Frequently Asked Questions about Neuropsychological Evaluation
What is a neuropsychological evaluation?
A neuropsychological evaluation measures a child’s intellectual abilities, attention, learning, memory, visual-spatial skills, visual-motor integration, language, motor coordination and executive functioning skills such as organization and planning. It may also address emotional, social and behavioral functioning. It can help in determining a child’s strengths and challenges and developing a treatment plan.
Who needs a neuropsychological evaluation?
Any child who is experiencing changes in thinking, problem solving, attention, memory, school performance, or emotional/behavioral functioning, as a result of a medical condition that would impact the brain, may benefit from a neuropsychological evaluation. Common conditions that can impact the brain include seizures/epilepsy, brain injury, accident at birth, brain tumor, leukemia, chemotherapy/radiation, stroke or prematurity/low birth weight.
What concerns call for a neuropsychological evaluation?
Any changes in cognitive functioning, including but not limited to, thinking, problem solving, attention, memory, organization/planning, school functioning depression and/or anxiety.
What happens during a neuropsychological evaluation? What will my child do during the evaluation? What should I expect at the evaluation?
Your child will be tested using different testing techniques one-on-one with a provider. The testing will include puzzles, game-like activities, computer tasks, question-answer tasks and paper-pencil tasks. The caregiver is generally not in the room during testing.
While the child completes testing, caregivers will complete an interview with the neuropsychology team, as well as any necessary paperwork. The results and recommendations of the evaluation are typically given on the same day. You will receive a report in about one to two weeks, outlining all of the results and recommendations.
How long will the evaluation last?
You should expect to be here most of the day, up to 6-7 hours. There is a break for lunch.
What should we bring to the evaluation?
Please bring all relevant medical records, any prescription eye glasses or hearing aids, etc. Also, please bring a list of your child’s medications. Notes from teachers and any education plans (IEP or section 504 plans) are helpful, as are any previous evaluations.
Should my child take his/her medication for the evaluation?
What should I tell my child about the evaluation?
Be as open with your child as you would like about the evaluation. Many parents find it helpful to tell their child that this testing will help us determine how they learn best, and that this testing will help make school and home life as happy and successful as possible. It is also helpful to remind them that no one gets every question right and the most important thing is to try their best. There won’t be any scary machines or shots.