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Hello, I'm looking for some input from Mom's & Dad's about
neuropsychology testing for my 5 year old son. Do you have someone you
have used? Did you like them and would you recommend them? Any
information would be helpful. I will travel for a good doctor. Thank
Our family has recently had our son assessed with Dr. Kristin Gross in Albany.
She is excellent - intelligent, keen insight and kind. She provided excellent
recommendations on school strategies, as well(510)530-1676
East Bay Mom
We saw Carolyn Johnson several years ago. She is obviously
very capable but I felt she was way too busy to follow
through on anything. The draft of the report came four
months after the testing.The report depended very heavily on
pooled statements from previous reports, some of which were
quite out of date. I had given them to her with the
expectation that she'd talk to the people who had been
working with my child since the reports were written, but
she did not contact them before she wrote the draft. She did
after I insisted that she do so, but at that point their
comments were tacked on rather than integrated into her
conclusions. With regard to the testing, there seemed to be
relatively little analysis of the data; the narrative was
more a line by line explanation of what the various
categories of testing were. In short, it didn't seem very
specific to my child. The final recommendations were simply
to continue with what we were already doing, which while
perhaps wise on her part, made me wonder why I had put my
child through three days of testing and spent 5000 dollars.
She did come speak to my child's teachers once after the
report but they quickly forgot about her suggestions. I did
tell her the suggestions were not being implemented, but I
didn't set up another meeting and I don't think she
contacted them again; I think we were both just done.
When I went to pick my child from the testing, I heard her
asking multiple choice questions, including, ''Do you think
of killing yourself often, seldom, never at all?'' My child
was six years old! To some of these multiple choice
questions my child would say, ''I wouldn't think of it that
way'' or ''none of those answers seem right,'' and she would
just say, ''You have to choose one'' rather than finding out
what my child was in fact thinking. I wished I had saved the
money we paid her and spent them on people who would
actually have worked with my child.
We are looking into neuro-psych testing for our nine year-
Insurance would cover the following doctors. We were
wondering if anybody has worked with them, in particular
the field of ADHD-PI and difficulty with working
Charlotte Crawford, Mary Heller or David Pingitore.
Unfortunately, we did not have a good experience with Dr. Pingitore. He may be
known to be competent in his testing abilities and have a generally solid
reputation, but he was cold as ice and interactions were very, very awkward--not
the kind of nurturing environment you would want for your child, I imagine. In
addition, the final report he delivered based on his evaluation--although
ultimately helpful--was riddled with typos and biographical errors. We would
go elsewhere, if we had it to do over again.
I have an almost 6 year old who, well, has always had issues
in the emotional regulation and social skills department. My
pediatrician suggested yesterday that maybe its time we
pursue a formal neuropsych evaluation. Social situations
have always been difficult: in his toddler years he never
wanted to play with other kids, always preferred to play
alone, still has a hard time reading social cues and has a
hard time with the reciprocity of interaction and sometimes
personal space. Even now, I'm a little tense when there's
social interactions because my son's history doesn't fill me
with confidence that it will go well. Emotionally, he's
volatile. Recently we've seen some improvements in his
behavior mostly because I have found some good tools to use
(from a center whose clientele is primarily those with
ASD).On the flip side, he is a very charming, intelligent
boy (even though I just made him sound like a miserable one)
and again, is making some improvements. So I'm really on the
fence about a neuropsych evaluation because 1)it's
extraordinarily expensive and we'd have to get help to pay
for it and 2)his behaviors are not SO obvious all the time -
he would never qualify for services at his school so what's
the point? and 3)I worry that the evaluation process would
make him feel like something was wrong with him - he's
already incredibly self-conscious. At the same time, I need
whatever help I can get. Thank you for your thoughts - sorry
for the longwindedness.
My 6 year old son just completed a neuropsych evaluation. I
haven't gotten the results back yet, but I'm very glad I did
it (although our insurance covered most of the cost). The
behaviors you describe are worth investigating. The results
of the evaluation are just more information that you can use
to provide the best support for your son. Early intervention
is always better than later intervention. Also, you may find
that you can use the results to qualify for some
accommodation at school (you may find learning issues that
you didn't know were there). My son enjoyed the evaluation.
