Everyone’s brain works differently and that is what makes us unique. Everything from genetics and environment to injury and disease can affect how your brain processes information and, in turn, how you respond. Neuropsychological evaluations for children can help parents, educators, doctors and therapists understand their cognitive, motor, behavioral, linguistic and executive functioning. All of these can affect how they function at school and at home.
A neuropsychological evaluation can identify areas of strength and weakness in intellectual development and academic learning, developmental delays, social disabilities, inattention, executive function issues, memory problems, and problems with behavioral adjustment or emotional functioning such as depression or anxiety. Once the evaluation is completed, the child psychologist will analyze and interpret the results to assist in creating an effective treatment plan to address any issues present. Neuropsychological testing can provide insight into concerns parents, teachers or healthcare workers may have about the child.
What is Neuropsychology?
Neuropsychology involves the study of brain behavior relationships. Psychologists use a series of standardized tests to assess cognitive function and then compare results with those of other individuals with similar demographic backgrounds to identify cognitive strengths and weaknesses. In addition to testing, child psychologists can help to devise a plan to treat, remediate, or adapt these mental and behavioral issues. The brain is the powerhouse of the body and developing a better understanding of how it functions can provide a lot of information to better support a child and their overall development and well-being.
How Long Does a Neuropsychology Evaluation Take?
The length of time it takes to complete a neuropsychological evaluation varies from person to person. A typical evaluation can take between two and five hours, but may last eight hours or more. The tests may be given in multiple sessions because the child psychologist wants to ensure that the child is able to give their best possible performance. Your child may find the neuropsychological evaluation challenging at times, but that is okay – it is meant to test their limits in various areas.
Why is a Neuropsychological Evaluation Recommended?
There are several reasons why a neuropsychological evaluation may be recommended for your child. One of the most common reasons is if they have a disease that affects their brain such as multiple sclerosis, a brain tumor, cerebral palsy, seizure disorders, genetic disorders, psychiatric disorders or epilepsy. Testing may also be recommended if they had an injury or trauma to their brain to determine the effects. Another common reason is because a child has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or is struggling in school and there is not a clear reason why.
A neuropsychological evaluation can measure a child’s function in different categories such as:
- Intellectual functioning
- Academic achievement
- Language processing
- Visual-spatial processing
- Attention and concentration
- Verbal learning and memory
- Visual learning and memory
- Executive function (organization, planning, inhibition, flexibility)
- Speed of processing
- Sensory-perceptual function
- Motor speed and strength
- Motivation and symptom validity
- Personality assessment
- Mental health
- Social skills
Get Your Child a Neuropsychological Evaluation with PediaPlex
If your child is struggling in school or at home and you are unsure of how to effectively help them to be more successful, a neuropsychological evaluation may be beneficial. You can gain a more in-depth understanding of their strengths and weaknesses and the impact it has on their function, behavior and learning. A neuropsychological evaluation will give you a starting point to get them the therapies, services and supports they need. PediaPlex not only provides children’s neuropsychological evaluations but also a wide range of therapies to address your child’s needs. Contact PediaPlex today to get your child scheduled for a neuropsychological evaluation.