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Pediatric neuropsychology is a specialty that involves the evaluation of learning, cognition and behavior as it relates to brain functioning. The pediatric neuropsychologist is a licensed psychologist with expertise in the development of brain structures and systems. We offer neuropsychological care and evaluation for pediatric patients experiencing cognitive or behavioral problems. Our pediatric neuropsychologists conduct comprehensive evaluations, interpret test results and make recommendations based on those results.
Children experiencing difficulties in the areas of learning, attention, behavior, socialization or emotional control are referred by a physician or other professional. These difficulties may be due to a disease or inborn developmental problem that affects the brain in some way or they may be due to brain injury resulting from an accident, birth trauma or other physical stress.
At what age can my child obtain a neuropsychological evaluation?
Evaluations are appropriate for children 2 to 18. Although, depending on the referral question, toddlers under 2 or adults older than 18 may be seen as well.
How does a neuropsychological evaluation differ from a school psychological assessment?
School assessments are usually performed to determine if a child qualifies for special education programs or therapies to enhance school performance. They focus on achievement and skills needed for academic success. Generally, they do not diagnose learning or behavior disorders caused by altered brain function or development.
What is assessed?
A typical neuropsychological evaluation of a school age child lasts up to eight hours and may assess these areas:
- Achievement skills, such as reading and math
- Behavioral and emotional functioning
- Executive skills, such as organization, planning, inhibition and flexibility/li>
- General intellect
- Learning and memory
- Motor coordination
- Social skills
- Visual-spatial skills
Some abilities may be measured in more detail than others, depending on the child’s needs. Emerging skills can be assessed in very young children. However, the evaluation of a preschool child is usually shorter in duration because the child has not yet developed many skills.