For younger children and teenagers, a teacher, learning specialist, or a physician may suggest they receive a neuropsychological assessment. Often, these referrals are made because someone in the child’s life, even a parent, has concerns about the child’s attention, behavior, or mood. In fact, one of the most commonplace conditions assessed for and diagnosed by neuropsychologists is Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Other common reasons a child or adult may require a neuropsychological evaluation is because an accident or medical event has caused some kind of observable cognitive impairment. Examples include concussions, strokes, seizures, age-related cognitive decline, dementia, and neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis (MS). After a neuropsychologist makes a diagnosis, their recommendations may include medication, cognitive rehabilitation, academic accommodations in school, or psychotherapy.
Typically, a neuropsychological test battery can take from 6 to 8 hours to administer depending on the nature pf the presenting problem (though in some cases testing may need to be broken up into two days). The test process begins with a clinical interview that takes approximately an hour (commonly, for kids, two interviews are conducted, one with parents and another interview with the child while undergoing testing). After the interview, testing will occur with a psychometrist trained in the administration and scoring of neuropsychological tests. After testing is complete, the psychologist in charge of your assessment will analyze and interpret the test data and you will be provided feedback (either verbally or in written format).
If you are wondering if your child has an attention, learning, or emotional issue that could be affecting their academic performance or general life functioning, we strongly recommend a psychological test battery by a qualified licensed psychologist. Please contact Bryce Gibbs PhD & Associates for additional information about our psychological assessment process.
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