What is Child and Adolescent Neuropsychological Assessment?
Pediatric Neuropsychology is concerned with intellect, learning, sensory processing, social/emotional functioning, and behavior in relationship to a child/adolescent’s brain. We provide expertise in how learning, processing abilities, and social/emotional/behavioral functioning are associated with the development of brain structures and systems. We assess brain functioning by evaluating intellect, academic achievement, memory, language, auditory processing, executive functioning (i.e. organization, planning abilities), attention, visual-perceptual skills, motor speed/coordination, sensory processing, behavioral, social, emotional, and personality functioning.
Neuropsychological assessment assists in diagnostic clarification, treatment planning, school programming/planning, and medication management decisions, if applicable. Identification of both strengths and areas in need of development are equally as important. This information assists greatly in the creation of individualized intervention plans to meet the unique needs of your child/adolescent. We are available to provide direct school consultation and advocacy on behalf of your child/adolescent to assist in creating the plan that he or she needs to be successful in the academic setting. We also provide referrals to other professionals who can assist in your child’s/adolescent’s treatment.
How is Neuropsychological Assessment Different from a School-Based Assessment?
School-based assessments typically use curriculum-based measures and in-class observation to determine your child/adolescent’s achievement, behavioral, social, and emotional status in comparison to their classmates. School-based assessments are not clinical, neuropsychological, or comprehensive in nature and do not result in formal diagnostic input regarding the source of your child/adolescent’s difficulties. Such assessments do not identify the underlying neurodevelopmental causes associated with learning, behavioral, social, or emotional difficulties/disorders.
Because each child/adolescent is unique, we take a deductive approach to assessment – meaning that testing is customized to your child/adolescent’s specific presenting issues, and we do not administer the same battery of tests to everyone. We work with your child/adolescent to understand their pace of work completion, need for breaks, and where their limits are so that we obtain their best performance each time. We also do not believe it is effective to assess anyone in one or two lengthy sessions. Instead, we work with you to set multiple testing session times that best meet the needs of your child/adolescent in terms of time of day and duration of testing.
Typically, a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment requires 10-12 hours of testing time to obtain an in-depth and integrated picture of your child/adolescent’s functioning. There are then additional hours of work involved in scoring, interpreting, and producing an extensive, detailed written report explaining the test results and specific recommendations. Review of other documentation such as school records and previous testing may also be a part of this phase. After testing is completed, you will attend a feedback session to review results and receive specific recommendations regarding interventions and school planning for your child/adolescent. We also provide referrals to other professionals for additional interventions, as needed.
What Will the Results Tell Me?
A comprehensive neuropsychological assessment allows us to create a profile of your child/adolescent’s individual strengths and areas in need of development. These results can assist those involved in your child/adolescent’s healthcare and education in a number of ways:
- Testing can help identify the effects of developmental, sensory, neurologic, and medical disorders.
- Testing can explain why your child/adolescent is having school problems. Results allow us to provide important data for school advocacy and planning.
- Results assist in the identification of skills to be further developed, accommodations needed, and strategies to help your child/adolescent.
- Testing can assist in diagnostic clarification and differential diagnosis between a variety of disorders.
- Testing provides a better understanding of your child/adolescent’s learning and information processing abilities, social/emotional status, and source of their behaviors. This can provide valuable input to you, teachers, and other professionals involved in your child’s/adolescent’s care so that he/she can be best assisted in meeting his/her greatest potential.
Assessment of Giftedness
Your child/adolescent may be talented academically, but also experience frustration with learning. In addition, they may exhibit social/emotional/behavioral difficulties that are difficult to explain. Intellectual and academic giftedness often comes with its own set of issues. We provide comprehensive assessments to identify your child’s giftedness, as well as areas in need of further
What Should I Expect?
Neuropsychological evaluation involves an initial interview with parents regarding the child/adolescent’s history, direct interview with and observation of the child/adolescent, and face-to-face testing. Testing involves paper-and-pencil and hands-on activities, as well as computer-based tests. Parents and teachers will be asked to complete questionnaires regarding the child/adolescent’s development, behavior, social, and emotional functioning. Your child may work with one or more clinicians during the course of the evaluation, as trained technicians often assist with the evaluation process.
Parents are not usually in the room during the testing, though they may be present with very young children if required. If your child/adolescent has had previous testing, relevant medical conditions, a 504 Accommodation Plan, or an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), it is important to bring copies of these records to the initial appointment.
Our comprehensive “systems” approach means that when you receive any of our services, our team of professionals helps increase the wellness of your child/adolescent both inside and outside of the therapy/testing room. This means that your child/adolescent’s overall welfare does not begin or end with our face-to-face interactions. We work with you to create an extended, collaborative team that includes parents, teachers, and physicians, as well as specialized therapists and tutors, if required.
We offer multifaceted therapeutic intervention services. These services are provided by clinicians with expertise in a wide range of specialties. We are equipped to treat a variety of disorders and problems faced by children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families. The needs of one individual might be different than another, and just like our assessments, we custom-build each therapeutic intervention to best meet the individual requirements of the child, adolescent, and family.
A strength of our practice is that we have neuropsychologists providing treatment, thus leading to more effective interventions as neurodevelopmental and neurocognitive functioning is taken into consideration when creating treatment plans and providing interventions.
School Advocacy and Consultation
Our practice is unique in that our doctors are available to provide direct school consultation and advocacy on behalf of your child/adolescent. School is your child/adolescent’s job, and if the data from their neuropsychological evaluation is not put into action, its usefulness is diminished. The mission at our practice is to put assessment results into action on behalf of your child/adolescent.
We educate parents regarding Response to Intervention (RTI), 504 Plans, Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), and special education processes. We provide direct input and advocacy regarding school planning and programming solutions that lead to students achieving greater success academically, socially, and emotionally at school. The mission at our practice is to put assessment results into action to best benefit your child/adolescent.
Presentations and In-Services
Our skilled clinicians are also available for in-service training sessions and educational presentations.
What We Offer
- Neuropsychological, psychological, and developmental assessment of infants, toddlers, children, adolescents, and adults.
- Evaluation, Diagnosis and Treatment of: Neurodevelopmental, neurocognitive, Neurobehavioral, social, and emotional issues, resulting from inattention, hyperactivity, autism, Asperger’s, pervasive developmental disorder, learning disabilities, executive function disorder, giftedness, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and other conditions.
- Post-concussion / Head Injury Evaluation: Assessment of learning, behavioral, and social/emotional issues associated with concussions, seizure disorders, traumatic brain Injuries, and other types of brain disorders/diseases.
- School consultation/advocacy and academic probation counseling are our strengths.
- Our collaborative case management approach with other professionals involved in your child’s/adolescent’s care leads to better treatment outcomes.
- We provide solution-oriented individual, couples, and family treatment. Group therapy is also available.
- We provide neurocognitive remediation for ADHD, executive function disorder, and other cognitive difficulties.
- A master’s or doctoral level professional administers all psychological and neuropsychological tests.
- Most insurance plans accepted.
- Evening and weekend appointment times are available.