Neuropsychological assessment is a sub-specialty of psychology and is a field that requires additional training, education, and supervision beyond that of a clinical psychologist.
A comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation is typically sought out to evaluate an individual’s emotional, cognitive, and behavioral functioning. Physicians, educators, and treatment teams request evaluations to help confirm diagnosis, establish a baseline of functioning prior to a medical intervention or surgery, track changes over time, and adjust treatment goals or expectations. The evaluation process consists of paper-pencil tasks, computerized tests, and hands-on puzzles. The tests and measures administered are designed to assess the following areas:
- Intelligence (IQ)
- Processing speed
- Learning and memory
- Language abilities
- Visual perception and visuospatial skills
- Academic ability
- Mood and behavior
It is often helpful to observe a child in his or her classroom prior to the start of an evaluation so that the doctor is able to get a direct view as to how the child interacts with other children, adults, and their environment. This is a rich source of information for understanding your child and their present challenges or strengths. Additionally, please provide us with any relevant medical records and academic records that can provide further information about your child.
Neuropsychological evaluations can be lengthy, lasting anywhere from 3-8 hours. You may be required to take your child out of school in order to complete the evaluation; testing your child after a full day of school may skew the results and not provide consistent data.