Amber, who connected with me onLinkedIn
, is thinking of a career in neuropsychology and had a few questions for me. I'm sharing my responses to her questions here.
Q: What education/training is involved to become a Neuropsychologist?
neuropsychologist's training includes academic and supervised clinical
placement experiences in graduate school, and then continues with a predoctoral
internship focused on evaluation and treatment of brain-behavior disorders.
A postdoctoral fellowship (1-2 years) or residency in neuropsychology
provides the additional supervised clinical experience, brain labs, and
directed reading necessary for independent practice.
In just two short weeks I'll be joining the good folks gathering in Bellevue WA for the11th Annual Conference
of ADD Resources.
My keynote address ("Lend Me Your Brain: Building Strategies for Success"
) might need a bit of explanation.
Briefly, the central idea is this: folks with ADD/ADHD are often bright and creative, but they struggle with organization and distractibility. They are as good as anyone else at identifying the calling of their hearts - laying claim to their dreams and identifying their core values and goals.
, non-pharmalogic treatment
, deep happiness
, neuropsychological evaluation
, adhd and work
, adult adhd
, executive functioning
As a neuropsychologist, I spend a lot of my time administering and scoring and generally trying to make sense of standardized tests of cognitive and emotional functioning. And I love it! I love watching my clients as they solve problems and formulate verbal responses to questions they might not have considered before. I love the diagnostic process of "connecting the dots" among my data sources. Looking at inkblots, putting red-and-white blocks together, and copying complex geometric figures.
The reason this irritates me is that the CEO metaphor completely misses the point and purpose of brain-based executive functioning. The Chief Executive Officer's role in an organization is to say things like "Steve do you have that 2nd quarter report?" and "Let's ship out 20% more tablets to the Asian market this fiscal year.
Earlier this week I blogged about a practical alternative
which I regularly offer to individuals and families who have questions about ADHD and related disorders, but aren't sure they're ready to spring for a full neuropsychological evaluation. The next post here at this blog was a consideration ofhow to determine when such evaluation
is in fact right for you or your family member.
So what happens after a neuropsychological evaluation? After all the testing and scoring and writing up the results.
Yesterday I blogged about apractical alternative
which I regularly offer to individuals and families who have questions about ADHD and related disorders, but aren't sure they're ready to spring for a full neuropsychological evaluation. A neuropsychological evaluation requires a greater commitment of time than a briefer office consultation. Another concern here is the considerable expense of neuropsychological evaluation.
So howdowe make this determination, To Test or Not to Test
The too-brief (and all-too-common) evaluation
I'm often dismayed to hear that children or adults receive an ADHD diagnosis after brief office visits or cursory review of checklists.
While there is no objective "test" for ADD/ADHD, arobustclinical evaluation includes:
- an interview,
- a thorough history,
- behavior observations,
- review of pertinent medical records,
- collateral report (interview with a roommate, spouse, parent, or teacher), and
- (at least in my own evaluations) assessment of general cognitive functioning, academics, receptive and expressive language, memory, attention, vigilance, and executive functioning.