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Neuropsychological  Evaluation 

Neuropsychological Evaluation: Services

What is it?

Every child develops and learns at their own pace and in their own way. The purpose of a neuropsychological evaluation is to provide a comprehensive assessment of your child's/student's cognitive, academic, behavioral, emotional, social, and adaptive functioning. In doing so, I will provide you with an in-depth understanding of your child's unique pattern of strengths and weaknesses, which will be used for diagnostic purposes as well as to generate recommendations to optimize functioning at home, school, and in the community.

Who should undergo evaluation?

There are a variety of reasons you or another provider may refer a child for a neuropsychological evaluation. Children with a history of developmental delay or who are suspected of having a neurodevelopmental disorder, such as intellectual disability, language disorder, ADHD, or learning disability, will likely benefit from evaluation. Children who have been diagnosed with a medical disorder, such as epilepsy, encephalitis, or a brain tumor, or who recently sustained a brain injury may require evaluation to understand the functional impact and for treatment planning purposes. Finally, at times children are referred because they are struggling academically, emotionally, or socially for unclear reasons and an outside perspective is needed for clarification of what may be contributing to their difficulties.

Domains of an Evaluation:

A comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation takes a "tour of an individual's brain" and assesses aspects of daily functioning. Below is a description of the domains assessed:

1. Cognition: Thorough assessment of conceptual abilities is conducted with regard to language, visual spatial processing, attention and executive functioning, processing speed, as well as learning and memory.

2. Academic: Foundational academic skills are assessed in the areas of math, reading, and writing abilities.

3. Behavioral: Based on examiner observations as well as parent and teacher report, information about your child's behavioral functioning will be integrated into conceptualization of their neuropsychological profile.

4. Emotional well-being plays a key role in daily functioning. As is well-documented within the literature, emotional distress (e.g., anxiety or depression) can have a significant impact on cognition (e.g., attention) and academic achievement.

5. Social functioning: Your child's social development is assessed to determine whether weaknesses are present and may be impacting their daily functioning and emotional well-being.

6. Adaptive abilities are assessed to determine whether your child presents with age-appropriate development of independence in activities of daily living, such as self-care and safety awareness.

What to Expect:

There are four parts to a typical evaluation:

1. Clinical Interview: You and your child (as appropriate depending on the child's age and ability level) will join me for a discussion of current concerns and a review of your child's history. Prior to the session, I will ask that you send relevant academic (e.g., previous evaluations and current IEP) and medical records for my review. 

2. Comprehensive Evaluation: Immediately following the clinical interview, I will begin conducting the evaluation. Typically parents are asked to sit in the waiting area outside the office to reduce distractions and ensure a valid assessment. Breaks are provided as needed. Evaluations are typically conducted over two to three half-day sessions.

3. Teacher Interview / School Observation (as appropriate): With your written consent, I will speak with your child's teacher(s) as well as conduct a school-based observation (as appropriate and permitted by the school) to gain a better understanding of your child's functioning in the academic setting.

4. Feedback: You will be provided with a copy of your child's report and feedback regarding results and recommendations. Feedback can be conducted in person or over the phone. As is useful for older children, I am also able to provide age-appropriate, abbreviated feedback to your child to facilitate their understanding of findings and treatment planning. Finally, I am able to provide feedback and brief consultation to your child's school with your written consent. Please note that attendance and support at CSE meetings is also possible, although is in addition to the evaluation process described above.  

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