What Is Neuropsychological Testing?

Neuropsychological Testing: What Is It and Why Do It?

People often talk about “testing” or “neuropsychological assessment.”  What is this assessment? Why do people have it done? Finally, what does it entail?

Neuropsychological testing is usually recommended if you are looking for accommodations for school, standardized testing or work.  Furthermore, neuropsychological testing may be recommended if the clinician suspects underlying learning issues or has other questions that the clinical interview does not answer.

Answer the questions below to determine if you or your child should have a Neuropsychological Assessment.  If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, read more and consider scheduling an assessment. 

Questions for Parents:

  • Do you have a child who struggles in school?
  • Are there gaps in your child’s performance in different areas? 
  • Interested in understanding how your child learns best?
  • What are their strengths?
  • What are their challenges?
  • Concerned about whether your child is struggling simply due to ADHD? 
  • Or if there are underlying learning disabilities?
  • Do you think that your child might need accommodations to give them the best shot at reaching their learning potential?
  • For older children, are you concerned that your child may need accommodations to do their best on standardized testing?
  • Interested in having you and your child’s school learn strategies to best help them learn and achieve?

Questions for Adults:

  • Have you ever wondered about your ADHD diagnosis,?
  • What are the signs that you have it? l 
  • Did you ever wonder how your brain works?
  • Curious about your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Perplexed why you’re not able to do certain things as easily as your peers?
  • Wondering if it’s just ADHD or if something else is going on too?

What is neuropsychological assessment and why is it important?

Neuropsychological assessment consists of:

  • a series of tests, completed between one day and a handful of days;
  • evaluating one’s intellectual abilities;
  • academic processes;
  • achievement;
  • memory;
  • language skills;
  • visual-motor coordination;
  • reasoning abilities;
  • executive functioning skills; and
  • attention.

Furthermore, testing can also look at whether there are underlying psychological issues that are impacting learning or day-to-day functioning.

What To Expect:

Clinicians select a series of tests that makes the most sense for each individual. These tests are based on the concerns you, your child, or your child’s school may have. Some tests are completed using paper and pencil, and others are verbal or computer-based.  Questionnaires are completed by patients and those who know the patients well. As part of the testing process, this is always followed by a comprehensive clinical session.

Through the use of neuropsychological assessment, parents learn more about how their children process information. As a result, they can determine whether a learning disorder is present.  Likewise, this can be used to come up with strategies to optimize their ability to learn. In addition, the assessment can be used to build a system of accommodations in school.  Most noteworthy, it can be used to help them reach their potential and thrive in their environment. 

Neuropsychological Testing for Adults

Likewise, neuropsychological testing can also be useful for some adults, enabling them to:

  • understand more about how their brains work, or
  • to assess cognitive concerns, whether related or unrelated to ADHD.

As a  result, this can help adults to better understand themselves and how they can work most efficiently. 

NOTE: Outside the ADHD world, neuropsychological testing is also often used to:

  • assess for damage related to brain-affecting diseases or
  • traumatic brain injuries

When is the best time to do testing?


Neuropsychological testing is a time-consuming endeavor, in most cases occurring over multiple days of at least a few hours each day. As such, testing sessions are typically scheduled for early in the day to maximize alertness. Since children are off from school, summertime and school vacations are often ideal times for children to complete testing.

Scheduling a Neuropsychological Assessment

So if you are interested in pursuing or learning more about a neuropsychological assessment at The Hallowell Centers, you can set up an appointment with our intake coordinator.  To schedule an appointment at The Hallowell Center, simply call the number below for the center closest to you. 

 New York City at 212-799-7777 or

 Boston MetroWest  at 978-287-0810  

San Francisco at 415-967-0061

We’re Hiring: ADHD Professionals San Francisco

San Francisco – The Hallowell Center of San Francisco, located in the downtown area, is seeking to expand. We are seeking part-time clinicians (Educational Therapists, Board certified psychiatrists, licensed psychologists, social workers, or nurse practitioners) to join our team.

Candidates must have experience in working with:

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder;
  • associated disorders including anxiety;
  • depression; and,
  • demonstrate excellent diagnostic and clinical skills.

The Hallowell Center is a multidisciplinary private practice with offices in New York, Boston, and San Francisco.  Consequently, our Centers provide comprehensive evaluation and treatment for a full range of emotional, behavioral, and developmental issues in children and adults.

The San Francisco office primarily treats adolescents and adults. However, we’re considering adding services for children as well. Founded by Dr. Edward Hallowell, the Hallowell Center uses a strength-based model to help all of their clients recognize and reach their full potential. 

Applicants must align with our strength-based approach and have the ability to work collaboratively with a multidisciplinary team. Since our San Francisco office is small,  applicants must be flexible and fairly independent. We are looking for self-starters interested in growing with and helping us build our team.

