La Jolla’s Brain Spectrum Neuropsychology looks at learning disorders and differences

Elisabeth Thurlow, owner and director of Brain Spectrum Neuropsychology
Elisabeth Thurlow, owner and director of Brain Spectrum Neuropsychology, says it was always her dream to open a practice in her hometown, La Jolla.
(Madeleine McCullough)

Business Spotlight: Brain Spectrum Neuropsychology


Elisabeth Thurlow is the owner and director of Brain Spectrum Neuropsychology, a specialty diagnostic clinic that opened this year in La Jolla.

The facility is designed to evaluate developmental disorders and neurodivergence. To learn more about the practice, the La Jolla Light posed the following questions to Thurlow:

Q. When did your business start? Who founded it? What is its mission?

A. I grew up in La Jolla and graduated from our very own La Jolla High School. I was on the varsity badminton team, was the copy editor of the yearbook and even choreographed the annual Mariner’s fashion show. I was also an avid writer, frozen yogurt eater and beach-goer back in the day. I went on to attend UCLA and [the California School of Professional Psychology], where I became interested in cognitive and personality testing and got involved in research in the area.

I then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins Medical School, where I honed my diagnostic assessment skills of learning, processing, developmental disorders and rare and unusual genetic conditions. I also worked for several years at a nationally recognized autism specialty clinic at the University of Miami.

I’ve spent over 25 years conducting comprehensive, gold-standard evaluations, and it has always been my dream to open a private practice in La Jolla, my hometown. I’m extremely proud of Brain Spectrum Neuropsychology, not only because of the top-tier standard of care we provide but because I view it as a way of giving back to my community.

Q. What services do you offer?

A. I’m a clinical neuropsychologist by training, but I have a more whole-person view than many of my neuropsychologist colleagues. I specialize in learning disorders and differences, processing deficits and developmental disorders, including ADHD [attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder], ASD [autism spectrum disorder], dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia. However, I’m best known for my in-depth ... autism evaluations.

I evaluate children and teens, but I have a specialty in adult autism assessment and am particularly skilled at diagnosing more subtle, female or non-binary presentations of autism. My approach is always comprehensive in that I take into account possible underlying conditions that might be contributing to a person’s difficulties, like anxiety, depression, OCD [obsessive-compulsive disorder], bipolar [disorder] or more complex, multifaceted conditions.

Q. What makes you and/or your company unique compared with similar businesses?

A. My belief is that everyone deserves to receive the kind of service that I would want for my own family, and I am 100 percent committed to the highest standard of care. Brain Spectrum Neuropsychology offers individually tailored evaluations and a boutique experience.

We are also neurodiversity-affirming, which is reflective of the deep sense of commitment I have to making the world a kinder, gentler place for all neurodivergent people.

Brain Spectrum also puts out a nifty e-newsletter, Brain Spectrum Monthly, that offers interesting tidbits about the latest in the neuropsychological, developmental and autism worlds.

Q. What’s new recently with the business that you want everyone to know about?

A. I’m very excited to announce that we are now offering career assessments for our older teens and young adults. These assessments can help students identify educational and career options that align with their skills and interests.

For neurodivergent folks, career assessment ... can help them develop a more confident and informed understanding of what they have to offer the job market. It also reduces the stress and anxiety associated with trying to figure out a path that suits the unique skills and interests of the neurodivergent young person.

Q. What are the advantages of working in La Jolla?

A. I feel incredibly fortunate to be practicing in what I think is the most beautiful little coastal town in the world. I am grateful beyond words to have this opportunity.

Brain Spectrum Neuropsychology itself is conveniently located on Prospect Street in The Village, where there is ample parking, plenty of coffee and lunch spots and a happy, positive vibe. After your assessment, you can take in the view, breathe in the fresh sea air and feel confident in your decision to choose Brain Spectrum Neuropsychology, the best new psychological assessment practice in La Jolla.

Brain Spectrum Neuropsychology is at 888 Prospect St., La Jolla. Learn more at or call (858) 333-6008.

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