What is a neuropsychologist?
Neuropsychologists are doctoral-level clinical psychologists with extensive training in brain-behavior relationships. They are able to tell how particular parts of your brain are working based on the way you perform various skills. Neuropsychologists with the highest level of training earn board certification through the American Board of Professional Psychology and the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology, and all of our faculty have achieved this designation (ABPP-CN).
Why would I need to see a neuropsychologist?
Most referrals for neuropsychological evaluations come from physicians (neurologists, psychiatrists, internists, family practitioners, and pediatricians) or other medical care providers. These evaluations are requested to determine the impact of a medical or mental health problem on a person's ability to function in their day-to-day life. Attorneys, schools, and employers may also request evaluations to determine whether an individual can continue to perform his/her job, continue to receive education services, or function at an expected level based on a previous diagnosis.
What types of disorders do neuropsychologists diagnose?
In our adult clinic, the neuropsychologists are often asked to diagnose various types of dementia or memory loss, problems after a stroke, or difficulty functioning due to a head injury. Our pediatric clinic is often consulted for thinking or learning problems related to head injuries, severe childhood illnesses, genetic syndromes, or developmental disorders.
Is a neuropsychological evaluation covered by insurance?
Medical or mental health insurance often covers neuropsychological evaluations. Our team works very hard to bill services in a way that maximizes your coverage and minimizes your expense. Our billing staff are happy to help answer any questions you may have after you have spoken with your insurance company about your coverage.
What is involved in a Neuropsychological Evaluation?
KUSM-W's team of neuropsychologists uses individual meetings with patients and families to get an idea of the scope of the problem and the goals for the evaluation. We then use a series of interactive, computerized, and paper-and-pencil tests, administered by trained psychometrists, to get a snapshot of your ability to perform various skills. The tests we administer will be chosen specifically for you based on the concerns you and your doctor tell us about. These tests can be fun, interesting, and challenging. They are usually administered over one to three appointments that last about four hours each.
Once testing has been completed, your neuropsychologist will interpret the results of your performance and determine whether there are problems with any specific skills. If your test results indicate that a problem exists, the neuropsychologist will determine which diagnosis is appropriate. Your neuropsychologist will meet with you and your family to discuss what the diagnosis means, what treatments are available, and how you and your family can work around or improve any problems in your day-to-day life that are related to your thinking skills or brain function.
Depending on the nature of your problem, your neuropsychologist may see you for follow-up appointments, or may refer you back to your regular doctor. In general, your evaluation will involve between two and five appointments at the KUSM-W Psychology office and will take a few weeks up to two months from start-to-finish.
What is your office like?
We are located near K96 and Rock Road on 32nd Street at the KU Wichita Center for Healthcare. It is an ADA-accessible office with plenty of convenient parking less than 50 feet from the door. We provide coffee, tea, and water and encourage you to bring your own snacks and drinks if you are coming for a lengthy testing appointment (usually four hours).
Will any brain scans be conducted?
No. We do not administer MRI, EEG, CT scans, or other biometric measurements in our office. We administer no medications or injections. We test brain functioning using interactive tests administered by psychometrists, as well as interviews and paper-and-pencil questionnaires. Your regular doctor may order brain scans or other medical tests, but these will be conducted in another location and interpreted by another provider.
What about legal or forensic evaluations?
Our neuropsychology team also offers legal and forensic neuropsychology services. In these cases, an outside entity such as an attorney, insurance company, or worker's compensation firm asks for our opinion about an individual's functioning. The individual and family members will still participate in an initial interview and one-on-one testing over several appointments. The neuropsychologist's opinion and diagnosis are then shared with the referral source for purposes of legal or criminal proceedings. In these cases, individuals must obtain their test results and diagnostic information from the attorney, insurance company, or other entity that requested the evaluation - the neuropsychologist is not able to provide feedback directly to the individual in these cases.