There is room for growth and flexibility within our practice and the position could conceivably expand to full time. The position is fee for service. Anyone hired must be willing to work some evenings and/or Saturdays.

We’re recruiting clinicians with the following skills:

  • Psychiatrists or Nurse Practitioners who can provide medication evaluations and ongoing medication management. Training and/or experience in integrative approaches a plus
  • Couples therapists experienced in working with couples where ADHD is an issue
  • Clinicians/educators/coaches who are knowledgeable and skilled in helping clients develop executive function skills, including high school and college age students 
  • Group therapist that has used protocols for ADHD
  • Clinicians trained in DBT or EMDR, who have used these models to treat ADHD.
  • Neuropsychologists

Candidates have the option to bring their current clients into the practice.

If you are interested, please reply to: gabrielle@hallowellsfo.com

Please forward this message to potentially interested colleagues. Thank you.

 

College and ADHD

Success in college is more about getting work done, done well and on time (“executive function skills and routines”) than IQ!

If you or a student you know has ADHD, his or her ability to get work done, done well and on time could be compromised. Summer CollegeCore Coaching prepares students’ executive function skills and routines in advance to secure a happier, healthier and more accomplished academic year.

CollegeCORE Coaching (by phone, Skype or in person) helps high school upperclassmen and college students conquer the most common problems associated with ADHD or Executive Dysfunction. Rebecca provides effective, practical and non-medication solutions for getting things done well and on time. She has worked with ADHD students and entrepreneurs for over 20 years. Read more at www.MindfulCommunication.com. Rebecca’s coaching and training approach builds the core skills and routines that enable success in school and greater marketability for the workplace.

CollegeCORE students will learn:

  • core skills and routines for managing anxiety and improving focus, follow through and communication
  • to become more independent, and how to be the CEO of YOU, even if you don’t plan to be an entrepreneur
  • basic organizational skills
  • problem-solving skills
  • note-taking skills
  • more efficient study and test-taking skills
  • why good sleep is a major ally for the ADHD student, sleep’s powerful role in learning and ways to improve sleep quality
  • how exercise regimen best promotes clearer thinking and improved productivity
  • how to apply Rebecca’s 80/20 approach for managing procrastination
  • how to self-advocate – a competitive life skill.

How CollegeCore Coaching works: The process begins with a complimentary 15-20 minute inquiry call with Rebecca. Call to set up that inquiry session (978) 287-0810 or (978) 255-1817. This is a brief discussion to answer questions about the program and to determine whether the CollegeCore coaching approach is appropriate for the student.

A 90 minute meeting (in person, Skype or phone) follows to get background information, identify personal strengths, establish personal objectives, deadlines (if imposed) for improvement, and to determine best approaches. $325.00

Based on that meeting an action plan is created and the frequency of coaching sessions is determined. The goal is to identify the best starting point(s), select a couple small steps that are fairly easy to implement consistently that will yield some early and notable results. These new routines become habits. Minor adjustments are made along the way. For some, the compound effect will work best, for others a multi-target approach is better. The process is customized to the student and his/her needs. Coaching sessions are $150/hour, $75/30 minutes. Sessions may be 1-3x a week; duration and frequency is determined by Rebecca and the student. A spouse, partner or co-founder may also be involved, if desired. Progress is addressed at each session. As the gains become more consistent and the student more independent, the coaching sessions wind down. Check-in sessions are monthly or bi-monthly, then every six months or as needed.

To set up a CollegeCORE inquiry session or to make an appointment with Rebecca Shafir, Speech/language pathologist, voice coach, executive functioning coach and author, contact:

The Hallowell Center BostonMetroWest in Sudbury MA at (978) 287-0810 or her

West Newbury office (978) 255-1817 to schedule sessions in person or by phone or Skype.

ADHD CollegeCORE Coaching program

Rebecca Shafir M.A.CCC – Speech/Language Pathologist and Executive Function coach,  Hallowell Center MetroWest, (978) 287- 0810 or (978) 255-1817

How can CollegeCORE Coaching Help You?

CollegeCORE Coaching (by phone, Skype or in person) helps high school upperclassmen and college students conquer the most common problems associated with ADHD or Executive Dysfunction. Rebecca provides effective, practical and non-medication solutions for getting things done well and on time. She has worked with ADHD students and entrepreneurs for over 20 years. Read more at www.MindfulCommunication.com.  Rebecca’s coaching and training approach builds the core skills and routines that enable success in school and greater marketability for the workplace.

