What is a neuropsychological evaluation?
A neuropsychological evaluation is a comprehensive assessment of cognitive and behavioral functioning conducted by a psychologist with specialized post-doctoral neuropsychological training using nationally normed, standardized procedures and tests. With this information, you can tell where your child falls compared to other children his/her age in different developmental areas (e.g. intelligence, language skills, visual-motor skills, academic skills, memory skills, executive function skills, social/emotional functioning). My neuropsychological evaluations typically consist of 6 hours of testing, all of the scoring, interpreting, and report writing time, a 10-15 page written report with any relevant diagnoses and a variety of recommendations for home and school, and a 1.5 hour parent feedback session. The goal of my neuropsychological evaluations is to set the child up for success by identifying his/her strengths and weaknesses.
Are all neuropsychological evaluations the same?
No. A neuropsychological evaluation is not a fixed series of tests. I typically conduct a core battery of tests that varies depending on a person’s age, but I also select, administer, and interpret the tests that allow for the most comprehensive understanding of a person’s profile. Each neuropsychological evaluation is tailored to individual needs and to your specific referral questions.
What is a neuropsychological evaluation like?
Generally, a neuropsychological evaluation includes a wide variety of tasks, most of which are done sitting at a table with me, though some are done independently. There are no invasive procedures, no pain, and no needles. The evaluation is usually done in two, 3-hour sessions, but can also be done in three, 2-hour sessions or in one, 6-hour session. We do take short breaks as needed. Although most children and adolescents are not excited about coming in, they are usually fine once they arrive and actually enjoy the process. I pride myself in connecting with people and making them feel comfortable.
How are my neuropsychological evaluations different from others?
My evaluations are completed in a timely manner. I generally do not keep a waiting list and can book testing appointments within a few weeks. I am easily accessible and return all calls and e-mails promptly. The feedback appointment usually occurs 3-4 weeks after the testing is completed, and the written report is provided at that time. All of my reports are written in professional but readable fashion so they are easily understood by parents and teachers. While many neuropsychological evaluations assess only the cognitive piece and charge extra for “add-ons,” I always include academic and social/emotional testing in my evaluations order to get a comprehensive understanding of the whole person. It is important to me that the entire process be a comfortable and informative for all people involved. My office is inviting, with ocean views and living room furniture. I have worked in hospitals in the past, and do not want to convey the notion of “sickness” or “illness” in any way. I refer to the children I treat as “clients” and not “patients.” I am very willing to attend school meetings or do school observations. I pride myself in keeping long-lasting relationships with families, often following children over the course of their lives.