What is a neuropsychological assessment?
A neuropsychological assessment is a battery of tests designed to identify your level of cognitive, emotional, and social functioning in multiple areas. We see all ages, from young children through adults and elderly. We use a variety of tools, expert knowledge, and tests to discover your personal strengths and weaknesses. Testing takes place over several sessions in order to obtain a clear picture of your cognitive, social, and emotional abilities. Once we have identified specific areas where you may benefit from strengthening, we work with you to provide various options in order for you to make improvements and succeed.
Who would benefit from a neuropsychological assessment?
A neuropsychological evaluation is beneficial for understanding any child/adult at a deeper level, to address their specific needs in learning and/or daily functioning. It can also be helpful for those experiencing difficulties within the classroom or work environment (difficulties in specific subjects, problems with attention, executive functioning difficulties, procrastination, weak working memory or processing speed), with a medical condition (e.g., concussion, seizures), that have been diagnosed with developmental delays (down syndrome, autism), social and emotional difficulties (anxiety, depression, trauma, OCD), and/or just to have a baseline level of current functioning.
What types of tests are administered?
Our neuropsychological assessment is comprised of an IQ test (comprehension, perceptual reasoning, working memory, processing speed), subtests designed to test proficiency in academic areas (math, reading, writing, spelling), attention measures, executive functioning measures, learning and memory, fine motor skills, visual-spatial processing, verbal and nonverbal fluency, social and emotional functioning, and self-report measures. As weaknesses surface throughout the testing process, more tests might be given to discover the root of struggles. Moreover, we work from a strength-based model, so identifying what someone is really good at is also extremely important.
What should you expect during the testing process?
A neuropsychological evaluation consists of an initial interview with the clinical neuropsychologist, and then testing. During the interview, the parent or client may be asked about their symptoms, medical history, medications, and other background information (back to prenatal history) that is important in addressing cognitive, social, and emotional concerns. For young clients, we get this information during a parent-only meeting. Testing involves taking standardized paper and pencil or computerized tests and answering questions. The length of the examination will depend on the problem being assessed. In general, evaluations last 10-12 hours.
After the conclusion of testing, there will be a 2-hour feedback with the client or parents of the client to discuss with results via a PowerPoint presentation. An individual child or adolescent feedback can be provided upon request, and is done separately from the parent feedback, so that we can provide an uplifting message appropriate for the child. The results are then organized into an extensive report, which includes the background, testing data and analysis, graphic illustrations, as well as a comprehensive list of recommendations to guide treatment options. Contact is made with collateral sources (physicians, teachers) to follow-up on recommendations at the request of the patient.
Who should my neuropsychological assessment be shared with?
We do not share the results of the assessment to anyone without your written consent.
However, if your child was assessed it might be beneficial to share the results with the school to get accommodations such as extended time on testing (both standardized and in-class), preferential seating, use of a laptop, or other helpful ways to inform the school on the ways your child learns best. Depending on the diagnosis, your child’s primary care physician, psychiatrist, and/or other medical professional would likely find the results beneficial in guiding their treatment.
Many of our adult patients share the results with their primary medical caregivers, and their significant others.
How are Abbey Clinic’s neuropsychological assessments different?
We continue testing until all questions and concerns are addressed. We do not work under time constraints and will continue to work until we get a clear, in depth picture. We employ highly sensitive measures that are updated and very specific. After completing testing, we expect that any parent, teacher, tutor, or family doctor can open our report, look over the graphics, and get a clear understanding of the individual’s strengths and weaknesses. Our results are user friendly, and we provide detailed written material to back up the visual material.
Finally, we pride ourselves on our recommendations. Assessments help us to determine the root of these challenges, and we offer solutions to these problems. We keep in close contact with providers in the area and go to conferences to make sure we have information on the latest technology and interventions available. Our recommendations include detailed classroom accommodations, interventions, technology, remediation programs, appropriate books and websites, and summer programs. Moreover, because our center is comprised of a multidisciplinary team, we consult with each other, to provide the latest in intervention options. Many of these options can be found directly within our center, which provides a cohesive and comprehensive intervention model.