Because multiple sclerosis and demyelinating disorders affect the central nervous system, there are sometimes effects on cognition, learning, concentration, and memory.. Often there are effects upon a person’s ability to concentrate, remember or think for long periods of time. Neuropsychological testing will help identify if your child is experiencing difficulties in any of these areas. The results of testing can be used to help make recommendations for accommodations in school. Even if your child has not experienced obvious symptoms that affect their learning, neuropsychological testing is important to establish a baseline of functioning and to monitor your child’s function and progress over time.
A complete neuropsychological assessment requires gathering and analyzing information about a child or young adult’s physical, social, cognitive, academic, and psychological development.
All patients from the pediatric MS center are tested at Mass General Brigham through the “Learning and Emotional Assessment Program” (LEAP). Testing sessions typically last four to six hours with breaks for your child, as needed.
The process includes individual administration of intelligence and achievement tests, as well as several tests that assess memory, attention, problem-solving, and other areas of function often affected by demyelinating disorders. You and your child will also be asked to complete questionnaires about your child’s coping and emotional well-being. After testing is complete, a report describing all of testing results is generated and recommendations specific to your child’s needed are provided. Your LEAP clinician will schedule a feedback appointment with you to review the test results.
We will coordinate with the staff at LEAP to schedule the appointment for you testing for you. You will receive a phone call from LEAP to schedule the appointment for your testing for you. Please return that call as soon as possible. A very limited number of appointments are reserved at LEAP for patients from the Pediatric MS Center. After you receive a phone call to schedule the LEAP appointment, you will receive a packet of information in the mail with directions and a background questionnaire for you to complete. You should bring that completed packet with you on the day of testing, along with any evaluations your child may have had previously. Due to the high demand for testing at LEAP and the time set aside by your clinician for testing, if you need to reschedule or cancel your appointment, please do so no less than five business days prior to your appointment.
We will coordinate with the staff at LEAP to determine whether testing is covered by your child’s insurance. If it is, you will be response for any co-pay required by your insurance. If you cannot meet the cost of a co-pay, financial assistance is available for qualified families through the Mass General Brigham Pediatric MS Center. If testing at LEAP is not covered by your insurance, we will work with you to find a neuropsychologist for testing within your insurance network.
Please contact the LEAP clinical coordinator, Megan O'Connor, at 617-643-6010, if you have questions about scheduling. If you have questions about the testing process, Dr. Gina Forchelli is the lead neuropsychologist at LEAP for Mass General Brigham Pediatric MS Center; She can be reached at 617-643-7674.