I framed it as just a series of doctor visits to see how his
mind was growing - just like getting weighed and measured at
his yearly well check. He loved the experience. My son knows
that he has some social challenges (same issues you
mention). We talk about it all the time, even though heC",b"d
rather not, because I donC",b"t want it to be some big, bad
thing that he should feel shame about. I try to frame it as
just one of the things that makes him who he is and that we
can work on. Finally, donC",b"t underestimate the amount of
energy you are putting into dealing with your sonC",b"s
behavior. My situation might be a lot worse than yours, but
if you are like me, you are living in a storm (the emotional
volatility) and have gotten used to it. Anything you can do
to improve your sonC",b"s behavior, even in small increments,
will pay off for both of you. Feel free to email me.
Hi I am married to a child neuropsychologist. The cost is
expensive and well worth it. The time spent with your
child and giving you a snapshot of where he is at and a
game plan to move forward and make progress is
priceless.The children I see leaving the office are often
laughing and have had a good time. Sure there is lots of
work involved but a child neuropsychologist knows how to
incorperate play and work to get the best for your child.
My wife might not be the right person for you in which
case she would refer you to the right therapist. Make sure
you have your questions written down and answered as you
interview your prospective neuropsychologist. It can take
my wife a couple of days to answer your phone call. It's
best to email her with any questions and then set up a
phone appointment. She is located in Lafayette just
minutes from Berkeley. Good Luck Jacques
Dr. Elea Bernou
We had a neuropsych eval done for our 4.5yr old son and
then later when he was eleven. We found it tremedously
helpful. The neuropsychologist Dr. Grandison of Berkeley
(used to work at Children's when they provided this
service) took time to explain what it can tell us, what it
can't, what the results mean, etc. She made it interesting
and challenging for our son both time w/ good breaks. Our
son wa diagnosed w/ ADHD and learning/sensory disorders.
We were able to use it for getting help at school though
it was a big struggle nevertheless. But sometimes these
struggles can be well worth it with the right expertise
and support. Special ed. attorney and mom of special needs
child Jean Adams of www.Adamsesq.com was our tool to get
our son through the system. I did not wait to get
authorization through my insurance so it was a lot of
money; we took it off as medical expenses. Still worth it.
We wish we got the second neuro eval sooner and took on an
attorney sooner. So much struggle and grief. Now, our son
is doing well with what we have set up and he's happier.
My new motto is ''never say never.'' We've learned a lot
through this process. Feel free to contact me directly if
you want to talk things over- parent-to-parent.
We need a psyche evaluation for our 6 year old
kindergartener who also happens to be gifted. The school
is requesting the evaluation based on some behavioral
issues at school. We want to use a psychologist who is
very familiar with gifted patients so that we get an
accurate assessment. We've read and heard that giftedness
can often be overlooked resulting in incorrect findings of
ADD or ADHD, etc... We'd like information on Terry
(Teresa) Doyle in Oakland and/or Daniel Peters in Walnut
We wanted an evaluation of our gifted son and used Lisa White, PhD. (she did
her dissertation of gifted kids). We were so pleased and helped by her
evaluation and recommendations that we then had our second child tested. It's
critical to have testing done by someone familiar with gifted issues. Dr. White
works with Dr. Peters at Summit Center in Walnut Creek. I highly recommend
We've worked with Terry Doyle in Oakland and recommend her highly. She is
thorough, experienced, and insightful. I would trust her to approach each child
with an open mind, without jumping to any conclusions, and to identify your
child's strengths as well as challenges. She has a warm, gentle manner and
relates well to people of all ages.
I can enthusiastically recommend Carina Grandison at
Children's Hospital -- she did a very perceptive evaluation
for us that has been useful for understanding our child for
For a less expensive alternative you might try the Ann
Martin Center. We recently had a quite good experience with
Andrea Miller there.
Read the final report carefully 2 or 3 times -- it can take
a while for information to sink in. Good luck!
My son was diagnosed with ADD about 1 1/2 years ago. He has
tried several medications but still has difficulty
concentrating in school. His psychologist has suggested a
neuropsychology evaluation to uncover any underying learning
problems. I'm looking for a psychologist who is good with
teenage boys. Any suggestions?
My son is also open to the idea of seeing a education
specialist; someone who can help him with planning and
organizational skills. Time management is a big issue.
We live near Berkeley. Thank you for your help.
parent of teenage boy
Dr. Jack Davis can be reached at 510-693-8439. I have known
his work for nearly 15 years. He is insightful and thorough
in his evaluation. He is respectful and extremely helpful.
