What is neuropsychological assessment?
Neuropsychological assessment 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, a neuropsychological assessment consists of a clinical interview and a battery of neuropsychological tests used by a psychologist or neuropsychologist.
This type of assessment helps us understand the link between concerning behaviors and brain dysfunction. Some of the areas assessed are memory, attention, executive functioning, intellectual functioning, language skills, nonverbal and visual spatial skills, processing speed, fine motor skills, academic achievement, and behavioral and emotional functioning.
What is a school neuropsychological assessment?
A school neuropsychological assessment is an assessment done on children and it combines components of neuropsychological assessment with educational principles to help the assessor understand the neurocognitive weaknesses that need addressing to facilitate learning in the school and in the family environment.
Dr. Becky Guagliardo – Psychologist/Author
5 Reasons to seek neuropsychological /school neuropsychological assessment
[ 1 ]
Psychologically or cognitively, you have noticed a sudden downward shift in your functioning, and 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 a developmental disorder.
At our practice we specialize in working with families who have been affected by cancer. Many parents call it “cancer brain” or “chemo brain” after they see the cognitive decline a child takes after cancer treatment. A neuropsychological assessment takes a deep dive into understand the severity of the cognitive decline so parents can use that information to make educational and treatment decisions.
[ 2 ]
You want to use the 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 to determine 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 ]
Testing may be sought out for rehabilitation, vocational, or educational planning
In consideration of children with cancer, often they are treated with chemotherapy and radiation. These two treatment types carry toxicity to the entire central nervous system, especially in younger children. The results of a neuropsychological assessment can help oncologist see the child’s neurobehavioral functioning. The level of cognitive decline in the areas of memory, intellectual functioning, language skills, etc. may play a role in the course of chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
[ 4 ]
A psycho-educational evaluation was done and there was inconclusive data that did not give adequate explanation of your child’s academic and behavioral struggles. You decide you want to dig deeper and get to the bottom of things.
Typically, a psycho-educational evaluation is the first line of defense when evaluating a child’s poor academic performance. A school neuropsychological can often assess cognitive functioning in more depth than a psycho-educational evaluation can.
[ 5 ]
Your child is not responding positively to evidenced based interventions and 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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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.
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