Comprehensive Child Neuropsychological Evaluation
We conduct evaluations of children and adolescents ages 3-18 years old (see “Adult Neuropsychological Evaluation” section for testing of individuals 19+ years old).
Neuropsychological evaluations assess a child’s functioning in various domains, including intellectual, cognitive, academic, and emotional/behavioral functioning. Common reasons for an evaluation include attention problems, learning difficulties, autism-spectrum disorders, emotional/behavioral problems, and neurological illness/injury (e.g., traumatic brain injury). Test results are used to determine a child’s strengths and weaknesses in various domains with the goal of helping her/him to be more successful in school, social, and other situations. If a diagnosis seems appropriate, test results can help determine if the child qualifies for reasonable academic accommodations under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The results of the evaluation are used to develop treatment recommendations and interventions.
Evaluations involve a review of available records; interview of the parent/guardian, child, and potentially school staff or other professionals familiar with the child; and psychometric testing.
The following domains are typically assessed in a neuropsychological evaluation:
- Various forms of intelligence (e.g., verbal and nonverbal abilities)
- Academic skills (e.g., basic reading, reading comprehension, spelling, written expression, math calculations, math reasoning, and academic fluency/speed)
- Learning and memory (both verbal and visual, which are important for learning academic material)
- Attention/concentration (e.g., focusing and sustaining attention on tasks)
- Language (expressive and receptive language; and phonological processing, which contributes to reading and spelling)
- Information processing speed
- Visual-spatial skills/visual-motor skills
- Executive functions (e.g., problem-solving, inhibition, planning, etc.)
- Emotional/behavioral functioning
Children are provided with several breaks throughout the day, including a lunch break. For children with limited endurance or significant problems sustaining attention, a decision can be made to finish the evaluation on another day.
Once the evaluation is completed, a report is written providing a summary of test results and recommendations. A feedback session (usually 1.5 hours) is scheduled to review the findings and recommendations with parents/guardians, and potentially with the child in a separate feedback session (if desired). We provide numerous recommendations related to accommodations needed in school to improve performance and behavior, as well as interventions that may be beneficial.
Parents/guardians are provided with various resource materials (e.g., handouts, contact information of professionals and services available in the area, etc.) that may improve the child’s functioning. If a child could benefit from counseling/psychotherapy or cognitive retraining, we can provide brief interventions, and/or provide a list of referral sources in the area.
For more information about reasons to pursue a neuropsychological assessment for your child please click here.