Re: Gifted 9th grader with possible AHDH
Our daughter is exceptionally bright with a myriad of learning
differences including ADHD. She too is in High School but was
diagnosed earlier. She is on Concerta. I fought against putting her
on medication for many years however she asked for them in 8th Grade
and I honored her request. It has helped exhorbitantly. She can
focus more in class and I don't think she could navigate her High
School classes without it. She has few side effects. Some
headaches the first few weeks of taking it but she says that they
disappeared after her body adjusted.
What is most important though is that your son truly understands how
his brain works. To that end, I can't say enough about Dr. Teresa
Doyle. She is a neuropsychologist who has a unique insight to kids
with learning differences and she and her staff after testing are
able to discuss with you and your son his strengths and weaknesses.
As a psychologist, she can offer counseling as well.
After filtering through and administering more tests, what she also
can do is a project with your son that helps explain to him and to
his teachers his learning differences. By presenting this himself,
he at that point will become his own and best self advocate.
Projects can be anything from artwork, to a written and bound book,
to a power point (my daughter's choice) or anything that your son
and Terry decide on. As an example, my daughter's Power Point has
been shown for the last two years to her teachers with great
success. With a little ''tweaking'' it can even be shown to
professors in College.
I know if you have a diagnosis, you have already had some tests
administered and interpreted (we did too) but I still think you
should contact Terry. She is on College Ave and her number is 510-
594-1926. She is pretty amazing.
My 5-1/2 year old kindergarten daughter will meet with Dr.
Caroline Johnson for a neuropsychological assesment soon. I
have seen some older posts on parents experience with Dr.
Johnson, but want to hear from someone whose children were
recently evaluated by her. Are you satisfied with her
assessment? Does it help you in understanding your child's
needs, obtaining services from the school district.. etc? Any
comment is appreciated.
My son has seen Dr. Johnson three times over the years and she
has always been really helpful, compassionate, and
professional. She is well regarded in the community and we were
told by many people that she's particularly good with working
with kids who don't necessarily fall into a neat diagnostic
Happy with Dr. Johnson
Looking for someone covered under Blue Shield for neuropsych
testing for my 10 year old.
Jack Fahey at Herrick Hospital is very good for this. Phone #
204-4570. You need to have Fahey's assistant get it pre-
approved by Blue Shield and if possible, get it classified as a
medical issue (e.g. assessing for brain dysfuntion). Otherwise,
you may need to go through Blue Shield's mental health
provision, which can be more difficult.
I recommend Dr. Alex Peterson in Oakland for neuropsych
testing - he was thorough, very kind, and put our child at ease
during the 3 days of testing. His conclusions were correct,
and addressed learning style as well as special needs, psych
issues, and even eye-tracking - which led us to take my kid to
UCB opthomology clinic to get some much-needed eye-tracking
retraining! Dr. P. gave us a lot of time and care, and even re-
did certain tests because he felt my child was upset one day
and did not test accurately. I have Blue Cross/Anthem PPO and
it was covered to some extent, but he was with Children's
Hospital then (which is not a preferred provider) and now is in
private practice. Call and ask them if he is a preferred
provider now. Good luck.
glad we finally did the testing
Dr. Carina Grandison and Dr. Alex Peterson are neuropsychologists I would
recommend without reservation. They are both extremely competent, thorough and
sensitive. Both Dr. Grandison and Dr. Peterson were formerly at Children's Hospital,
and have great depth of experience which informs their interpretations and
recommendations. They follow clients through transitions, including to college and
work and work collaboratively with allied professionals.
Dr. Grandison: 510-499-6462; Dr. Peterson: 510-531-0500.
I am looking for recommendation on Neuropsychologist to do
testing and evaluation with expertise on children under 10 Years
I have a list of names, but don't know any of them. Appreciate
any information on any of the doctors listed below.
Dr. Mary Heller Oakland, Charlotte Crawford Berkeley, Gregory
Alter Berkeley, Antonia Bercovici Berkeley, Lori Wensley San
Francisco, Kathleen Fahrner San Francisco,Tom Hall San Mateo,
Henry Hoey Livermore.
I recommend Cynthia Peterson, Ph.D. and Chi Johnson, Ph.D.
510-843-2005. They are excellent and from my experience will
follow through with the school as well.
