be answered. These questionnaires are due at the next visit (assessment session). If some questions are unclear leave blank and bring up during the assessment visit.
  • Schedule assessment session with Dr. O’Donnell; obtain school or work excuse if needed

Assessment session-usually 2 hours in length

  • May be more than 1 session if child becomes tired or is not able to continue
  • Turn in completed additional questionnaires
  • Child can bring a snack and beverage if desired
  • Parents/guardians are not usually present in room during assessment but will be allowed under special circumstances; parents/guardians presence is required for developmental assessment of infants and toddlers.

Feedback session 1-hour session

  • Parent/guardian and/or young adult receives two copies of evaluation and test data summary
    • Assessment results and recommendations are explained along with any next steps discussion.
    • Not necessary for infant, toddler, or school age child to be present during feedback session. Adolescents and school age children can attend the session if parent wishes. Dr. O’Donnell will talk with the parent first and then meet with all family members.

For more information regarding each doctor’s diagnostic evaluation please select one of the following doctors.



John C. Burnside, M.D.



Kristeen R. Spratley, M.D.



Louise O’Donnell, Ph.D.



William Lee, M.D.


Testing Information & Accommodations

University/College Students

Many schools require neurocognitive, academic, and occasionally neuropsychological testing, and/or re-testing if a student wishes accommodations such as extended time or a quiet test-taking environment. If so, the student is advised to check with the Office of the Students with Disabilities for a list of tests required for accommodations. The requirements for each doctor may vary, but if extensive testing is required this will be done by Dr. Barnard, and will require a minimum of 4 hours broken up into 2 hours over a 2 day period. Please contact the office to set up an appointment and to discuss the request further.

A report is required from the doctor for a student wanting accommodations such as extended time or a quiet test-taking environment. The student is advised to check with the Office of the Students with Disabilities for a list required for accommodations. Please send the information via email to the doctor along with any and all pertinent information including: who to address the report to, where to send report upon completion, deadline if any, etc. An appointment may be required to allow the doctor time to fulfill the request. Please note: It is the responsibility of the student to follow-up with the request once the doctor has completed the report. Please contact the office to set up an appointment and to discuss the request further.

For information on Learning Disabilities Testing, IQ Testing, and other such tests, please contact the office directly.

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