What is a Neuropsychological Evaluation?

A neuropsychological evaluation is done when there may be a problem with a child’s behavior or thinking. It is available to children and adolescents up to age 21.

Jackie Kiefel, Ph.D. evaluating a patient

Prior to the evaluation, your child’s neuropsychologist will:

  • Review your child’s medical or school records.
  • Ask questions about your child’s medical, school and
    family history.
  • Give some tests during the evaluation so that the healthcare team can better understand a broad range of your child’s thinking and behavioral abilities. This can take one to five hours, depending on your child’s level of functioning.
  • Request a chance to watch your child at home and/or school if necessary.
  • Have your child’s teacher complete additional forms about his learning behavior.

After the evaluation, the results and suggestions for improvement are reviewed with the parents. Plans are made for follow-up, such as contacting school personnel, physicians, rehabilitation professionals and others involved in your child’s care.

When could a child or adolescent benefit from a neuropsychological evaluation?

A Neuropsychological evaluation may be needed if you suspect your child has:

  • Difficulty thinking
  • Problems learning
  • Uncontrollable emotions
  • Unusual behaviors
  • Memory problems

Neuropsychological testing may also needed if your child has had any of these conditions:

  • Cardiovascular disorders
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Stroke
  • Seizure disorder
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals
  • Metabolic problems
  • Endocrine problems
  • Developmental problems
  • Premature birth
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Brain tumor
  • Encephalitis
  • Other neurological conditions

Results from a neuropsychological evaluation help the healthcare professional determine the proper rehabilitation, psychological, psychiatric or educational services for your child and family