Neuropsychology is a medical specialty that deals with learning, behavior and how the brain works. Neuropsychological testing is often referred to determine a baseline of functioning, understand a child’s strengths and weaknesses, identify functional locations in the brain and guide decisions about treatment and educational planning.
Our neuropsychologists have completed extensive training, including a postdoctoral fellowship. They are specialized in neuropsychological assessment, the practical implications of neuropsychological conditions in children and adolescents, brain-behavior relationships and intervention techniques. They work in collaboration with specialists from neurology, neurosurgery, cardiology, hematology & oncology, genetics and other subspecialties
Conditions We Treat
Many children and young adults with medical conditions can benefit from the expertise of a pediatric neuropsychologist. Some conditions and syndromes we work with include:
What to Expect
A complete neuropsychological evaluation will generally take four to eight hours. The length depends on the referral question, the complexity of issues and the child’s presentation (e.g., fatigue, slow processing speed, behaviors, etc.). The evaluation usually occurs in one to two days; however, it is occasionally necessary to complete the evaluation over the course of multiple sessions. The evaluation involves three parts:
- Interview: It is important that you give a detailed history. We will ask about your child’s medical history as well as how your child performs at school and home.
- Skills Testing: This part of the evaluation is conducted one-on-one with your child and the examiner. The skills we assess include intelligence, academic ability, language, memory, visual-spatial skills, attention, social and behavioral functioning and executive functions (e.g., planning, organization, mental manipulation, and problem solving).
Most tests are administered at a table and a few are completed on a computer. Children are asked questions, look at pictures, and use their hands to solve problems (e.g., building blocks). Your child should be reassured that there will be no shots, needles, or pokes. The tests will be performed by either a doctoral level neuropsychologist or bachelor’s level psychometrist with specialized training in standardized test administration.
- Results: Your child’s results will be compared with other children of the same age. After we learn about your child’s functional skills, we can make a plan to address issues. You will be given verbal feedback as well as a written copy of the results.
How to Prepare
- You should receive paperwork in the mail. Please fill out the forms as completely as you can prior to your appointment.
- You will receive teacher and parent-rating forms. Ensure that the teacher receives the paperwork in ample time and bring the completed form to your appointment.
- Bring copies of prior neuropsychological assessments, any evaluations of your child’s educational eligibility (e.g., psychoeducational testing with IQ and academic scores), and a recent copy of your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan. You can also have the school or agency fax documents prior to your appointment. Our direct fax number is 616.267.9024.
- The night before the evaluation, ensure that your child has a good night’s sleep. Your child should take medications as prescribed on the day of the evaluation and should bring glasses and hearing aids if applicable.