What is neuropsychological testing?
Neuropsychological testing is a term that most of us do not hear in our everyday language. Some people hear that term and assume that it must be a neurologist doing some sort of brain scan. Contrary to popular perception, neuropsychological testing consists of a clinical interview and a battery of tests used by a psychologist or neuropsychologist.
This test helps us understand the link between concerning behaviors and brain dysfunction.
Some of the areas assessed are:
- Executive functioning
- Intellectual functioning
- Language skills
- Nonverbal and visual-spatial skills
- Processing speed
- Fine motor skills
- Academic achievement
- Behavioral and emotional functioning
What is a school neuropsychological assessment?
A school neuropsychological assessment is a test done on children. It links parts of neuropsychological testing with educational principles. This helps the assessor understand the neurocognitive weaknesses that need addressing. This aids learning in the school and the family environment.
Dr. Becky Guagliardo – Psychologist/Author
5 Reasons to seek neuropsychological testing/school neuropsychological testing
[ 1 ] Psychologically or cognitively, you have noticed a sudden downward shift in your functioning.
So, you want to do a deep dive into figuring out why. You are wondering if the dramatic changes in you may be due to a psychiatric, neurological, or developmental disorder.
At our practice, we specialize in working with families affected by cancer. Many parents call it “cancer brain” or “chemo brain.” It occurs after they see the cognitive decline a child takes after cancer treatment. A neuropsychological assessment takes a deep dive to understand the severity of the decline. With this, parents can use that information to make educational and treatment decisions.
[ 2 ] You want to use neuropsychological testing as a tool to assess change over time to help develop a prognosis.
It can also be beneficial to have this assessment before and after cancer treatment. This allows you to conclude if the changes are associated with the cancer treatments. Cancer brain is often observed as a disoriented look and a memory decline. Sometimes children cannot remember things like their pet’s name.
[ 3 ] Neuropsychological testing may be sought out for rehabilitation, vocational, or educational planning.
In consideration of children with cancer, oftentimes they will receive chemotherapy and radiation. These two treatments carry toxicity to the central nervous system. This occurs especially in younger children. The results of neuropsychological testing can help oncologists see the child’s neurobehavioral functioning. The level of cognitive decline in memory, intellectual functioning, language skills, etc. may play a role in the course of chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
[ 4 ] You completed a psycho-educational evaluation and there was inconclusive data.
You did not get an adequate explanation of your child’s academic and behavioral struggles. So, you decide you want to dig deeper and get to the bottom of things. A psycho-educational test is usually the first line of defense when assessing a child’s poor academic performance. A school neuropsychological test can often assess cognitive functioning in more depth than a psycho-educational evaluation can.
[ 5 ] Your child is not responding well to evidence-based interventions.
You want to understand why and how to help. A school neuropsychological evaluation would help determine if there is a neurocognitive explanation for a child’s poor response to an intervention.
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Other Mental Health Services at Sheltering Oaks Counseling
Your family may need help in more than one way. At Sheltering Oaks Counseling, we want to meet the mental health needs of every member of your family. Therefore, we offer a number of mental health services at our Wesley Chapel, FL based therapy clinic. For example, our therapists offer Christian counseling, counseling for young adults, therapy for cancer survivors and trauma therapy. We also have marriage counseling, family therapy, play therapy, and counseling for ministers. Not only can we help you in our Tampa area counseling offices, but we can also work with you anywhere in the state with online therapy in Florida.
Additionally, we offer several types of testing services, including neuropsychological testing, ADHD testing, psychoeducational evaluation, Gifted testing, and more. Finally, our specialty services for veterans and parents as IEP advocates can help you too! We would love to connect when you are ready to reach out.