Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who does the clinic serve?

Our clinicians evaluate pediatric, adolescent, adult, and older adult patients with a wide variety of conditions.

How do I know I need your service?

It is recommended that you speak with your or your child’s physician regarding whether a neuropsychological is warranted. You can also contact our clinic and a clinician will review your concerns.

Why are children referred for neuropsychological assessments/evaluations?

Children are referred by a physician, teacher, school psychologist, or other professional because one or more problems, such as: difficulty learning, paying attention, socializing, controlling behaviors and/or emotions, etc. They might also be referred because of a disease, developmental abnormality, or condition that affects brain functioning (e.g., brain injuries from an accident, sports-related injury, birth trauma, etc.)

What does a neuropsychological evaluation assess in a school-age child:

A typical neuropsychological evaluation may assess these areas:

  • General intellect (intelligence quotient; IQ)
  • Achievement skills (e.g., reading, written expression, and math)
  • Attention
  • Learning and memory
  • Processing speed
  • Visual-spatial/perceptual skills
  • Motor functioning, coordination, dexterity
  • Behavioral and emotional functioning
  • Social skills

Some abilities may be measured in more detail than others, depending on the child’s needs. A detailed developmental history and data from the child’s teacher(s) may also be obtained. Observing your child to understand his/her motivation, cooperation, and behavior is a very important part of the evaluation.

What will the results of a neuropsychological evaluation tell me about my child?

  • By comparing your child’s test scores to scores of children of similar ages, the neuropsychologist can create a profile of your child’s relative strengths and weaknesses. The results help those involved in your child’s care in a number of ways.
  • Testing can explain why your child is having school problems. For example, a child may have difficulty reading because of an attention problem, a language disorder, an auditory processing problem, or a reading disability. Testing also guides the neuropsychologist’s interventional recommendations to emphasize the child’s strengths. The results identify what skills to work on, as well as strategies to use to help your child.
  • Testing can help detect the effects of developmental, neurological, and medical problems, such as epilepsy, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, or a genetic disorder. Testing may be done to obtain a baseline against which to measure the outcome of treatment or the child’s development over time.
  • Different childhood disorders result in specific patterns of strengths and weaknesses. These profiles of abilities can help identify a child’s disorder and the brain areas that are involved. For example, testing can help differentiate between an attention deficit and depression or determine whether a language delay is due to a problem in producing speech, understanding or expressing language, social shyness, or cognitive delay. Your neuropsychologist may work with your physician to combine results from medical tests, such as brain imaging or blood tests, to diagnose your child’s problem.
  • Most importantly, testing provides a better understanding of the child’s behavior and learning in school, at home, and in the community. The evaluation can guide teachers, therapists, and you to better help your child achieve his or her potential.

How does a neuropsychological evaluation differ from a school psychological assessment?

School assessments are typically performed to determine whether a child qualifies for specific educational programs, services, or therapies to improve academic performance. School assessments generally focus on achievement and skills needed for academic success. In most cases, those evaluations do not result in a diagnosis (e.g., learning, behavioral, or attentional disorders).

What Should I Expect?

  • A neuropsychological evaluation usually includes an interview with parents or family members about the patient’s history, observation of and interview with the patient, and testing. Testing involves paper and pencil and hands-on activities, answering questions, and sometimes using a computer.
  • Patients and relatives may be asked to fill out questionnaires about the patient’s development, behavior, and functioning.
  • Many neuropsychologists employ trained examiners, or technicians, to assist with the administration and scoring of tests, so the patient may see more than one person during the evaluation.
  • If the patient is a child, parents are usually not in the room during the testing, although they may be present with a very young child.
  • The time required depends on the patient’s age, abilities, and problems being assessed.

What to do to prepare for the evaluation?

  • Try and get a good night sleep before the evaluation.
  • If the patient wears glasses and/or hearing aids, makes sure to bring them (if hearing aids are used, make sure they are charged).
  • If the patient has special language needs, please make the neuropsychologist aware of these.
  • If the patient is on medication, such as stimulant medication (e.g., Adderall or Ritalin), check with the neuropsychologist beforehand about coordinating dosage time with testing.
  • If the patient has prior testing (school assessment, neuropsychological evaluation, etc.) please bring or send this information and records to the appointment for the neuropsychologist to review.

What do I tell my child about the neuropsychological evaluation?

  • Depends on how much he or she can understand. Be simple and brief and relate your explanation to a problem that your child knows about such as “trouble with spelling,” “problems following directions,” or “feeling upset.”
  • Reassure a worried child that testing does NOT involve “shots” or any invasive interventions.
  • Tell your child that you are trying to understand his or her problem to make things better.
  • You may also tell the child that “nobody gets every question right,” and that the important thing is to “try your best.”
  • Your child will probably find the neuropsychological evaluation interesting, and the detailed information that is gathered will contribute to your child’s care.

What is the referral process?

Your or your child’s physician or mental health provider can place a referral for neuropsychological testing to our clinic.

Do you accept insurance?

We accept many insurance plans. To ensure that the services will be covered, please contact our clinic with your insurance information.

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*Information on this website has been adapted from the APA Division 40 Educational Pamphlet (2001)