What Is Neuropsychology?
Neuropsychology is a specialty profession that focuses on understanding brain functioning.
Neuropsychological evaluations provide a comprehensive picture of an individual’s current level of functioning with the goal of better understanding needs and strengths in relation to relevant neurological and medical conditions.
Conditions Neuropsychology Treats
Some of the conditions that most often can benefit from a neuropsychological evaluation include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Epilepsy and seizures
- Brain injury and related neurotrauma
- Spina bifida
- Muscular dystrophy and other neuromuscular conditions
- Attention/executive functioning and memory problems related to neurological conditions and injuries
- Behavioral regulation issues related to complex neurological conditions and injuries
Neuropsychology Tests and Treatments
Although each child follows a unique care path, an initial evaluation can provide a baseline of functioning, which can be used to help identify individual needs and allow for tracking as a child develops or following various treatments.
Evaluations might include neuropsychological testing and gathering information from family members, caregivers, other health care providers and teachers. The neuropsychological evaluation is done by a neuropsychologist. Psychometrists support and work under the supervision of our neuropsychologists.
Results of the evaluation are communicated in a written report and a personalized feedback session. After an evaluation, treatment can include home, school and community interventions, additional neuropsychological assessments or care from a specialist.
How to Prepare for Your Neuropsychological Evaluation Appointment
In order to best serve the patient, please bring the following to the appointment.
COPIES OF ALL AVAILABLE SPECIAL EDUCATION RECORDS (INCLUDING IEPS AND IEP EVALUATION REPORTS) AND ANY PREVIOUS PSYCHOLOGICAL, NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL, OR PSYCHOEDUCATIONAL TESTING
Nutritional snacks, lunch, and beverages to refresh during breaks
What to Expect at Your Neuropsychological Evaluation Appointment
We will contact you to complete a questionnaire prior to the appointment.
The evaluation will be done by a Neuropsychologist as designated in your appointment.
Psychometrists support and work under the supervision of our neuropsychologists.
The evaluation will take place at one of our locations as designated by your appointment.
The evaluation includes a 60- to 90-minute clinical interview.
For Pediatric Patients: The clinical interview is with the parents or caregivers.
For Adult Patients: The clinical interview is with the patient and their legal guardian if they have one. If you have a legal guardian, their contribution is essential in helping us understand how we may best assist you. For this reason, we have legal guardians attend the first session with you and complete specific forms.
The interview is often followed by 3 to 5 hours of direct, one-on-one testing of abilities such as memory, executive functions, and language skills. These are paper and pencil measures that are like tasks done routinely in school. There are no grades on these tests and the overall purpose is to get a clear idea of specific strengths and needs.
The length of the direct assessment portion of the evaluation will vary, depending on the referral question and individual needs. The evaluation is typically completed during one session, but testing sessions may be divided across several days, if needed. You may also be asked to complete specific forms during the visit.
Short breaks, including a break for lunch during longer testing sessions, will also be provided. Please bring nutritional snacks, lunch, and beverages to refresh during these breaks.
Results of the evaluation will be communicated during an interactive feedback session and in a written report.
PLEASE NOTE: If you have children that are not scheduled for the appointment, please plan for childcare, or bring another responsible adult to supervise your children in our child-friendly waiting area.
The neuropsychology team at Gillette Children’s includes experts who’ve chosen to specialize in the unique needs of children and teens who have complex medical conditions and injuries. All of our experts have advanced training in brain-behavior relationships, and are committed to using the latest evaluation techniques and treatments.
When you work with Gillette neuropsychologists, the team collaborates with other specialists to provide the comprehensive care your child needs. You might also work with experts in:
- Complex care
- Pediatrics and general medicine
- Psychology and psychotherapy services
- Rehabilitation medicine
- Rehabilitation therapies
- Sleep medicine
- Social work
In addition, neuropsychologists evaluate patients whose needs continue into adulthood.