CollegeCORE students will learn:

  • core skills and routines for managing anxiety and improving focus, follow through and communication;
  • to become more independent, and how to be the CEO of YOU, even if you don’t plan to be an entrepreneur;
  • basic organizational skills;
  • problem-solving skills;
  • note-taking skills;
  • more efficient study and test-taking skills;
  • why good sleep is a major ally for the ADHD student, sleep’s powerful role in learning and ways to improve sleep quality.
  • how exercise regimen best promotes clearer thinking and improved productivity;
  • learn how to apply Rebecca’s 80/20 approach for managing procrastination; and
  • finally, how to self-advocate – a competitive life skill.

How CollegeCore Coaching works:

The process begins with a complimentary 15-20 minute inquiry call with Rebecca. Call to set up that inquiry session (978) 287-0810 or (978) 255-1817. This is a brief discussion to answer questions about the program and to determine whether the CollegeCore coaching approach is appropriate for the student.

A 90 minute meeting (in person, Skype or phone) follows to get background information, identify personal strengths, establish personal objectives, deadlines (if imposed) for improvement, and to determine best approaches. $325.00

Based on that meeting, an action plan is created and the frequency of coaching sessions is determined. The goal is to identify the best starting point(s), select a couple small steps that are fairly easy to implement consistently that will yield some early and notable results. These new routines become habits.  Minor adjustments are made along the way. For some, the compound effect will work best, for others a multi-target approach is better. The process is customized to the student and his/her needs.

Coaching sessions are $150/hour, $75/30 minutes. Sessions may be 1-3x a week; duration and frequency is determined by Rebecca and the student. A spouse, partner or co-founder may also be involved, if desired. Progress is addressed at each session. As the gains become more consistent and the student more independent, the coaching sessions wind down. Check-in sessions are monthly or bi-monthly, then every six months or as needed.

To set up a CollegeCORE inquiry session or to make an appointment with Rebecca Shafir, contact the Hallowell Center BostonMetroWest in Sudbury MA at (978) 287-0810 or her West Newbury office (978) 255-1817 to schedule sessions in person or by phone or Skype. Sessions are $150/hr and may be reimbursable through your insurance.

Don’t Let Anxiety Hold You Back!

If you’re struggling with anxiety, it may be hard to recall the last time  you weren’t feeling tense, worried, or on edge. Anxiety can cause sudden panic attacks, may interfere with your personal or professional responsibilities, and is often tied to depression and insomnia. When you feel overwhelmed, you need a safe and rapid solution that can relieve your anxiety and help you regain your confidence and zest for life.

The Hallowell Center Boston MetroWest has a solution. They’re offering Alpha-Stim: A New Technology for Anxiety, Depression and Insomnia. 

The Alpha-Stim is a new technology designed for patients with anxiety, insomnia and/or depression who prefer a non-medication treatment approach, or for those whose medication regimen is insufficient for treating their symptoms. The Alpha-Stim is a small, hand held, FDA approved device that uses electromedical technology to relieve anxiety, depression and insomnia in a safe and painless way. It provides long-lasting, cumulative relief without the risk of negative effects.

Listen to an audio recording of Alpha-Stim with Rebecca Shafir, M.A., C.C.C. and Jeff Marksberry M.D. Vice President Science and Education at Electromedical Products International, Inc.

Come to the Hallowell Center Boston MetroWest and experience a safe, effective and medication-free approach.

Call (978) 287-0810 to set up your 30 minute Alpha-Stim trial session with Rebecca Shafir, Coordinator of the Alternative and Complementary Services.

Go to www.alpha-stim.com to read how Alpha-Stim works and the supporting research.

Dr. Hallowell reports, “We are very pleased to discover Alpha Stim, a safe and effective approach for our patients; I highly recommend it — our results have been excellent.” Here’s what some of our Alpha Stim users say:

“I have tried several medications for my anxiety over the years with little relief and many side effects. The Alpha Stim works for me so much better without the side effects. I’m very pleased to have found this device, and recommend it to my friends.” Ben J.

“My 12 year old son had always fought medications and other more traditional relaxation approaches to curb the anxiety he experiences with his ADHD, but he thinks the Alpha Stim is cool. He uses it every morning before school to set the tone for the day. I use it a few hours before bedtime to help me quiet my mind. We love it!” Kathy O.

Looking for tips on ADHD & Anxiety?  

Anxiety is often brought on by “worry.” Dr.Hallowell offers the following 3 Antidotes for putting worry in perspective:

  1. All worry is not bad. Identify all the things you worry about and separate out the toxic to your health worries from good worry. Good worry amounts to planning and problem solving. Toxic worry is unnecessary, repetitive unproductive, paralyzing and life-defeating.
  2. Exercise at least every other day. It reduces the accumulated noise and helps relax you.
  3. Repeat the mantra “I’ll fix what I can and, then I’ll put the rest out of my mind,” when you feel anxious thoughts emerging.

Dr. Hallowell offers 5 tips on Clearing out your mind in Distraction Mini Episode #34.