Pediatric neuropsychology is the unique incorporation of the hereditary, developmental, and environmental influences on the child with testing data to describe brain functioning: thinking, learning, and behavior. Neuropsychological evaluations provide valuable information about specific cognitive strengths and challenges as they relate to specific neuropsychological processes.
What information does a neuropsychological evaluation provide?
The evaluation may be requested to help understand the neuropsychological consequences of developmental difficulties, atypical learning styles, attentional disorders, chronic medical conditions, acute brain injuries, or neurological diseases. One primary purpose of neuropsychological evaluation is to help to understand the developmental impact of central nervous system dysfunction. However, it is most often requested to provide a comprehensive examination of the child’s abilities in order to guide treatment recommendations, develop educational strategies, or target specific strategies for intervention.
What does the neuropsychological evaluation involve?
The neuropsychological evaluation is a comprehensive and thorough assessment. It typically involves completion of a variety of different tests specifically designed to provide customized information about an individual child’s diagnosis of treatment. These tests may include measures of intellectual ability, abstract thinking, problem-solving, language, attention, concentration, memory and learning, organization, planning, sensory-perceptional functioning, visual-perceptual and visual-spatial abilities, and motor coordination. Academic achievement in reading, math, and writing is also frequently assessed.
Doesn’t the child’s school provide evaluations?
Upon the parent’s request, the school district may provide educational testing. In many cases, that testing is sufficient. However, in other instances, a more comprehensive and detailed evaluation is needed. A neuropsychological evaluation may be helpful in providing a complete understanding of the child’s strengths and challenges, identifying any obstacles to learning, and developing a plan for intervention.