A child may be referred for a neuropsychological evaluation when there are concerns about one or more areas of development. This can include cognition, academics, attention, memory, language, socialization, emotional, behavioral, motor, visual-spatial, and adaptive functioning.
A neuropsychological evaluation aids the psychologist in determining an appropriate diagnosis, such as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Specific Learning Disorder, Language Disorder, and emotional and behavioral disorders. An evaluation can also be recommended if your child has been diagnosed with a medical condition such as Down syndrome, epilepsy, or a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The purpose of the evaluation would be to identify your child’s strengths and weaknesses in order to provide appropriate treatment recommendations, determine progress and response to intervention, and monitor functioning.
After your pediatrician has made a referral for a neuropsychological evaluation, you will need to schedule an intake appointment, which is typically an hour long.
What to Expect During the Neuropsychological Intake:
- Inform the psychologist about your areas of concern
- Provide information about your child’s history
- Including medical, developmental, academic, attention, behavior, motor, and social history
- Inform the psychologist of any current, or past, services your child receives (e.g., speech language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, individual therapy, academic tutoring)
What to Bring to the Neuropsychological Intake:
- Completed intake paperwork
- Any prior psychological/neuropsychological evaluation (if applicable)
- Your child’s most recent 504 Plan or IEP (if applicable)
- Any recent private intervention evaluation (e.g., speech language therapy, occupational therapy)
- Your child’s most recent report card or standardized exam scores
- Any relevant medical information (e.g., EEG report, CT/MRI scan report)
After the intake, you will schedule the testing session for your child. Most of the time, testing is completed in one day (5 hours of testing), but occasionally the testing will need to be completed over two days. The psychologist will create a neuropsychological battery based on the areas of concern; however, the battery could be adjusted on the day of testing. Typically, this occurs if another area of concern arises during the testing session.
What to Bring on the Day of the Neuropsychological Test:
- Plenty of snacks and lunch
- Completed paperwork and rating forms
- Any prior evaluations that were not brought to the intake
After testing is complete, you will return for a one hour feedback session approximately two weeks later, with the clinician to review the testing data, any diagnoses determined based on your child’s profile, recommendations for home and school, and any intervention services to foster your child’s development.