What does a neuropsychological evaluation involve?
Neuropsychological tests offer comprehensive assessments of a person’s abilities. While evaluations are individually tailored to meet the needs of the client, common areas assessed for a school-aged child include:
- Intellectual abilities
- Academic achievement skills including reading comprehension, calculation, and applied math
- Learning and memory
- Visual-spatial skills
- Executive skills such as problem-solving, planning, organization, mental and behavioral control, and cognitive flexibility
- Behavioral and emotional functioning
- Social skills
Following a one-hour parent intake meeting to obtain history on your child, your child will participate in four to eight hours of testing. Length of testing will depend in part on your child’s age, types of assessments being administered to him/her and factors unique to your child (such as the need for frequent breaks). Doctors will use this information to obtain a holistic picture of the child’s functioning and offer intervention recommendations. This information also assists with establishing clarity regarding a possible diagnosis.
It is important to note that not every child experiencing school and/or behavioral challenges is in need of neuropsychological testing and a less comprehensive assessment may be sufficient to meet your needs. During an initial intake meeting, your doctor will help you determine the appropriate testing for your child.
What are common referrals for neuropsychological testing?
Many children are referred for neuropsychological testing when questions remain regarding a child’s diagnosis, to obtain further clarity on a child’s level of functioning, or to obtain further intervention recommendations. For example, there may be questions about whether the child has a learning disability and/or how else the child might be helped, if she/he continues to struggle with learning despite interventions received. In addition, neuropsychological evaluations can be particularly helpful when there is a medical concern, such as a seizure disorder or traumatic brain injury, which may be having an effect on the child’s learning, behavior, and/or emotional development. Common referral questions for neuropsychological evaluations center on concerns around academic development (reading, math, writing), difficulties staying focused and getting work completed, inconsistent performance and struggles retaining what has been learned.
Please contact our office for scheduling and rate information. Out of network coverage for neuropsychological evaluations is variable and differs among individual insurance companies. Generally, if there is a medical or biologically-based concern that may be contributing to your child’s development and current functioning, insurance may cover the evaluation.