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Neuropsychological Assessment of Children & Adolescents

   

The neuropsychological evaluation of a child takes into consideration brain development as well as skills associated with brain specific brain regions. In pediatric cases, a neuropsychological assessment involves a brief telephone intake and clinical interview with a child's parents, a review of medical, academic, and previous assessment records, neuropsychological testing, personal communication with educators, physicians and/or therapists (as deemed necessary), and a feedback meeting to review the evaluation results. Dr. Wilson will also write a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment report, which will include recommendations for treatment, including educational planning.

Neuropsychological evaluations help clarify diagnoses (if appropriate) and assist with identifying factors that affect a child's ability to succeed academically and socially. The evaluation provides a broad understanding of brain-behavior relationships, as they relate to daily functioning and yields a profile of a child's strengths and weaknesses.  Neuropsychological reevaluations help evaluate the effectiveness of treatment interventions, assess student progress over time, and assist with determining when new or alternative strategies need to be employed.

Areas evaluated during a neuropsychological assessment

  • Academic performance
  • Adaptive functioning
  • Attention
  • Executive functioning (e.g., planning, organization, working memory, self-monitoring)
  • Intellectual/General cognitive functioning
  • Language
  • Learning and Memory
  • Motor skills
  • Social/Emotional functioning
  • Visual-spatial skills


In children and adolescents, evaluations may be helpful in identifying cognitive and social emotional issues associated with:

  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD/ADD)
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorders
  • Developmental delays
  • Learning Disorders (e.g., Dyslexia)
  • Language Disorders
  • Premature birth
  • Seizure disorders (Epilepsy)
  • Genetic disorders
  • Brain tumors
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Psychiatric issues (e.g., depression, anxiety)
  • Social Difficulties


How is a neuropsychological assessment different from a psychoeducational or school-based assessment?

A psychoeducational or school-based assessment is typically used to determine whether a child is performing at grade level and whether he/she is eligible for special education services.  The results of a neuropsychological assessment give parents an understanding of child's strengths and weaknesses, helps them understand whether their child's performance is "typical" given his/her history and how he/she performs on other measures, and ties the findings to research on brain function, the organization of brain systems and development.

Other services provided by Dr. Wilson include:

  • School observations
  • Team meetings
  • Intelligence testing for admission to Gifted programs/schools
  • Psychoeducational testing
  • Brief follow-up testing after a planned intervention (to determine effectiveness of treatment)
  • Consultation regarding treatment and educational planning
  • Participation in IEP meetings
  • Participation in Fair Hearings