Comprehensive Adult Neuropsychological Evaluation
There are a variety of reasons an adult may receive a neuropsychological evaluation. For individuals with known neurological conditions (e. g., traumatic brain injury, stroke, tumor, seizures, etc.), an evaluation provides useful information about her/his strengths and weaknesses related to various cognitive/thinking skills. This information can be used to develop recommendations for improving the client’s functioning. For example, test results can be used to determine the type of memory difficulties a person may be experiencing with the goal of developing strategies for improving these abilities. For individuals in recovery from a neurological injury, a neuropsychological evaluation can be used to monitor their progress and assist in making decisions related to daily functioning (e.g., return to work or school, living independently, return to driving, accommodations that may be useful for improving performance at work and school, etc.). Baseline test data can be used as a comparison for follow-up evaluations to determine if a person’s functioning is improving, remaining similar, or worsening over time. This information is often useful for neurologists and other physicians in determining a specific diagnosis and potential treatments, as well as updating recommendations.
Neuropsychological evaluations can be useful for diagnosing specific types of learning disabilities (e.g., Reading Disorder/Dyslexia) and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Once a diagnosis is made, treatment recommendations are formulated to improve the person’s abilities (e.g., learning/memory, organizational skills) in areas of difficulty, as well as documenting the need for accommodations in school, work, or other settings.
The following domains are typically assessed in a neuropsychological evaluation:
- Various forms of intelligence (e.g., verbal and nonverbal abilities)
- Learning and memory (both verbal and visual)
- Language abilities
- Information processing speed
- Visual-spatial skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Sensory and motor skills
- Academic skills (e.g., reading, spelling/writing, math)
- Emotional/behavioral functioning (as this often impacts cognitive/thinking skills)
The length of a neuropsychological evaluation varies depending on the reason for referral and other factors. Evaluations are typically completed in 5-7 hours and include a review of available records, interview of the client (and significant others, if desired), and psychometric testing. A report is written which provides a summary of test results and recommendations. Clients receive a copy of this report, and a copy can also be sent to the client’s physician or other professionals. A feedback session is then scheduled to review this information and answer questions related to test results and recommendations. At that time, clients are provided with information regarding various compensatory strategies and daily systems to put into place. Dr. Baker has extensive experience in providing psychotherapy and cognitive retraining to individuals with cognitive difficulties (e.g., problems with attention, memory, and organizational skills), and shares numerous suggestions during the feedback session.