How about Diane Kosters in Walnut Creek. Diane tested our 8 yo son
last year and did a great job. Not only make our son feel welcome
she also gave us a working report that has been very helpful. Not
only did we get a clear diagnosis but we got a plan of action.
Good Luck, a thankful parent
We need to get a neuropsychological evaluation for our 12 year old son. Our
insurance (healthnet) may cover it, but the only people they are contracted with
are: John Fahy, Sonya Lifshay, Leonard Price, Michael Rodevich, and Michael Weber. I
know nothing about any of them-has anyone seen any of these psychologists, and do
you have any feedback? Thank you!
We had a full neuro-psych eval. done for our son by Jack Fahey. He is an
exceptionally caring, objective, and bright person. I can recommend him
highly. He gave me a lot of time to understand any questions I had. Very
thorough and highly competent.
We had a good experience with John Fahy, who did a neuropsych eval on our
13-year-old a few years ago. He was thorough, yet made the experience quite
enjoyable for our child, and produced a clear, comprehensible report.
Of the Neuropsychologists you mentioned (my partner has worked with all of
them at Herrick), Jack Fahy has the most expertise with children. He is a
good guy. Sonia has retired. This is not the group that most folks would
consult with for school related issues, but they are all good with the
medical/psychological part of the picture.
We'd like feedback on the neuropsychologists who have been
recommended to us: Alex Peterson, Kristin Gross, Cynthia
Peterson, and Carolyn Johnson (and any others you may really
like). This is for an evaluation of a preschooler with an
autistic spectrum disorder -- we need very specific and clear
recommendations re education and treatment. Thank you.
I really like Cynthia Peterson and Chi Johnson. They are good
at follow-up, both in person and on the phone and will advocate
at the school as well.
My 16 year old daughter needs to have a neuropsychological
evaluation. We are new to the area and have no idea where to
look. She has a history of cognitive problems due to a
childhood onset of Multiple Sclerosis and I know I will need
this exam to help her get the accommodations she needs for
standardized testing like the SAT's. If anyone knows of a
competent, reasonable neuropsychologist, I would really
appreciate the recommendation. Thanks
Rochelle Wolk, Ph.D., is fabulous - many years of experience,
thorough evaluation, and a clear report with helpful
recommendations. Her office number is 510-658-7445.
You have a terrific Neuropsychologist right in Berkeley. Her
name is Dr. Elea Bernou, (925) 457-4214. She lives in Berkeley,
may practice in Walnut Creek. She's very compassionate and
really well trained. My husband saw her recently and was very
impressed. Her specialty is children and teens.
My child is an elementary school student at Berkeley Unified.
The school district completed a very shoddy special education
evaluation of her, relying primarily on the work of a student
intern. We have requested a second evaluation and we have been
given a selection of four outside assessors. Does anyone know
anything about: Cheryl Jacques, Caroline Johnson, Vincent Nunno
or Teresa Doyle. Thank you.
Theresa Doyle is one of the best people in the bay area for
this sort of thing. You really can't do any better -- but you
might have to wait. Sometimes she's booked far in advance
because she is so good. She is quite experienced, incredibly
smart, very warm and compassionate. She will give you feedback
you can use and she will connect well with your child. I have
worked with her professionally in various capacities and I also
hear nothing but good things about her from other people. Good
I have worked with Dr. Teresa Doyle for a neuropsychological
assessment for one of my own children, as well as some of the clients I
have worked with in my private practice. She is excellent, and has a
long waiting list. She may be worth waiting for, however. Her reports
are thorough, her approach to parents and children respectful, kind, and
in the spirit of discovery vs. pathology. Her reports have helped me both
personally and professionally know more about a child: how they tick
cognitively and emotionally, and what specific interventions would be
Another neuropsychologist I have found to both work well with clients
and parents, and who writes good reports is Dr. Alex Peterson at
Children's Hospital, Oakland.
Welcome to the special ed maze.
You don't have to choose from the school district's list, which is another story. (You
might want to consult a special education advocate.)
However, I've heard Dr. Vincent Nunno speak and describe his work, and I was
impressed enough that I'd trust him to do a thorough, accurate evaluation.
We just received our 11-year-old daughter's standardized test
scores and were a bit dismayed at the results. Upon further
checking, we've realized that every year since second grade her
scores have been declining. Her vocabulary score was very low.
Our family therapist has advised a comprehensive neuropsych
evaluation (including IQ test) to help us determine whether she
may have learning disabilities of some sort. He recommended Dr.
Kristine Gross at CHO. We were wondering whether anyone has had
personal experience with Dr. Gross or CHO.
As we've been trying to get up to speed on this new development,
we feel like we are getting more confused than anything else.
Some people say a neuropsych eval is recommended if your child
has had a head injury (ours has not). Others say some neuropsych
evals don't look at emotional issues that may also have a
bearing on learning issues. We were under the impression that a
neuropsych eval was a specific set of tests, but apparently that
is not true. Different practitioners might do different tests
and potentially interpret the results in different ways. The
level of training also can vary from one practitioner to
another. As the process involves a big time commitment and a lot
of money, we want to make sure we are seeing the right person
for our daughter. We would appreciate hearing from anyone who
may have been through this. What should we look for? What kinds
of questions should we ask? What should we expect in the final
Thanks in advance to anyone who may have something to share.
I haven't heard of that neuropsychologist, but have a lot of
experience working with Caren Kovar, Ph.D. who is located at
the Childrens' Health Council at Stanford. She is excellent.
I am a school psychologist. I do not know of the clinician from CHO you mention, but in
graduate school I did have some superivision with Carolyn
Johnson, Ph.D., who was with CHO and now is in private
practice. She was incredibly astute, dedicated, and thorough
and had a wonderful style with her child clients. I continue to
hear good things about her. One thing you may have already
learned is that there is a long waiting list at CHO, as well as
for most private clinicians (sometimes 3 to 6 months).
Does anyone have any experience with neuropsychologists
Cynthia Peterson or Dr. Robert Solley? They both apparently
assess children. My child shows some signs of possibly
being dyslexic, and has some auditory processing and
memory issues. I don't know if this is the way to go or if we
should be working with a educational therapist. Thanks for
any information regarding your experience with these
people, any other neuropsychologists you have worked with,
and the assessment process.
Our son was recently diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome and he
also has dyslexia, dysgraphia and processing issues. His
neuropsych assessment was done by Dr. Alex Peterson at the
Neuropsychology Assessment Service of Children's Hospital
Oakland. We were very pleased with the assessment. Dr.
Peterson gave us lots of information about our son and
recommendations for his care and education including names and
numbers of recommended educational therapists and other
providers. Unfortunately, the wait time to get the appointments
for the assessment was several months and it was not covered by
Dr. Peterson's phone number is (510) 428-3885 ext. 2809
Can anyone recommend a neuropsychologist for assessment? My almost-12 year
old has ADHD, a learning disability, and is highly gifted. I feel it
important to find someone who understands all of these conditions and their
interaction, since they seem to mask and compensate for each other. I don't
think the school has a handle on what he needs and I know his teacher
doesn't, since she ignores his special ed plan. I've read the Parents' list
recommendations for ADHD assessment, and note that Brad Berman is highly
recommended, is he appropriate for this? A knowledgeable professional has
recommended Bob Kaufman, so I'm inclined to pursue that - anyone have
experience with him? Children's gave me the names of Corinna Grandison and
Theresa Doyle, any experience with them? I'm not even sure what's entailed
compared to a psychoeducational assessment (which he's had). How much does
this cost? I've heard $1000-2500.
Myla Young, PhD. She was a teacher of mine and not only a wonderful
neuropsypchologist, but a warm, down to earth person. jennifer
I highly recommend Carina Grandison. She is bright, thoughtful, and very
sensative to children and parents equally. She has great understanding of
children, development, and how they are effected by learning environments.
She will be able to discuss your child's needs and make recommentations for
home, school settings and learning stragegies. I work with Carina and have
been privilidged to part of a number of her neuropsychological assessments of
some very complex children. Afterwords, everyone involved with these
children had a much better sense of their strengths, struggles, and the
strategies they use to cope, as well as some ideas for helping them manage in
school and at home. I think you will be pleased with her and her work.
I know Teresa Doyle professionally very well and I would highly recommend her.
She is one of the very best Child Neuropsychologist's in the Bay Area and
your child would be fortunate to have an assessment with her. She can be
extremely busy and you may be put on a waiting list for a long time. Her
Psychological Assistant, Michelle Horton is also excellent and I would highly
recommend her if Terry doesn't have time. I would easity recommend a friend
of family member to either one of them.
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